411-Pain, a lawyer referral service that has come under scrutiny of the Florida Bar and Florida’s Attorney General’s Office has agreed to pay a large fine and change its advertisements as part of a settlement to a lawsuit. Florida’s Attorney General’s office resolved its lawsuit with 411-Pain and a condition to such settlement is the lawyer referral service agreeing to pay $550,000 to charities. Further, 411-Pain is now prohibited from the following actions; 1.) promising of monetary compensation in their advertisements, 2.) Using images of law enforcement officers that direct consumers to call the referral service unless they are labeled in the advertisement as “paid actors,” 3.) making a statement that they are referring the consumer/caller to a “specialized” attorney.
A recent investigation by CBS affiliate WKMG uncovered that that 411-Pain hotline was not what it claimed to be. In fact, the line rang at a pain clinic, which then referred the consumer to an attorney while also directing the individual to treat at a 411-Pain clinic. WKMG illustrated a number of cases in which the patient treated at a 411-Pain clinic and received substantial medical treatment, which exhausted the $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits available to the client in accordance with Florida’s no-fault law. The patient was then left with hefty medical bills and a case in which attorneys were often reluctant to take on. Many of these patients were induced to treat at such clinics by a 411-Pain advertisement stating that victims could receive at a minimum $10,000 in PIP benefits.
Lawyer referral services have attracted much attention of late. The Florida Bar has formed a committee that is proposing to ban lawyers from joining a referral service that refers callers to non-lawyers like medical doctors. This may force many lawyer referral services to abandon this State.
The injury law attorneys at Dolman Law Group are proud to not be associated with any lawyer referral service including 411-Pain and 1-800-Ask-Gary. If you have been physically injured as a result of an automobile accident or motorcycle accident call an attorney who is available to talk with you about your case and your legal rights as opposed to an answering service via a hotline.