Who are the people who show up at crash sites and offer legal help? Are they lawyers? What if my tow truck driver recommended a lawyer, should I trust them? What is a capper or capping? Is capping ethical? What can I do if I retained my attorney through a capper?
It’s 2019. It’s time for new resolve, new goals, new success, and probably some new headaches. This year, I want to make it easier for our injury clients and potential clients to know where to turn for honest representation when they are involved in a car crash and need help with their injury claim. For some, this brutal honesty will not be taken lightly. What I am about to share attacks directly at the heart of some unethical marketing schemes used by a variety of injury law firms in Las Vegas. To be sure, I expect some level of retribution.
It may surprise most people to know that lawyers are governed by very specific rules of professional conduct. One of these rules (NRPC 7.3) strictly prohibits a lawyer from soliciting professional employment from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior professional relationship. This means if you were involved in a car crash and were approached by an individual at the crash site who claimed to be a lawyer or a tow truck driver who solicited a firm’s legal services, they were in direct violation of this ethical rule and should be immediately reported to the State Bar. In the legal industry, this is known as “capping” and the people who respond to crashes and unethically solicit legal services are known as “cappers.”
If you are the victim of a capper, it is NOT your fault.
If you retained an injury law firm through a direct solicitation should you be worried? The short answer is no. However, some injury firms have a reputation for using cappers. Consequently, some insurance companies have labeled their clients as “frauds” and they are routinely assigned to their internal fraud unit. Injury claims assigned to a fraud unit routinely end up in costly litigation– not because your injury claim doesn’t have merit, but because the unethical conduct of your lawyer falls into question. If claims flagged as potential frauds are settled, they are generally settled for something much less than their real value because of the implications of fraud.
Hiring an unethical lawyer who uses unethical marketing schemes could lead to problems down the road. Did your lawyer promise to take less than you if you are paid compensation? Do you really trust they will keep their promise when they were retained using unethical means? Or, does your case have more value than what the insurance company has offered because your lawyer has been identified as a capper and your claim assigned to the fraud unit?
You have a right to be represented by an ethical lawyer who follows the rules and gets you fair results. You also have a right to fair compensation for your injuries. If you want an ethical, down to Earth lawyer who plays by the rules, I would be happy to meet with you. If I cannot help you, I may be able to find someone trustworthy who can. I offer free consultations M-F and can be personally reached at (702) 522-7707. If you find yourself in this situation, I can help get you out.