"Ambulance chaser" is a derogatory phrase often used to describe some trial lawyers who specializes in representing accident victims. It typically refers to unethical lawyers who solicit business, sometimes called "barratry," from accident victims or their families at the scene of an accident or disaster or immediately thereafter — figuratively chasing an ambulance from an accident scene to the hospital.
At Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton, we are ethical personal injury lawyers, and we support upholding the law which is one of the reasons we write so many articles to educate consumers or persons hurt about their rights. We believe they should be educated and seek counsel on their own, without illegal bribes or offers of cash to retain a certain "unknown" lawyer.
However, this type of unethical behavior still happens and a Birmingham, Alabama (AL), lawyer and his client, who was injured in an April vehicle crash, have filed a civil lawsuit claiming that within days of the wreck people representing three other lawyers tried to illegally solicit him for his personal injury case. The lawsuit was filed May 13 by the law firm of Wettermark, Holland & Keith on behalf of Robert Barber, a lawyer, and Barber’s client David Wayne Wright.
Wright was injured in a crash April 25, according to the lawsuit. After the crash Wright contacted Barber to seek his advice and counsel about the wreck, the lawsuit claims. However within days of the wreck people representing three other lawyers tried to illegally solicit him for his personal injury case. Alabama law and state bar rules prohibit lawyers from approaching someone to solicit a case or hiring someone to solicit cases on their behalf.
Our view is that we as lawyers have an obligation to try and stamp out this type of illegal and unethical conduct which is one of the reasons why our clients choose our Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia-based injury iawyers: ethics, experience and distinction in the VA Legal Community.
Like our law firm Wettermark, Holland & Keith represents clients in a fair ethical way, many of those clients are railroad injury and FELA cases. It has been our privilege to represent trainmen, brakeman/conductors, engineers, carmen, signalmen, machinists, maintenance-of-way-workers, victims of railroad derailments and crossing collisions, as well as their families and friends on railroad cases or even injury cases unrelated to the rail industry. As a result, our firm is well known to thousands of railroad workers and fellow injury attorneys throughout the eastern region of the United States as a highly qualified law firm in the area of railroad injury law.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.