What is an Ambulance Chaser?

Ambulance Chaser Meaning

Definition: Someone, usually a lawyer, who seeks to profit from injuries or accidents by rushing to the scene of an accident or seeking out injured individuals.

The term ambulance chaser is a negative term that applies to lawyers who attempt to profit from people who are severely injured in an accident. An ambulance chaser is a lawyer who engages in the unethical practice of trying to get injured people to sue. This term can be applied to anyone who attempts to profit off someone else’s injury.

Origin of Ambulance Chaser

define ambulance chaserIt is thought that this term first appeared in an 1897 newspaper article, although there is little information on the exact source of its alleged first instance in print.

Originally, attorneys used to send mail to injured people to try to convince them to sue.

Ways to Use Ambulance Chaser

While lawyers are the primary targets of this phrase, it also extends to funeral directors and similar workers. Some use this term to refer to anyone who attempts to profit off someone’s injury or accident.

Examples of Ambulance Chaser

meaning of ambulance chaserThis example conversation between a husband and wife demonstrates how native speakers might use this idiom.

Wendell: Should we hire Carson & Carson to handle our insurance claim?

Ariel: No, they’re ambulance chasers. After Leila was in her car accident, they called her every day trying to convince her to sue.

More Examples

  • In a phone interview, Gilbert called Galanter “an ambulance chaser and an enabler and denier for O.J. I know. I used to do the same thing. I understand the game.” – USA Today


The English idiom ambulance chaser refers to someone, most often a lawyer, who attempts to profit from an injured person’s accident by trying to convince that person to sue.