If you are the victim of a car accident, make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with your rights and avoid being scammed by accident runners.
The solicitation of accident victims by unscrupulous lawyers and doctors is illegal and the Code of Ethics that govern attorneys’ behavior, lawyers are strictly forbidden from doing this. The penalty for this behavior can be disbarment. The solicitation of accident victims often occurs at accident scenes, hospitals and even at the victims’ own home. The people hired by doctors and lawyers to solicit accident victims are known as “runners”.
Runners are so sly in their methods that accident victims don’t even realize that they have been tricked into going to a medical facility or a lawyer and have become the subject of a runner’s scam. When these dirty doctors and lawyers get caught the accident victim’s case can be destroyed. After all, who is going to believe them if their doctor or lawyer goes to jail? Moreover, the victims represented by these dirty lawyers will receive less settlement money.
Medical facilities that pay runners to solicit victims have added expense that “clean” facilities don’t have. They have to pay runners upwards of $2000.00 for each accident victim they bring them. They recoup these costs by referring the victim to “their” lawyer and stealing it back from the victim’s settlement monies at the end of the case.
The following portrays some of the common scams used by runners:
Automobile Accident Cases: The Accident Scene
When an automobile accident occurs, runners (oftentimes tow truck drivers) get their first opportunity to solicit accident victims. They use scanners to monitor police radio transmissions arrive at accident scenes frequently before the police get there. They will then solicit the victim to go to a doctor or lawyer. Some runners will slyly tell the accident victim that they “witnessed” the accident and that they can help them. The typical victim is agitated, angry and scared and wants to have a witness on their side backing up his/her accident story. The runner tells the victim that he or she must go to a doctor and the runner recommends and that he or she will also be referred to a lawyer. What the victim doesn’t know is that this is a scam. The runner was not a witness and does not get listed as one on the police report. The runner will never help the victim in any way with his/her case.
A “Rule of Thumb”: Never allow someone to solicit you to go to a doctor or a lawyer at the scene of an accident.
The Hospital Emergency Room
Hospitals can be extremely fertile grounds for runners, especially in the emergency rooms. Runners loiter in hospital emergency rooms waiting for accident victims to be brought in. Once in the emergency rooms they will “pitch” them. Some are direct approaches and some more sly. One of their best known tricks is to play the concerned relative or friend. They will approach victims waiting to being treated and pretend to be waiting for someone who is being treated in the hospital. The y will convincingly tell the victim that after being discharged by the hospital, the friend and/or relative that he is waiting for is going the “best” doctor and lawyer in town. This is pure fiction. The runner doesn’t know anyone being treated in the hospital. He or she is lying to help trick the victim to go to the lawyer and/or doctor so that he or she can get paid. If the accident was in California, a Los Angeles car accident attorney can help.
A “Rule of Thumb”: Never allow someone to solicit you to go to a doctor or a lawyer in a hospital.
After Leaving The Hospital Emergency Room
The private medical records of victims of accidents who are treated in emergency rooms are sold and resold to medical facilities and lawyers who bribe hospital employees to get them. Typically, after the victim goes home they will be telephoned repeatedly by different runners trying to solicit them. One particularly underhanded approach they use is to tell the victim that they are a representative of the hospital (possibly a doctor). They will then tell the victim that they noticed something in their hospital records that indicates they need follow up care at the hospital’s private medical facility. They will have the victim picked up by their own transportation service at their home and then brought to the medical facility. What the victim doesn’t know is that the person who called them is a runner and that neither he nor the medical facility he referred them to had any connection to the hospital.
A “Rule of Thumb”: Never allow someone to solicit you over the telephone after leaving the hospital.
If you receive a telephone call after leaving the hospital from someone claiming to be calling from the hospital or associated with it soliciting you to go to the hospital or associated with it soliciting you to go to a medical facility or a lawyer, BE CAREFUL!
That person is probably a runner. Call the Administration Office at the hospital. Ask them if the person who called or the medical facility he is trying to refer you to has any connection with the hospital.
General Rule: Always choose a doctor and a lawyer by enlisting the advice of people that you know and trust.
If you or someone you know has been solicited by a runner and would like to consult with us, please feel free to call us anytime. We can replace these unscrupulous lawyers at anytime at no cost to you. Regardless of how many attorneys have worked on an accident victim’s case, the victim will still get 2/3rds of the net award while the attorneys are left to fight over the 1/3rd attorney’s fee. The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC stands ready, willing and able to fire these “dirty” attorneys and competently litigate your case and aggressively pursue a successful and very prosperous award.
Remember, an injury victim will only have one chance to be compensated for injuries that may last a lifetime. He or she should be represented by an attorney who is trustworthy, competent, aggressive, and has the victim’s best interest at heart.
Contact the Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PPLC.
Contact us by e-mail or call us at 212-962-1020 (toll free at 877-MSL-4LAW or 877-675-4529) to schedule a free initial consultation.