A case runner is essentially an injury attorney or an individual working on behalf of an injury attorney who directly reaches out to accident victims to procure their business. According to Dopplr, case running is currently illegal in 21 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
Debilitating car accident injuries can be expensive to treat, and high medical bills can be overwhelming for injured parties to deal with. Unfortunately, not all victims know their rights when it comes to pursuing compensation from the party that caused their injuries. While accident victims should use the tort system to pursue the compensation they deserve, they should not be coerced into working with a particular injury attorney, especially while in a vulnerable financial and emotional state.
Is Case Running Legal in Louisiana?
Case running is illegal in Louisiana and has been since 2010. State law prohibits individuals from procuring or attempting to procure business for a licensed attorney by means of fraud, deceit, trickery, or misleading statements.
The Louisiana State Bar Association has set forth strict regulations regarding the kinds of claims attorneys can make and the ways in which they can acquire new clients. Although broadcasting a commercial or printing a billboard that details their services is allowed, employing the use of case runners is not.
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How Do Case Runners Find Accident Victims?
As the Dopplr website notes, there are other names for case runners, such as “solicitors,” “steerers,” and “cappers.” Although the term “ambulance chasers” is a common colloquialism for case runners, they do not necessarily follow emergency vehicles from accident scenes to hospitals in an attempt to find vulnerable accident victims. Rather, they use more sophisticated tactics to locate potential clients.
For example, their informants may be hospital staff members, police department employees, or tow truck drivers. These informants may share the accident victim’s personal information without consent, opening him or her up to unsolicited calls from injury attorneys. Case runners may also review police records, which are technically deemed public information, or track police scanners to find new clients.
Beware of a False Show of Compassion
The attorneys who rely on case runners to find their clients may come off as compassionate and helpful; however, because they are partaking in an illegal act to make initial contact, there is a chance they may fail to follow other required procedures during your case. If you want to hire a car accident lawyer after sustaining serious injuries, it is best to find a credible attorney by doing your own research.
Signs You May Be Talking to a Case Runner
It can be challenging to tell a case runner who is illegally soliciting services apart from a legitimate source. If a case runner contacts you, you may feel that something isn’t quite right with the person, but how do you know for sure? Here are a few ways you can tell that you may be talking to someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. You may encounter the following after your accident:
- Someone has called you to offer you legal services, but you don’t know who the person is or how they got your phone number. They may identify themselves as an investigator who wants to talk with you about your injuries and how you can seek damages after your accident.
- Someone has shown up unannounced at your door or in your hospital room to talk with you about your accident. Again, although they may tell you they are an investigator, you don’t know who they are, and you’ve never talked to them or given them your personal information.
- You may be given the name of a medical clinic, a chiropractor, or a personal injury lawyer by someone who you don’t expect a referral from, such as a tow truck driver or a repair shop mechanic.
If you are offered money, medical assistance, or being asked a lot of questions about your accident and your injuries, you may want to take a closer look at who the person is and why they are offering these things or appearing concerned about your health and well-being. Case runners are known for pretending to care, but their goal is to get as much money out of you and your situation as they can.
What to Do if a Case Runner Reaches Out to You After Your Accident
If you suspect that a case runner has contacted you, immediately end the conversation. Tell the person to leave, and do not give them any more information than they already have. You can inform them that you will look for your own legal representation, which is easy to find with an online search or referral from trusted and ethical sources.
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How to Find Your Own Attorney
After you have thought about what you are looking for in an attorney, you can conduct your search. This alone can be rewarding because you get to choose the lawyer you think would be the right fit for your case. You can do an online search and look at the websites of lawyers and law firms. Take notes as you look at attorneys’ credentials, case results, and testimonials. You can also ask trusted friends and colleagues if they can recommend an attorney.
Meet With a Law Firm or Lawyer to Feel Them Out
Many personal injury attorneys offer free case reviews. You can use that meeting to ask the attorney questions, including how long they have been practicing, if they have experience in handling cases similar to yours, and how their fee structure works. Meeting with the legal team can help you determine if a lawyer and/or law firm is a good match for you.
You can also confirm with them who would work on your case and regularly update you on developments. It can take time to find the right attorney, but it is time better spent finding a legitimate legal representative than talking to an unethical source.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Is Ready to Work with You Today
If you were injured in a collision that was not your fault, and you want to work with a legal team that does not employ underhanded tactics to procure new clients, you can reach out to Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today. Clients do not come to us because we seek them out but rather because of our track record of success and the quality of representation we provide.
We have helped clients recover more than $200 million in cash settlements and verdicts. Call (504) 777-7777 for a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in Lafayette.