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Florida Ambulance Chasers And What You Can Do About Them

One of the nastiest nicknames that Florida personal injury attorneys have been labeled with is “ambulance chasers.” The terminology has been around for 3 or 4 decades now and within the past 5 years, the legal industry in the state has banned the solicitation of clients by their members in an effort to reverse and erase that nickname in the public eye.  This practice goes against the guidelines and rules of the state’s Bar Association as well as the code of ethics that all lawyers adhere to.

Whenever a serious accident occurs, the families of the victim are in crisis and they usually are not in the right state of mind to deal with any legal issues.  Their weakness in these situations is what prompts an ambulance chaser to strike like a pit viper and take advantage of these families.  This is why so many individuals and legal professionals today view these actions as completely cruel and opportunistic.

Interestingly enough, the concept of the ambulance chasing also applies in the businesses world as well.  However, in this case, it refers to an opportunistic or unscrupulous corporate raider.  These individuals take advantage of companies that are in dire financial straits and swoop down on them in order to offer what is viewed as questionable assistance. It follows then that any unethical business lawyer could solicit clients from businesses and corporations that are in crisis by utilizing their skills to become a corporate ambulance chaser.

Legal Ramifications

In the state of Florida, a lawyer cannot ethically or legally solicit client business by phoning or speaking to individuals such as accident victims or arrested criminal suspects.  They cannot contact these individual’s family members either.  Unfortunately, a lawyer can use direct mail to solicit new clients even though personal contact or phone contact has been banned.  According to the Supreme Court in 1988, even if these mailings are targeted to specific individuals direct mail advertising by an attorney protected by the Constitution.

Over 20 years ago, the Florida Bar Association attempted to circumvent the direct mail issue by adopting a rule that imposes time limits on any solicitation of business through targeted direct mailings.  According to this rule, an attorney or legal firm may not personally contact an accident or injury victim until 30 days has elapsed since the event occurred.  This rule also applies to surviving family members when a victim died as a result of the accident and the injuries they sustained.  Unfortunately, a federal judge ruled that ban as unconstitutional.

What Can You Do If You Have Been Solicited?

Let’s assume for the moment that you live in Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, or Venice and you recently hired a lawyer to assist you in your personal injury case.  However, you are not happy with the service they have provided to this point in time.  In fact, you’ve gone months at a time without hearing a single word about your case.  The good news is that you’re not stuck with them.  If they were an ambulance chaser and you succumbed to their solicitations, you were the victim of an illegal practice.

However, there’s even more good news.  If you turn to an experienced and highly reputable personal injury attorney for legal assistance with your personal injury case, they will work out all the details with the lawyer you originally hired.  In fact, the right attorney shouldn’t charge you a cent to hire them in place of the less reputable individual.  So even if you think that switching from an illegitimate person to one that is reputable is difficult to do, it isn’t. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Florida Ambulance Chasers And What You Can Do About Them

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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