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Guest blog from Rep. Joe Graves on ambulance chasing lawyers

July 9, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Rep. Joe Graves discusses his House Bill 4771, which would prohibit injury attorneys and other interests from soliciting auto accident victims within the first 30 days of a crash

Rep. Joseph Graves

Below is a guest blog from Rep. Joseph Graves (R-51st District). Rep Graves is sharing his important reasons for proposing House Bill 4771, which aims to halt the ugly practice of letter and phone solicitations of car accident victims by injury attorneys within the first 30 days of an auto accident.

I recently wrote about HB 4771, as part of a package of bills to stop ambulance chasing lawyers in Michigan. This legislation is vital to protecting accident victims. I believe Rep. Graves’ proposal is a great start that serves the people of this state, and helps to protect the reputation of the legal profession from this increasingly widespread and terrible practice of lawyer solicitation of accident victims.

And now, Rep. Graves:

“People injured in accidents who are on the road to recovery have enough to worry about without being badgered by overaggressive solicitation by a variety of service industry’s including lawyers, medical clinics and so-called victim advocacy groups.

That’s why I introduced legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives as part of a package of three bills that give accident victims a 30-day recovery period before police accident reports are made public. This legislation will provide victims and their family members ample time in which to recover from the initial shock of the wreck before having to make very important decisions about future legal and medical issues.

These unethical individuals prey on accident victims within hours of a wreck by taking information from police reports and flooding victims with mail, phone calls or even brazenly knocking on the doors of their homes under the guise of compassion. In actuality, they troll police stations and websites in an attempt to gather accident information and drum up business.

Families don’t need that kind of pressure when they are trying to cope with the ramifications of a serious accident.

House Bills 4770-4772 establish a 30-day waiting period before police reports may be made public, and implement a 30-day waiting period before someone can be solicited for a service as a result of the accident.

This legislation will affect a small, unethical segment of certain professions. However, it will in no way prevent families from seeking to address legal or medical concerns on their own from legitimate sources once they have had a chance to catch their breath. It also will not inhibit the rightful ability of legal offices, legitimate victim advocacy groups or medical clinics that sincerely want to help in the recovery process from soliciting for business.

This simply builds in a reasonable recovery period that is needed to make difficult decisions. It pushes the pause button on forceful sales pitches and protects victims.
I believe this legislation is long overdue, and I will continue to work tirelessly to protect the rights of families who are dealing with tragic injuries. It is just another step in my efforts to protect the hard-working Michigan taxpayers.”

Related information:

How to solve the ambulance chasing problem in Michigan

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