CAUTION: Personal Injury Lawyers Should NOT Be Contacting You
Quickly on the heels of a life-disrupting serious accident, many families have their privacy invaded. This “barratry” occurs when the grieving or recovering family is inundated with phone calls, text messages, items in their mail (or their email) or even having uninvited visitors.
These law violators are either attorneys or their “runners” who are “suggesting” that the victim's family hire a certain personal injury attorney to handle their injury or wrongful death case. Even in ancient days, this was a crime called champerty.
This is illegal conduct which is called “barratry.” In many instances, these “callers” are engaging in what EVERY STATE BAR ASSOCIATION (which regulates attorney conduct) identifies to be improper “solicitation.” It is a crime in all States, but each State's laws identify what constitutes the crime. Lawyers call these "runners," and ethical personal injury lawyers do NOT use runners to obtain clients.
Georgia Laws Criminalizing Barratry
Georgia's Rule of Professional Conduct 7.3 provides the following rule:
(d) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment as a private practitioner for the lawyer, a partner or associate through direct personal contact or through live telephone contact, with a non-lawyer who has not sought advice regarding employment of a lawyer.
Accident victims cannot be solicited via mail within the first thirty (30) days after the injury. Rule 7.3 also provides:
(a) A lawyer shall not send, or knowingly permit to be sent, on behalf of the lawyer, the lawyer's firm, lawyer's partner, associate, or any other lawyer affiliated with the lawyer or the lawyer's firm, a written communication to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment if:
(3) the written communication concerns an action for personal injury or wrongful death or otherwise relates to an accident or disaster involving the person to whom the communication is addressed or a relative of that person, unless the accident or disaster occurred more than 30 days prior to the mailing of the communication;
The maximum penalty for a violation of Rule 7.3 is disbarment.
How to Stop Corrupt Injury Attorneys From Bothering You and Your Family
While not all states follow the exact same ethical rules and guidelines that prohibit improper solicitation by attorneys, all states prohibit ambulance chasing - whether direct or indirect. In the age of social media postings, some law firms will aggressively research a victim's family and friends "connections" posted online and attempt to use this "inroad" to try to gain access to the personal injury case.
State laws prohibit "in person", telephonic, and direct electronic contact (such as texting or e-mail) to solicit for legal business where the motive of the solicitation is for financial gain. You can STOP these efforts by posting a notice on your front door and on your answering machine or cell phone as a recorded greeting. Be firm in your rejection of unethical conduct by corrupt personal injury attorneys.
How to Repel the Solicitations
Then, make a sign and use bold, LARGE fonts advising to not disturb you. This is to be taped to your front door stating that you and your family are not taking any visitors who have not been invited to come to your home. Warn them to NOT KNOCK or use the doorbell. When you go to your door, have your cell phone recorder going to capture what is being said, for later possible police reports.
The recorded message should tell callers that you and your family do not want to be disturbed. Further, notify them that you do not want any attorney solicitation contact, calls, mail or visitors, whether being done by the personal injury attorney or someone “working with” a law firm.
Capture Evidence to Be Used Later at State Bar Proceedings or Criminal Court
So, you should set up a recording device on your home phone or cell device to screen calls and advise that you want no uninvited callers or visitors seeking your legal business. Only accept calls from family and known friends whose user ID can be verified.
In the legal industry, these “runners” received this name because they receive some sort of compensation for "running down" these potentially valuable civil cases, at the risk of invading your privacy and violating State laws. Notify the Georgia Bar Association at (404) 527-8720. Also report this to your county District Attorney.
Contact Our Lawyers Near Me for a Free Consultation
Time is of the essence. Don't miss the statute of limitation or filing deadline for an ante litem notice. In many instances for motor vehicle accidents, Georgia law rewards the “first to file.”
Call an Atlanta personal injury attorney near me today for a FREE lawyer consultation. The legal advice call is FREE: 404-567-5515.
Then, print off a printed, bold, LARGE font sign to be taped to your front door stating that you and your family are not taking any visitors who have not been invited to come to your home, and to please NOT KNOCK or use the doorbell.
Time is of the essence. Don't miss the statute of limitation or filing deadline for an ante litem notice. In many instances for motor vehicle accidents, Georgia law rewards the “first to file.” Call and Atlanta personal injury attorney today for a FREE lawyer consultation. The call is FREE: 404.567.5515.
Our MAIN OFFICE is located at 5590 Roswell Rd, # 210, Sandy Springs, GA 30342, but (for injured clients or families who have lost a family member, we come to your home).