"Ambulance chaser" — what an awful term. The image of the
personal injury lawyers of Florida (or wherever you're from, really)
actually following an ambulance to see if they can get a new client under
their belt on the way into the hospital is a revolting one. Fortunately,
it's also not true, and people are starting to understand that.
The ambulance chaser is a product of the media, not of reality. Or, more
accurately, those people who do become personal injury attorneys because
they think that's where the money is are going to be crappy lawyers
and they won't be in business for long. In that way, being an attorney
is just like any other industry you might go into: if you don't enjoy
what you're doing and you're just doing it for the paycheck, you're
never going to amount to anything.
By and large, any lawyer that has been successfully practicing personal
injury law for more than five years or so
has to be a hard-working, ethical person who truly enjoys seeing his clients winning
their just compensation for the negligence that he has suffered. The kind
of money-grubbing, no-holds-barred miscreants depicted in the press will
have moved on (quite possibly to Wall Street) when they found out that
every case they lost cost them almost as much money as the cases they
won made them.
There may have, in fact, been a time a few decades ago, when accident attorneys
trolled the ER for trauma victims, handing out business cards. But that
wasn't a viable business model. The personal injury attorneys at Florida's
plane crash sites, descending into the wreckage before the smoke had cleared,
have moved on to greener pastures.
That's because the real prize for trial lawyers who speak out for the
victims of personal injuries isn't the money — don't get
me wrong, it's good to earn a living, but seriously — it's
about the pleasure of seeing justice done and the little guy get what
he deserves. Today's personal injury attorneys are advocates for the
injured, wrongfully killed, or emotionally traumatized — definitely
not the type to perk up at the sound of a siren.