What are “Runners” and “Cappers,” and Why Should I Avoid Them?
As a personal injury attorney, I am all too familiar with the stereotype of the “ambulance chasing” lawyer. I’ll admit, some of the jokes can draw a chuckle from time to time, but lawyers who aggressively solicit potential clients actually cause very real harm to the justice system.
In Michigan and most other states, rules of professional conduct prohibit lawyers from direct solicitation of a potential client. That means that, in general, you should not be contacted by a lawyer or a law firm asking for your business regarding a specific incident unless you have reached out first. Unscrupulous and greedy attorneys have tried to get around that rule by engaging “runners” and “cappers,” non-lawyers who contact injured people and try to steer them to the attorneys for legal services. Over time, the scams got more sophisticated – lawyers would affiliate with medical providers and agree to help each other’s business by sending clients and patients back and forth. Sometimes, lawyers would develop relationships with ambulance or towing services so the lawyer could be the first to know about a car crash involving an injury.
Unfortunately, solicitation creates an environment ripe for fraud and self-dealing. When the integrity of the legal system is in doubt, everyone is harmed – including people with legitimate injuries who need legal representation. Insurance companies are extremely savvy in dealing with injured people and can easily take advantage of desperate and hurting people who do not have the help of an experienced legal advocate.
In recent years Michigan has taken steps to reduce solicitation and fraud, but, regrettably, it still occurs. Our attorneys at Grewal Law have never and will never engage in this form of unethical and illegal solicitation. We will stand on our reputation for delivering excellent results to earn the trust of new clients.
If you have questions about a car crash or your automobile insurance, contact our attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC for assistance.