“Who are ‘those people’ doing all the suing?”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that and it is usually followed by “but my case is different” or “but my case is not frivolous like those other cases”. The truth is every case is different and there are very few frivolous cases.
The people who sue are your friends, your family, yourself and anyone who has an issue that cannot be worked out in an amicable manner. The insurance companies and some defendants rely on your feelings of embarrassment for suing by making it seem like if you sue someone, when they do not take responsibility for their actions, that somehow you are a bad person or that you are “taking advantage of the system”. In fact it is often the defendant in a lawsuit whose actions have caused a wreck or business loss. If that was not bad enough they then refuse to take responsibility and pay for the injuries or damages they caused.
When people talk about all the frivolous lawsuits, I ask them which ones they are referencing. The ones usually cited are either made up or completely wrong on the facts and injuries (McDonald case). In my almost 30 years of practice I have seen a few cases which I believed should not be prosecuted, but almost always it was because of a change in the law or the damages did not justify what it would take to try the case. The number of frivolous cases I have seen can be counted on one hand, including the business case we defended last week.
I have seen, on multiple occasions, what I believe to be frivolous defenses in car crash lawsuits. Several years ago there was a case where the Defendant claimed the reason he rear-ended the car in front of him without ever hitting his brakes was because a bee in the car distracted him. It sounds like a freak accident and taken by itself (as the jury in a case would) it would seem so. But when a group of lawyers who do auto cases were talking and found out that the same insurance company seemed to have a flurry of bees causing wrecks all over the county it makes you wonder. Are we suddenly under a bee attack or has the insurance company come up with a defense when taken in a single case seems plausible and when taken as a group (which juries never see) is laughable and frivolous.
My hope is that people and companies who make mistakes would stand up and admit they caused the injury and damages and make it right instead of making it necessary for the injured party to have to file a lawsuit, but then I still believe that people will do the right thing (and in Santa Claus).
So when you think “who are ‘those people’ doing all the suing” — it is probably because you haven’t been forced into that position –yet.