Ambulance chasing, also referred to as case running, has long been a major problem for victims of Texas car accidents, despite the fact that it is illegal. A case runner is someone who seeks out personal injury cases and then farms the client out to various lawyers for a fee. The runner solicits the potential client while he or she is still reeling from the accident or grieving the loss of their loved one. These individuals have been known to show up at homes, hospitals, and funerals.
In addition to the blatant law breaking of the case runners themselves, the lawyers involved are often violating ethical rules of the state bar through their involvement. By passing this new law, the state hopes to protect upstanding Texas personal injury attorneys and their clients. The following is a list of five interesting facts about the law:
- The law forbids doctors, chiropractors, or lawyers from contacting accident victims or their family members in any way for thirty days following the date of the accident.
- Attorneys who reach out to accident victims either by phone, in person, or by using a representative are subject to a civil fine of $10,000 per contact.
- If the client initiated the contact with the attorney pertaining to representation, the lawyer is not in violation of the law.
- An accident victim solicited by an attorney, doctor, or chiropractor in violation of the law can sue under a civil cause of action for the $10,000 fine, plus attorney's fees and damages.
- An accident victim who actually signed a contract for representation by the attorney can sue to void the contract, as well as for damages and attorney's fees.
Victims of Texas car accidents are entitled to make a personal choice with regard to the medical and legal professionals they wish to work with. In addition to the obvious ethical questions raised by individuals who blatantly violate these solicitation laws, victims should be leery of attorneys who proactively contact them. If you are the victim of a car, truck, motorcycle or other accident, contact an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer on your own terms. To schedule a free, no obligation consultation, call our office at 713-226-9900 or toll-free at 1-844-301-KAHN.