Barratry Personal Injury Lawyers in Austin
Barratry or ambulance chasing is illegal in Texas, and enforcement actions are on the rise. Ethical lawyers have no patience with those who approach victims at accident sites or in their hospital rooms or solicit their relatives when the victim is unconscious or has passed away. A client who has become victim to barratry has nothing to be ashamed of. Many victims do find themselves exploited during moments of vulnerability. They should seek the advice of an honest attorney at once, however, particularly if the ambulance chaser has extracted any money up front.
Barratry as a Crime
Protecting a victim’s legitimate rights in case of an accident is an issue of paramount importance. Someone who has suffered an accident and believes someone else may be responsible should seek out competent legal counsel for an evaluation of their case. It should not be the other way around, and if a lawyer does approach a victim personally and hints that the victim should hire a particular firm, then that attorney has committed a crime under Texas law.
The Civil Barratry Statute
In addition to criminal penalties, the lawyer may also have to face actions under the recently reaffirmed Civil Barratry Statute. In these cases it is vital that victims have access to legal counsel to preserve their rights not only against the original party to their suit but against the unethical attorney who solicited them.
The victim of barratry is in the unenviable position of having to pursue two legal matters at once. The first case, the claim against the party responsible for the accident, cannot be allowed to languish during actions against an ambulance chaser. At the same time, claims against someone who has engaged in barratry must also be pursued, and the cases may well be interrelated. It takes an experienced lawyer who has studied the field intensively to untangle things and recommend the optimal strategy to the victim.
Someone who has suffered an accident in the Austin area and then been approached by an ambulance chaser should feel some concern about the protection of their legal rights. The first should be to contact one of the many ethical personal injury law firms in the area. Personal Injury Lawyers like those at Zinda Law Group can help victims decide if they want to pursue a case and how best to go about it, and the consultation is free.