ambulance chaser

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



The origins of this phrase date from 1897, from newspaper articles about attorneys seeking clients through targeted mail solicitation.[1] “Ambulance chasing” was one of the descriptive phrases employed by the media for this activity. It later became a derogatory term for direct advertising.


ambulance chaser (plural ambulance chasers)

  1. (derogatory) An unethical attorney who solicits business at the scenes of accidents or in hospitals, in exchange for a percentage of the damages that will be recovered in the case.[2]
    • 1992, Aaron Sorkin, A Few Good Men, spoken by Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore):
      You know nothing about the law. You're a used-car salesman, Daniel. You're an ambulance chaser with a rank. You're nothing. Live with that.
    • 2004 July 19, Richard Lacayo, “Court and Spark: Edwards' Legal Career”, in Time:
      Republicans have tried to cast him as a millionaire ambulance chaser, the kind of man who forces doctors and businesses to pay ever higher liability-insurance costs.
  2. (by extension) An attorney who engages in unethical behavior.
  3. (derogatory) An unethical funeral director or person who engages in the unlicensed sale of services to those who do not yet require them in an attempt to increase business.[3]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]