So Here's the Scam…A Warning for Personal Injury Lawyers
There is a scam making the rounds targeting personal injury lawyers that my colleagues should be aware of. Here’s how it works:
1. A potential client contacts you, tells you he/she was injured in a collision in your jurisdiction.
2. The tort-feasor was uninsured. They negotiated a settlement directly.
3. The injuries are severe. A medico-legal report is provided to corroborate this.
4. The tort-feasor is now not paying. The client needs to retain you to collect.
5. After you agree to act the tort-feasor agrees to honour the settlement.
6. The tort-feasor sends you a cheque which you deposit.
7. The cheque looks legitimate and your bank tells you it is.
8. The client is pleased. He/She asks for their share after deducting your reasonable fee.
9. You pay out, less your fee, oh so pleased with your lawyering skills…
10. The cheque does not clear leaving you holding the bag.
11. Worse yet, the retainer happened over the Internet. You did not follow the ‘know your client rule‘. Your BC lawyer’s insurance also leaves you holding the bag
Remember, there’s no free lunch. If it looks too good to be true it probably is.
The Law Society of BC has ample resources to assist and should be contacted when you suspect a scam is in the works.