It's no secret that we have railed against some attorneys and firms who "solicit" injury victims after an auto accident. These tactics range from offensive to shady (the practice of hiding behind third party "injury help centers" that call victims and steer them to chiropractors and attorneys with questionable sales pitches), and some are downright illegal.
We don't do any of this stuff and we're proud of that, even if it means less business for us.
But now the newest mutation in the solicitation shenanigans: A Florida hospital employee has been arrested in allegedly stealing patient information and records from over 760,000 patient records and selling all of it to attorneys and chiropractors. My guess is that these records involved various accidents or other calamities.
Every time I think that these practices can't sink any lower, something as astonishing as this comes along. The employee was just recently arrested, so it could get very interesting down the road as federal investigators follow the paper trail and blow the lid off of this powderkeg.
It's gotten to the point that accident victims really can't trust any post-accident phone calls or "inquiries" about their collision, nor should they. Just how can accident victims make an informed and intelligent choice amongst a sea of letters, brochures, DVD's, numerous phone calls, and now, possibly stolen patient information???
It used to be that picking an attorney or firm out of the phone book was the equivalent of Russian Roulette. Post-accident solicitation is now the new form of this dangerous game.
The good news: over 95% of Ohio personal injury attorneys do not engage in these practices. And word of mouth is still a tried and true method of choosing competent attorneys in this dizzying and sometimes suspect maze.