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Posted on Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 at 5:45 pm    

If you have been in a car wreck, you’ve probably gotten a mailbox full of solicitation letters from lawyers, phone calls and letters from chiropractors, and may have even had a runner show up at your doorstep trying to convince you that an insurance company sent him to get you to a chiropractor for treatment. I call this “ambulance chasing” while others call is “solicitation”. These folks send people to police departments to get your name and number off police reports. Many times they get to you so quickly that they might as well have been at the accident scene and handed you their business card.

Some of these soliciting lawyers defend this practice by explaining that insurance companies are getting vulnerable accident victims to settle cases or claims within days of a car wreck, even before injuries have time to show up. The soliciting lawyers are right but two wrongs don’t make a right. I believe that the motivating factor is money.

Some people have asked me why have I spent time and money trying to stop this solicitation practice, including bringing proposed laws before the Arkansas General Assembly (i.e., the Legislature) in 2009 and 2011. The answer is simple. The practice tarnishes the image of lawyers and, more importantly, the practice gives the perception to jurors that there is a conspiracy between lawyers, chiropractors, and low speed automobile accident victims to make a quick buck after a low speed accident. While this is untrue in the vast majority of cases, perception (as we know) is reality. The simple truth is that deserving accident victims often, therefore, do not receive fair compensation because of the solicitation practice.

If you receive a mailbox full of solicitation letters, phone calls from chiropractors, or a home visit from a runner, contact the Attorney General, the Arkansas State Insurance Commissioner, and your State Representatives and Senators and let them know your thoughts.