Are personal injury lawsuits “out of control?” Are they a major reason why the U.S. has so many problems? Not at all! Drug, oil and insurance companies have worked very hard to create myths regarding personal injury law and have warped the truth to fit their respective agendas. Let’s look at five of the biggest personal injury lawyer myths courtesy of the American Association for Justice:
Myth #1: The Number of Lawsuits Filed Continues to Climb
Actually, the opposite is true. The number of tort, or personal injury cases, has been in decline for years. According to the National Center for State Courts, personal injury cases made up only 4.4% of all 2008 filed civil cases, and the number of such cases between 1999 and 2008 decreased by 25 percent. The number of federal tort cases closed in U.S. District Courts dropped 79 percent between 1985 and 2003.
Myth #2 Lawsuits Hurt Small Businesses
Numerous surveys have shown that small business owners don’t view lawsuits as a big issue. Lawsuit abuse is instead found at the bottom of the list of concerns for small business owners. It’s actually corporations that want to alter the legal system to avoid misconduct or negligence lawsuits.
Myth #3: Trial Lawyers Want to Put Corporations Out of Business
Not true. While most big and small businesses manage to avoid misconduct and negligence, a fair legal system is one that allows individuals to get justice for wrongdoings, no matter how large and powerful the corporation.
Myth #4: Lawsuits Have Reached Ridiculous Levels, As Proven By That McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case
The go-to case corporations always use when attempting to pigeonhole trial lawyers is the Stella Liebeck/McDonald’s coffee case. Yet the facts of the case show Ms. Liebeck suffered from third-degree burns on numerous parts of her body, and was hospitalized for eight days due to skin grafting and debridement treatments. She also wanted the claim settled for $20,000, however McDonald’s refused. A jury eventually awarded her $200,000 for damages, though this amount was lowered to $160,000 as she was partly at fault for the spill.
Myth #5: Lawsuits Cost Taxpayers Hundreds and Hundreds of Dollars Per Year
Independent think tanks came up with the idea that American families pay a yearly “tort tax,” or that they pay for litigation. Such think tanks are funded by insurance companies and big corporations, such as oil and tobacco. This “junk science” is simply another way for big businesses to avoid negligence/misconduct lawsuits.
What do you think of these myths? Were any surprising to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section! If you are looking for a trustworthy auto accident lawyer, contact Remmel Law Firm today.