It seems that we hear about a new scam impacting innocent Americans every day. Scammers, on the other hand, seem to be getting more difficult to spot by the minute. And just because a person is licensed to practice law does not mean that he or she is incapable of scamming you. Unfortunately, there are some consumer lawyers who use unethical tactics in their attempts to win a case or intimidate an opposing party. Below are three tactics that consumer lawyers may use in an effort to take advantage of you.
1) Tell you that you are at fault when you aren’t
If you suffer an injury or illness due to a faulty product or procedure, you are likely eligible to receive a settlement or compensation. If the opposing attorney tells you that you are at fault for your injuries, do not simply back down. Seek the services of your own attorney immediately to ensure that you receive the settlement or verdict that you deserve.
2) Offer you a settlement that is far lower than what you deserve
Another tactics that scammers employ is to offer you a quick “guaranteed payment” that is far less than what you would likely receive if you proceeded with legal action. In many cases, the scammer frames this offer as a “One-time opportunity” or will try to convince you that you should be grateful for any compensation because you would not stand a chance of winning your court case. While you may be able to use the money, you should hold your ground and not give in to this tactic.
3) Try to pressure you to sign paperwork that you have not reviewed
Some lawyers may try to push you to sign documents or paperwork that you have not fully reviewed with your legal representative. Scammers often try to use this tactic when people are vulnerable or uncertain about what to do next.
What steps can you take to ensure you will not get scammed?
Unfortunately, the predatory tactics outlined above are not uncommon. Even the sharpest business owners and consumers can fall prey to these techniques – especially when they are employed by an attorney who has taken an oath to uphold the constitution. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you will not be scammed by a consumer lawyer.
1) Do not respond to threats or pushy behavior
It can be tempting to accept immediate cash or to sign paperwork in order to “put a situation behind you.” But these actions are often not in your long-term best interests. Be steadfast in your resistance to the tactics above – even if you are unsure about whether you might be partially at fault for your current circumstances.
2) File a complaint against the lawyer
Consumer attorneys who try to scam you are more likely to have a checkered track record than reputable lawyers. If a lawyer tries to use threats or extortion in an effort to push you to sign paperwork or agree to an unreasonably low “settlement”, you can file a complaint against the lawyer. If you are unsure of how to proceed with this step, your state Bar Association can provide the guidance you need to report the lawyer’s unethical behavior.
3) Seek your own legal representation
Perhaps the best way to make sure that you are not scammed is to seek the services of a trusted attorney. With the guidance of a trained legal representative, you can confidently respond to threats and predatory tactics with confidence. A reputable attorney will also review any documents or paperwork that you are asked to sign to ensure that you are not