No, We Don’t Really Chase Ambulances
The myth of lawyers chasing ambulances in search of their next client is one of our most prevalent urban legends. The image is so much a part of American culture that it may surprise some people to learn that personal injury attorneys do not actually run after ambulances in search of injury victims. Aside from the absurdity of such a business practice, there are other reasons why this image is pure myth.
The American Bar Association sets forth rules for professional conduct. Among other things, the Bar Association governs how attorneys may initiate contact with a prospective client. Despite the popular misconception, anything resembling ambulance-chasing is expressly prohibited by these standards.
Put simply, attorneys can’t solicit a stranger’s business. While there are exceptions made for family and close associates, ethics prevent a lawyer from directly soliciting business from a stranger. It’s up to a potential client to decide he or she needs legal help and contact an attorney for advice.
Personal Injury Law
Attorneys who practice personal injury law are a relatively small percentage of lawyers. There are many areas of legal practice, and lawyers who focus their practice on personal injury law aren’t chasing ambulances, just like divorce attorneys aren’t buying names from cheat-on-your-spouse dating websites. It simply isn’t how attorneys do business.
Personal injury law was created in order to help people. This branch of the law helps not only those injured by someone else’s carelessness; it also protects our society as a whole. Because of personal injury law, companies know they’ll be held accountable if they market dangerous products, or take shortcuts with safety guidelines to save money. Business and property owners know they need to maintain their premises to prevent patrons and tenants from getting hurt.
And that makes us all safer.