It’s not exactly a legal term but ambulance chasing is peculiar to the legal practice. “Ambulance chaser” is a pejorative term used to describe lawyers who gain clients by approaching accident victims and prodding them to file personal injury claims against whoever purportedly caused the injury. A reverse procedure as it were because, normally, it is the lawyer who gets approached. But there are lawyers who do go around seeking clients instead of waiting for prospective clients to come to them. Accident and disaster scenes are fertile grounds for finding clients. Hence, the term “ambulance chaser.”
Illegal in some jurisdictions
Note that ambulance chasers do not advise victims to file criminal charges but, rather, civil action for damages. Why? Because there is no money in representing an injured person if the only objective is to send to prison the person who caused the injury. The money is in the civil action where the judge (or jury) makes a pronouncement as to an amount to compensate the injured party. For his professional fee, the lawyer gets a percentage of the amount.
In other words, for the ambulance chaser, the law suit is not so much about justice but the amount of professional fee he will get if he wins the case for his client. It is, therefore, quite usual for an ambulance chasing lawyer to ask for an exorbitant amount of money in the complaint. It is also quite usual to exaggerate the injury by claiming that the victim suffered mental anguish, shock, anxiety and other analogous state in order to recover moral damages over and above the compensatory damages.
Ambulance chasing is, therefore, illegal in some jurisdictions. more »»