I’ve previously written about the problem with chiropractors soliciting car wreck victims and then directing the clients to attorneys, many of whom provide questionable representation. In the 2007 legislative session, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (our state-wide group of plaintiff’s attorneys) and others joined to try and pass a bill that limited the ability of chiropractors to solicit victims. The bill passed both the House and the Senate by almost unanimous margins only to be vetoed by Governor Perry. At the time, I had some harsh words for Perry.
But now, it’s time to give Perry his due. During the last session, the House and Senate passed HB 148, which amended the barratry statute that already applied to lawyers and now makes it illegal for chiropractors to solicit car wreck or other accident victims in person or by telephone until the 31st day after an accident. Governor Perry signed the bill into law on June 19, 2009, and it will go into effect on September 1, 2009.
With any luck, this new legislation will at least minimize the improper case running that has been going on.
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Mr Scheulke- a funny thing happened in CT this year. They passed similar legislation that was supported by both the chiropractors and the trial lawyers. In CT, however, it was not the chiropractors that were the direct problem.
Michael-Thanks for your comment. I agree that in these schemes lawyers should shoulder as much (if not more) of the blame, and I think you'll find my previous posts criticizing lawyers that are engaging in this type of case running.However, in Texas it was already illegal for lawyers to solicit accident victims in person or by phone during that thirty day window. It was always illegal for a chiropractor to solicit an injury victim for a lawyer, but as long as chiropractors were not included in the statute, both the chiropractors and the lawyers could hide behind the argument that the chiropractor was soliciting on his own behalf and not for the lawyer. Adding chiropractors to the statute helps close the loophole that was being exploited.
Understood, that simply cnanot be allowed to happen. The funny part about what happened in CT was that a third party was involved. This very enterprising group was comprised of neither chiropractors nor attorneys. This group would rush to the scene of an accident and would immediately begin advocating for those who were mildly injured. This group would then offer to refer, for a fee, the injured persons to both a willing attorney and willing doctors (who were not always chiropractors). This created quite an uproar from both the docs and trial lawyers so we put an end to it.
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