Ambulance Chaser or Opportunity Marketing

Below is a sad story about a young woman that was killed in a vehicle accident on her 21st birthday.  The story was covered by news outlets locally in Hampton Roads but one enterprising attorney added it to his blog with a pitch.  As I’m writing this, this young woman Karoline Johnson hasn’t been buried yet.

As a marketing professional I get it, strike while the iron is hot.  Seize the opportunity and maximize it.  Yet there tugging deeper inside that says wait, this makes me quite uncomfortable.  Honestly, I wouldn’t want to read about someone I care about on a lawyers blog so soon after their death.  I understand the information is public and this lawyer may only be saying what others are thinking (who is responsible?  Someone should pay?  Can the family sue?)

Read below and please share your thoughts.

Karoline Johnson of Norfolk who was Killed in Head-on Crash with a Police Cruiser in Norfolk Died on Her 21st Birthday

Fri, 04/19/2013

By John Cooper, Norfolk Car Accident Injury Lawyer

The woman who was killed in a car wreck when the Honda she was traveling in hit a police car in Norfolk, was celebrating her 21st birthday, according to media reports.

I was saddened to read of this crash on Tidewater Drive in the early hours of April 19, 2013. As a Norfolk car accident lawyer I see many fatal crashes. It’s particularly tragic that Karoline Johnson, died on her birthday.

Karoline Johnson of the 9300 block of Inlet Road in Ocean View, was a passenger in the Honda and died at the scene, police said. She had just turned 21.

According to, at about 4:30 a.m., a Honda heading south on the 6200 block of Tidewater Drive crossed into the northbound lanes where It was involved in a head-on crash with a police cruiser.

See this video

Accident victim killed on her birthday

The male driver of the Honda was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, wherehe  is in a critical condition, WAVY reported. The police office was also injured. Fortunately, his injuries are non-life threatening.

Tidewater Drive from Widgeon Road to Norview Avenue was reopened around 9 a.m. on April 19.

It’s not clear why the Honda driver crossed into the northbound lane. What is clear is the terrible consequences of this accident.

It would appear to me that Karoline Johnson’s family have a clear case to take a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver’s insurance policy, although no amount of money can ever make up for a life lost at so young an age.

The police officer could likely also make a claim for any injuries sustained.

To find out more about wrongful death and what expenses are covered see this article from our Norfolk wrongful death lawyers.

The Norfolk, VA based personal injury and wrongful death law firm, Cooper Hurley with client meeting locations in Virginia Beach and Hampton, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. Attorneys John Cooper and Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in specializing in auto injury as well as other accident claims. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA. Our motto is: “Your Injury. Our fight.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.


4 thoughts on “Ambulance Chaser or Opportunity Marketing

  1. I live in the Richmond area and the ambulance chaser commercials are always hot and heavy. I understand the need to market via a number of media platforms but this is in poor taste in my opinion. If he felt the family had a clear case and couldn’t resist, send a marketing brochure to the house with a letter of condolence (still tacky) but publicly using them is just disgusting!

  2. I would question this, too. I think the goal of an attorney’s marketing should be to become so trusted that people will naturally think of him (her) when trouble arises. This is definite ambulance-chasing. Research might show that it works, but I’d steer clear of this as a marketing tactic.

  3. Awful. Clearly this lawyer lacks empathy. Everything about his post is wrong. I’m sure it made a good show in the search engines BUT I’m also sure those who read it will avoid this attorney.

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