Generally, an injury victim will only have one chance to be compensated
for injuries that may last a lifetime. He or she should be represented
by an attorney, who is trustworthy, aggressive, and knowledgeable and
puts the victim’s best interest first.
Why should I be wary of a stranger recommending a lawyer to me?
You should always choose a lawyer by enlisting the advice of people that
you know and trust. Unfortunately, many victims don’t know of any
reputable attorneys who are skilled in handling personal injury cases.
Oftentimes, these victims fall prey to solicitation by unscrupulous lawyers
and doctors. Even though solicitation of accident victims is strictly
forbidden by the Codes of Ethics governing these professions, unethical
doctors and lawyers continue to employ “runners” who solicit
victims at accident scenes, hospitals and doctor’s offices and even
at the victim’s own home. The expense of these “runners”,
sometimes resulting in thousands of dollars in referral fees, is often
passed on to the victims themselves.
How could this scam eventually cost me money?
The way this unscrupulous practice works is simple. Often a victim’s
medical expenses are greater than what an insurance company will cover.
The treating facilities then seek to recoup the additional uncollected
monies from the victim’s settlement or jury award. This money is
not disputed by the attorney receiving the referral because essentially
he is “in cahoots” with the doctors. The Law Office of Richard
Southard does not accept or rely on future referrals from any “runners”
or disreputable medical facilities. As a former prosecutor, I am familiar
with the dangers of these types of scams and how quickly it can tear apart
an otherwise great personal injury case. In addition, I will fight to
negotiate medical bills down so that the client has to pay the doctors
as little as possible.
What if it is someone who “witnessed” the accident?
Be wary of “witnesses” to accidents who appear out of nowhere and promise to “help”
you at trial, while urging you to go to their doctor or lawyer. Frequently,
these runners monitor police communications using scanners, and sometimes
even arrive at the scene of an accident before the police do. However,
these runners lie about what they witnessed, do not get listed as witnesses
on police reports, and ultimately will never help the case.
Once I leave the scene of the accident am I safe?
Be wary of strangers in hospital waiting rooms who are waiting for their
friend or relative to be treated. They will tell you about the “greatest” doctor or lawyer in the world and urge you to use them. These concerned
strangers are runners in disguise and aren’t really waiting for
anyone. That’s just a lie they use to get you to go to their doctor
or lawyer so they can make money.
What should I know about after I leave the hospital?
Be wary of strangers calling you after you leave the hospital to solicit
you. Frequently, hospital personnel are bribed into selling your confidential
medical records to these dishonest medical facilities and lawyers. They
may even make false claims to be connected to the hospital that initially
treated you and offer to chauffer you to their doctors or lawyers. Use
caution and verify the information told to you. Ask questions, get names
and phone numbers, and offer to call them back at their job to verify
what they are telling you.
How do I choose a lawyer I can trust?
Don’t allow compensation for your injuries to be affected because
of these illegal practices. Trust your case to someone who spent years
helping to prosecuting these illegal scam artists. Trust your case to
an attorney who will aggressively pursue your case and make sure that
you get every dollar that you are entitled to. Contact Richard Southard
today for a free consultation.
What do I do if am involved in an Auto Accident?
If you have an auto accident in New York State, where someone is injured
or property is damaged, you are required by law to stop your vehicle and
provide your name, address and insurance information to the injured party
or to a police officer.
You should also seek medical attention for all injured parties as soon
If possible, make efforts to prevent further accidents, since it is possible
that you could be liable for damages to approaching vehicles. Road flares
or reflectors should provide adequate warning to approaching vehicles.
Report the facts of the incidents to a police officer, so that it will
be preserved at the time of the accident and can be used to help you at
trial, if you sue. To the extent possible, get as much contact information
as possible for any witnesses to the incident. Also, record the insurance
information for all vehicles involved in the accident. Notify your insurance
company by phone and in writing of the details of the accident or your
insurance company may deny you coverage if a claim is made against you.
If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Seemingly trivial
injuries can be potentially serious if not attended to immediately. Follow
your Doctor’s orders for any follow-up treatment including rehabilitation
or physical therapy. Consult an experienced and reputable lawyer who can
evaluate your right to sue a negligent driver or owner for your personal
injury losses. Also, an experienced lawyer can discuss your rights to
collect under New York State’s no-fault insurance law. There are
significant benefits that you may be entitled to and time is of the essence.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, contact Richard Southard
today to schedule a free consultation.