The Truth About Ambulance Chasers, a.k.a. “Runners”
Why is this Important, because it’s illegal.
Car Crash Relief is dedicated to helping the public understand the truth about Ambulance Chasers, a.k.a. “Runners”
We are openly blowing the whistle on Runners.
Please read this information, it is probably the most important thing you should know about personal injury claims.
WARNING: You should be wary if someone calls you about your personal info regarding your auto accident. Runners will offer you money to sign with an Attorney and get treatment with their specific doctors.
THIS IS ILLEGAL
A runner is someone who gets an innocent car crash victims personal information in the following ways:
Originally, runners obtained press passes to get into police stations to obtain accident victim’s police reports. Their responsibility was to write reports on auto accidents yearly, however, what the runners were doing was calling innocent car accident victims, offering them money to use their specific Attorney or Doctor. The state stopped issuing press passes back in 2009, however anyone that had one prior to this date can still access the system. This is still currently going on through other methods.
This is a big money business so some police officers will get theses reports and sell them to runners. These reports can be sold for up to $25,000 per week.
There are attorneys that have staff members working in hospitals. Their job is to either pull info out of the hospitals computer or directly give a victim a business card. Obviously these people are paid under the table, but their biggest problem is that they have knowingly/or unknowingly committed a federal offense. Some runners will stay outside until you leave the hospital and then talk to you. They even hang around police stations to see who walks out with police reports.
Runners often use police scanners to see where major accidents are. They have several crews throughout the state. These people tend to show up at the scene and offer assistance. Then they will try to give you business cards, either for an attorney or doctor “they know” DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM.
The Ambulance Chasing Runners will work beyond law enforcement and Hospitals to get this information. They even use Tow Truck Companies and Ambulances. These will pay drivers and staff to hand out Attorney business cards or doctors cards. They are usually paid $500 per patient. That’s both on the Attorney and Doctor side. Yes that’s $1000 per car accident.
If you are in a case that fits any of these situations, please call your state bar with their name and number. You can also call Car Crash Relief for help. We will help you qualify your Attorney or Doctor with our second opinion service.
ON CALL 24/7
TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!
(404) 480-CASH (2274)
As of July 1st 2014, the state of Georgia has passed a new law banning the use of illegal runners. If an Attorney or Doctor gets caught using information obtained from illegal runners, you can face stiff fines and even jail-time.
But what happens to me? I had the accident, what happens to my case?
If you are caught working with one of these runners, your case is now part of insurance fraud. Your claim or anything that may have been a part of that claim could now be gone. AND YOU CANNOT PURSUE ACTION A SECOND TIME.
Do not fall into this trap. If you have a case now, and the above applies to you, please call Car Crash Relief for a second opinion. It’s not your fault. We can help.
House Bill 828
Chapter 24 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance generally, is amended by repealing Code Section 33-24-53, relating to prohibition of compensation for referrals or recommendations to attorneys and penalties, in its entirety and by enacting a new Code Section 33-24-53 to read as follows:
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) ‘Capper,’ ‘runner,’ or ‘steerer’ means a person who receives a pecuniary benefit from a practitioner or healthcare service provider, whether directly or indirectly, to solicit, procure, or attempt to procure a client, patient, or customer at the direction or request of, or in cooperation with, a practitioner or health care service provider whose purpose is to obtain benefits under a contract of insurance or to assert a claim against an insured or an insurer for providing services to the client, patient, or customer. Capper, runner, or steerer shall not include:
(A) Any insurance company or agent or employee thereof who provides referrals or recommendations to its insureds; or
(B) A practitioner or healthcare service provider who procures clients, patients, or customers through the use of public media or by referrals or recommendations from other practitioners or health care service providers.
(2) ‘Practitioner’ means an attorney, health care professional, owner or partial owner of a health care practice or facility, or any person employed or acting on behalf of any of the individuals in this paragraph.
(3) ‘Public media’ means telephone directories, professional directories, newspapers and other periodicals, radio and television, billboards, and mailed or electronically transmitted written communications that do not involve in-person contact with a specific prospective client, patient, or customer.
(b) Except as provided for in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-18-72, it is unlawful for any person in an individual capacity or in a capacity as a law enforcement officer, law enforcement records staff member, wrecker services staff member, emergency staff member, physician, hospital employee, or attorney to solicit, release, or sell any information relating to the parties of a motor vehicle collision for personal financial gain. This subsection shall not apply to mass public media advertisement and solicitation.[/vc_column_text][dt_gap height=”15″][vc_column_text](c) It is unlawful for:
(1) Any person in an individual capacity or in a capacity as a public or private employee or any firm, corporation, partnership, or association to act as a capper, runner, or steerer for any practitioner or healthcare service provider. This paragraph shall not prohibit an attorney or health care provider from making a referral and receiving compensation as is permitted under applicable professional rules of conduct; and
(2) Any practitioner or healthcare service provider to compensate or give anything of value to a person acting as a capper, runner, or steerer. It is also unlawful for any capper, runner, or steerer to recommend or secure a practitioner’s or health care service provider’s employment by a client, patient, or customer if such practitioner or healthcare service provider obtains or intends to obtain benefits under a contract of insurance or asserts a claim against an insured or an insurer for providing services to the client, patient, or customer.
(d) Any natural person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall, on the first offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than 30 days and a fine not to exceed $1,000.00. Any natural person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than ten years and by a fine of not more than $100,000.00 per violation.”
Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to when public disclosure of records is not required, is amended by revising paragraph (5) of subsection (a) as follows:
(5) Individual Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports, except upon the submission of a written statement of need by the requesting party to be provided to the custodian of records and to set forth the need for the report pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that any person or entity whose name or identifying information is contained in a Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report shall be entitled, either personally or through a lawyer or other representative, to receive a copy of such report; and provided, further, that Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports shall not be available in bulk for inspection or copying by any person absent a written statement showing the need for each such report pursuant to the requirements of this Code section. For the purposes of this subsection, the term ‘need’ means that the natural person or legal entity who is requesting in person or by representative to inspect or copy the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report:
(A) Has a personal, professional, or business connection with a party to the accident;
(B) Owns or leases an interest in property allegedly or actually damaged in the accident;
(C) Was allegedly or actually injured by the accident;
(D) Was a witness to the accident;
(E) Is the actual or alleged insurer of a party to the accident or of property actually or allegedly damaged by the accident;
(F) Is a prosecutor or a publicly employed law enforcement officer;
(G) Is alleged to be liable to another party as a result of the accident;
(H) Is an attorney stating that he or she needs the requested reports as part of a criminal case, or an investigation of a potential claim involving contentions that a roadway, railroad crossing, or intersection is unsafe;
(I) Is gathering information as a representative of a news media organization; provided, however, that such representative submits a statement affirming that the use of such accident report is in compliance with Code Section 33-24-53. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement in requesting such accident report shall be guilty of a violation of Code Section 16-10-20;
(J) Is conducting research in the public interest for such purposes as accident prevention, prevention of injuries or damages in accidents, determination of fault in an accident or accidents, or other similar purposes; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall apply only to accident reports on accidents that occurred more than 60 days prior to the request and which shall have the name, street address, telephone number, and driver’s license number redacted; or
(K) Is a governmental official, entity, or agency, or an authorized agent thereof, requesting reports for the purpose of carrying out governmental functions or legitimate governmental duties;”
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.