How Injury Victims Lose When Attorneys Unethically Solicit Clients?
That starts with providing free consultations, so our prospective clients understand their legal rights and options to pursue the negligent party for their full financial recovery — whether or not it is our law firm that ultimately represents them.
Unfortunately, not all personal injury lawyers are operating within the same ethical boundaries, which can leave injury victims settling their cases for much less than they deserve.
Here are a few examples of how injury victims lose when attorneys unethically solicit clients.
Attorneys are Unethically Soliciting Clients When They Are Most Vulnerable
First, there is no rule preventing personal injury attorneys from visiting their clients in the hospital.
Because some clients are severely injured, personal injury lawyers may need to spend a significant amount of time understanding their medical needs and treatment plan by visiting the medical facility in person.
However, this is vastly different than an attorney simply showing up at the hospital, unsolicited, and pitching their services to injury victims while they are being evaluated or undergoing treatment.
Here is why.
When personal injury lawyers follow crash victims directly to the hospital, those who are hurt may still be very shaken up by the accident and still not aware of their complete injuries or medical care needs.
When an attorney is there waiting to solicit their business, the client may be overwhelmed by their potential need for help, and sign with the attorney right away — assuming he or she was in the right place at the right time. Not only is this untrue, but it is also unethical.
The larger question becomes, how do certain personal injury attorneys know which injured clients to solicit?
The answer is complex, but usually involves complicit parties tipping them off to potential clients seeking care. These individuals are called “runners and cappers” and their involvement in procuring personal injury cases leaves the client on the losing end.
What are Personal Injury Runners & Cappers?
Runners and Cappers participate in the solicitation or procurement of business as an agent for an attorney for compensation.
Simply put, they are individuals who direct capped clients — or those who will become clients — to lawyers who can manage their personal injury or wrongful death cases. In exchange for directing the injury victim to their law firm, the runner receives a fee from the attorney who signs them.
Runners can include, but are not limited to:
- Ambulance or tow truck drivers
- Coroner’s assistants
- Emergency room personnel
- Law enforcement
- Medical professionals, including nurses and chiropractors
These individuals often get paid by attorneys on a per referral basis or are compensated for each client they sign up.
In many of these instances, the injury victim is shortchanged and does not receive the full value of their case because they are quickly settled for 30-40% of their overall worth.
No matter the settlement, the personal injury attorney takes his or her share. The runner receives compensation for the referral. The client is left with a less than adequate settlement.
This is not fair to those who have been injured or lost a loved one to negligence. At the Ruhmann Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas want to help put a stop to these predatory solicitation practices, so injury victims can get the complete help they need.
There Must Be Consequences for Attorneys Who Unethically Solicit Clients
Running and capping is a very lucrative business, which is why it continues to happen across the nation.
Without consequences, personal injury attorneys — like ours at the Ruhmann Law Firm — who engage in legitimate marketing efforts, will continue to lose the opportunity to provide competent legal services to deserving injury victims who research and find lawyers who care about the outcome of their cases and their futures.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of another person, party, or entity’s negligence, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers in Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas today to learn how we can pursue the maximum financial outcome for your case using our skill and experience.
Contact the Ruhmann Law Firm today at 915-910-5600 or online to learn how we can help you understand your complete legal rights and options before you decide who should represent you during this critical time.
We provide free consultations and never charge any attorney fees unless we win your case.