On September 1, 2011, Section 82.0651 of the Texas Government Code went into effect. Section 82.0651 allows a barratry lawyer to collect from an ambulance chasing lawyer or his investigator a $10,000 fine as well as the attorneys fees and expenses expended in the collection of the fine. The fine is considered a liquidated damage and is paid to the solicitation victim who refused to sign a contract with the unscrupulous attorney.
A number of Texas lawyers have risen to the occasion and are openly advertising that they will assist solicitation victims. The most common scenario is when an auto or truck wreck occurs the innocent drivers or passengers are solicited by “ambulance chasers.” These attorneys oftentimes use so-called “investigators” to do their dirty work but it is also common, particularly in severe injury accidents, for the lawyer himself to personally contact the victims or their families and illegally solicit employment. Each of the acts of solicitation gives rise to a $10,000 penalty payable to the victim.
In the East Texas area Craig Daugherty of Tyler is assisting solicitation victims. In South Texas, Bill Edwards of Corpus Christi has been actively pursuing ambulance chasing attorneys for a number of years. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area Chris Whitaker with the firm of John R. Salazar P.C. is pursuing lawyers who violate the barratry laws. In Houston attorney Thomas J. Henry offers to assist injured claimants who have been solicited by police officers, tow-truck drivers, body shop employees, telemarketers, funeral home personnel, news reporters, clergy, chiropractors, doctors, hospital employees, insurance agents, or law firm “investigators” who work with unethical attorneys. These “case-runners” are usually working on a commission basis for an attorney and may offer gifts, money or promises in an attempt to get the injured victims to sign a contract with a particular attorney.
For more information contact a Tyler Injury Attorney today.