Recently, Governor Newsom signed into law a bill that is designed to limit Californians’ exposure to certain marketing calls, KUSI News reported. As many telemarketers know, even if the service or product that you offer over the phone is perfectly legal (and even quite beneficial,) many people assume that all telemarketers are scammers. Professionals in several other fields face similar negative stereotypes. “Politicians are all liars seeking only become famous and/or line their bank accounts… used car salespeople are con artists seeking to get wealthy by foisting lemons onto unsuspecting consumers… auto injury attorneys are just a bunch of ambulance chasers…, etc. etc,” are some common stereotypes.
The truth is that most injury attorneys are actually highly ethical professionals, passionately dedicated to helping injured people and their families fight for what’s fair and get back on their feet. Regrettably, though, some attorneys actually are less than completely ethical. So, how do you differentiate your conscientious and professional San Mateo injury attorney from an unethical ambulance chaser?
One of the ways you potentially can differentiate the two groups is by the manner in which you become connected. The phrase “ambulance chasing” has a very specific common meaning in the legal community. It refers to unscrupulous attorneys, or third parties acting on their behalf, who reach out to injured people (or their families) without having been first contacted by that person or family. They may make contact at the scene of an auto accident, at a funeral or at the injured person’s hospital room.
These types of solicitations are generally unethical and prohibited by the rules that regulate attorney practice in California. The rules generally bar lawyers (and people working for them) from reaching out to a prospective client (who has not first contacted the attorney) unless there’s a prior professional relationship, a family connection or the solicitation is constitutionally protected.
Why you should be wary of these types of solicitations
Someone who is willing to break the rules just to be the first in line to speak to you is potentially someone who may also be willing to break other rules, too. They may provide you with misleading information about your case and, if they get you to “sign on the dotted line,” they may possibly engage in other misconduct such as the mishandling of settlement funds. Alternately, they may not have the professional skill or resources to give you the competent legal representation you need and deserve.
Finding an ethical, professional and competent attorney will require you to be a bit more pro-active. You’ll need to do your own research to determine if a particular attorney or law firm will be able to meet your needs. Generally, there are a few things that most any good candidate to represent you will offer. They will know the law. They will be conscientious with answering your questions in a clear way so that you can understand and make an intelligent choice. They will have practical experience, meaning they know the local courts, including the local judges and juries, so they know how to make sure your case ends in success.
They should also be someone with whom you feel genuinely comfortable, as your attorney can only give you the best legal representation if you and your attorney share an open and honest line of communication. These are just few things and are by no means a complete list.
Your auto accident case deserves legal representation provided by a skilled professional whose firm can offer you the sort of knowledge, diligence and resources it takes to get you a successful result. The experienced San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos are here to do just that. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys and get the clear advice you need, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.