Personal injury lawyers often get a bad rap, but have you ever wondered why that is? Below are a few different reasons why people tend to dislike injury lawyers, as well as reasons why they shouldn’t.
One of the biggest reasons why people say they hate personal injury lawyers is because they feel like some of the lawsuits they take on are frivolous. They think lawyers are just looking for reasons to sue.
What people don’t know is that frivolous lawsuits typically don’t get to court. If you think a lawsuit is a joke, it probably is. Accident lawyers often work on contingency fees, meaning they only collect if they win the case. For instance, there may be no up-front cost or hourly cost, but the person agrees to pay the lawyer 30 percent with a victory.
This means that lawyers simply aren’t going to take on truly frivolous cases. If there’s no reason to sue and the lawyer is going to lose, he or she isn’t going to make a dime. Lawyers with these terms aren’t just starting cases over nothing to increase the number of hours they work and the money they make. It’s not that simple. While anyone can threaten to sue, lawyers will ignore a lot of these pointless cases, so the reputation they have for being involved in frivolous litigation is unwarranted.
Too Many Lawsuits
Similarly, one reason why people hate injury lawyers is that they feel like there are simply too many lawsuits. They see them on the news all the time. They feel like Americans have a culture centered around suing constantly.
This is often just a misconception of scale. People don’t really understand how many people live in the United States and how many injuries happen every day. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80.1 million ambulatory care visits were caused by injuries in 2009. In 2011, 43 million people ended up in the emergency room. That same year, 136,053 people were killed by unintentional injuries—and the vast majority of people survive their injuries with modern medical care.
The numbers are astounding, and most injury cases don’t start lawsuits. Even if there were 80,000 lawsuits in 2009—sounds like a lot, right?—that’s less than 0.1 percent of all cases.
You may feel like you hear about these cases all the time, and people say they hate personal injury lawyers because they think that means there are too many cases, but you have to keep in mind just how many people and injuries there really are each year.
Suing Those Who Don’t Deserve It
People dislike injury lawyers because there is this general perception that they’re trying to sue people who had nothing to do with the injury just to get compensation when the injured party was really at fault. For example, if someone gets in a car accident and then says the vehicle malfunctioned, people sometimes shake their heads and assume the person doesn’t want to admit that he or she just made a mistake or perhaps isn’t a good driver.
However, the reality is that personal injury lawsuits help to keep corporations in check. As noted above, because lawyers often work on fees, they don’t take on cases where it’s clear that the party being sued doesn’t deserve it. They’re not just looking for any old excuse.
Corporations have a responsibility to produce safe products that don’t lead to accidents and injuries. If there was no threat of product liability lawsuits, they would cut corners and make unsafe products to increase profits. Companies are almost always looking at the bottom line. Since they know they can be sued, though, it’s not worth it to make unsafe products.
Paying out on the lawsuits—not to mention federal fines and fees—means it’s more cost-effective to make safe products. Just the threat of being sued helps to keep people safe.
“Ambulance chasing” refers to the process of tracking down people who are injured at the hospital to try to get them to start a lawsuit, and it’s often used as a negative term. The idea is that the lawyer doesn’t care how the person was hurt, but he or she will convince that person it was someone else’s fault.
In reality, that doesn’t work. There’s no convincing involved. The standard of proof in court is too high. Lawyers are simply trying to find those who have legitimately been hurt by others, often due to negligence, and who need help with lost wages, medical bills, and a whole host of related costs.
As you can see, there are many reasons why people hate injury lawyers, but most of them don’t hold up to anything more than casual scrutiny. If you feel you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to hire one of the qualified personal injury lawyers at Craig Swapp & Associates.