A derogatory term for a personal injury lawyer, an ambulance chaser is an attorney who offers legal representation to accident victims immediately after the accident has occurred. These attorneys often appear at accident or disaster scenes and solicit business among those who were victims or relatives of victims.
An individual may be advised by an ambulance chaser to file a claim of personal injury or accident. The ambulance chaser does so with the purpose of deriving some form of damages or compensation, which he or she may have a percentage of. Cases undertaken by such attorneys may involve injury to an individual due to actions taken or the lack of actions taken by another party.
This type of behavior is a violation of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct’s rule 7.3. This rule states that a lawyer may in no means, whether live telephone, personally, or real-time electronically, provide legal services to a prospective client when the primary purpose of doing so is for the personal gain of the attorney.
It is in the behavior of an ambulance chaser to approach a prospective client first and advise him or her to solicit the attorney’s legal services in filing a claim of personal injury. It is also advised by such an attorney that he or she can be compensated in terms of a percentage of the damages that may be won by the individual. If this type of behavior is proven to be true, it is possible for the ambulance chaser to be permanently disbarred and prohibited from practicing law ever again.