DEFINITION of 'Ambulance Chaser'

In insurance, a derogatory term for lawyers and other service providers who rush to contact persons involved in accidents with the goal of obtaining business. An ambulance chaser's incentive is often to increase the insurance payments made to victims of an accident, since many are compensated as a percentage of the settlement. On the other side, insurance companies have an incentive to settle claims quickly and for the least cost possible.

BREAKING DOWN 'Ambulance Chaser'

Ambulance chasing is particularly prevalent in states where open records laws allow the general public to obtain accident reports that provide enough information to contact the drivers involved directly. In states where these records are not available, ambulance chasers may instead pursue advertising campaigns to obtain business from recent accident victims.

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