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Personal injury lawyer blogs injury victims’ names in hope they call his office.

December 14, 2007

Seattle plaintiff’s lawyer Mike Meyers writes about accidents naming seriously injured people he does not represent ‘with the intent of reaching accident victims or the people who care about them.’

…I want them–or someone who cares about them–to call our office and get the help they deserve rather than being manipulated by a well trained adjuster to settle their claim short of full value. It’s as simple as that.

In Meyers post responding to my post criticizing similar behavior, he rationalizes such behavior by taking a low blow at me:

It’s easy to ride the wave created by the insurance lobby or reiterate the old party line used by attorneys who view the practice as a sanctified calling rather than a business and call the blogger an “ambulance chaser”.

I practiced as a plaintiff’s trial lawyer for 17 years representing injury victims and their family members. During that time I served as a sustaining member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and a board member of my state’s trial lawyers association, both leading associations of lawyers representing injured people. During that time I had the occasion to work with wonderful plaintiff’s trial lawyers from around the country and serve with them on various boards and committees.

The last few years of my practice, I established the leading online community in the country for injury victims and distressed employees. Four listservs, hundreds of message boards and online chats so that these folks could get information from leading caring lawyers from throughout the country. Prior to doing this on my own, I did it as a community leader at AOL, where I answered thousands of questions from injury victims.

I understand that Insurance companies can do some despicable things. I know that they’ll tell seriously injured folks they do not need a lawyer, we’ll take care of you – with the goal being to get a release without having to pay fair compensation. Presumably Meyer’s justification for naming injury victims on a blog.

But I would never have named innocent victims on the net in hope that they would call me. And I can’t think of any lawyers who I served with over my years of practice who would so. Such conduct is unseemly and is only going to backfire, giving insurance companies and their lobbyists more ammunition in their efforts to take away injury victims’ rights to fair redress.

My Dad always said ‘there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything.’ Harmed with that knowledge I’m guided with a sense that when ready to do something that makes me squirm, I look for a better way. Naming seriously injured people in a blog in hope that someone will Google the person’s name and want to help them by telling them to call Mike Meyers is the wrong way to help get people fair compensation.

Just because insurance companies act despicably is not cause to act in way that would cause most of us to squirm.

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