June 18, 2019
THE REAL REASON THAT NO GOOD AND DECENT ATTORNEY WILL EVER CALL YOU FIRST AFTER A CAR WRECK
Many law firms in Georgia illegally and unethically employ individuals to pull police reports after an accident, then call the people listed on the reports and offer the legal services of their employers. These individuals are called “runners,” and they are the definition of ambulance chasers. In fact, they are more than happy to come to a hospital bedside, invited or otherwise, at any given point in the day.
Not surprisingly, the State Bar of Georgia looks upon these predatory, sleazy tactics unfavorably. Unfortunately, the State Bar does not have a history of addressing these matters aggressively and holding the law firms that employ such runners accountable. And so, after a car wreck, it is not just possible, but likely that you will receive a call from someone who calls himself or herself an “investigator,” or who misrepresents that they work with this or that insurance company.
It is a disappointing truth that, at a time when all you should be focused on is getting better and treating injuries, you must also be vigilant not to be fooled by someone who works for a law firm pretending to be someone they are not so they can sign you up as a client. NO GOOD AND DECENT ATTORNEY WILL EVER, EVER CALL YOU, OR HAVE SOMEONE CALL YOU, WITHOUT YOU REACHING OUT TO HIM OR HER FIRST. This is a cornerstone of an ethical law practice. Sure, lawyers may advertise services on television. They may put billboards on the highway or on the sides of buses, but they should never call you or have someone call you and say, “I hear you were in a wreck and we can help.” This is the tactic of a law office desperate to sign up anyone naïve enough to fall for this sort of thing. They work on case volume, which means they simply do not have the time nor the resources to provide you with competent legal representation.
If you or someone close to you has been in a car accident, even if it is not a serious car accident, do not talk to someone when they call you and tell you they heard you were in a wreck. If they claim to be calling from the insurance company, ask them what the policy number is and get a number to return their call. The chances of them actually being from State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, etc. will improve if they can give you a number that does not ring back to a cellular telephone. In fact, it would be a good idea to Google the company to ensure the number you were given is legitimate.
Be careful and don’t be scammed by these folks who will tell you whatever it takes to sign you up. You should only ever enter into an agreement for legal representation when you are sitting and talking to an actual lawyer.