We get it. Lawyers are best used as the brunt of a good joke, right? You are hesitant to get an attorney involved after an injury because you have been told that we live in a “sue-happy” world. Many people associate hiring an attorney or bringing a lawsuit on your own, with being contentious. What’s even worse, is that some people rely on the incorrect assumption that if you sue, you are looking to get something for nothing. Until you have been injured by the actions of another person, you are never forced to question this flawed logic. So naturally, most people don’t even realize that such negative associations are completely unfounded. In reality, hiring an attorney to represent you after an injury is the most efficient system we have for making victims whole again. The legal system in the United States is the product of hundreds of years of policy and lawmaking. It is based on the best ideas that our country’s brightest minds have been able to come up with for righting wrongs.
Imagine a World Without Lawsuits.
Think about it this way, imagine if there were no lawsuits at all in the U.S. Happy place right? No. Not at all. Let’s say you go for a nice Sunday morning drive in your new car. As you pass through an intersection, BOOM! Another car runs their red-light and T-bones your car on the driver’s side. An ambulance comes. The other driver’s airbag deploys and he suffers minimal injuries. You are stuck with a broken left arm and a few broken ribs. As you are being wheeled into the ambulance, you hear the other driver, Bobby, informing the police that he ran the red light because he was in a hurry to go get a burger. He hopes you get better soon. The officer sites him for a traffic violation for breaking the law by running a red light. He will have to pay a few hundred dollars to the state. For now, though, he hurries along to go eat his burger.
In a world where you could not sue, the other driver would owe you nothing. You would bear all the costs of your own injuries regardless of whose fault the accident was. A lawsuit is simply the way that you get a court to recognize a right you have. You have the right to be made whole after another person hurts you. If you are not hurt, you cannot be awarded anything in a lawsuit. To return to our hypothetical, in the months following the accident, you would waste countless hours obtaining medical treatment from all varieties of medical professionals in an effort to get back to the level of health that you were in prior to the accident. Your new car is ruined. You likely would have been forced to miss work because of your injuries. Missing work may prevent you from being able to pay medical bills that have reached outrageous amounts when considering the ambulance, the surgery, doctor’s visits, chiropractic, and physical therapy. An accident like this would derail a life physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. The law exists so that the burden of these costs can be passed to the correct party.
To take this point one step further, if the law did not hold parties responsible when they injured others, would the world be a safe place? How could you even dare to get on the road when everyone around you knows that they can do whatever they want and they will not have to pay for the consequences? You could not proceed through an intersection on a green light. You would have to stop and look both ways because you would never know if the other drivers were as concerned for the safety of others as you are. This problem would apply to much more than just driving. Companies would make unsafe products because their profits are higher when their safety costs are lower. Employees would be forced to work in unsafe conditions for that same reason. We could no longer rely on others to act in our best interests. Our expectations of reasonable safety would be shattered.
We enjoy a good lawyer joke as much as the next guy, but the truth is that hiring an attorney after an auto accident is the best way to ensure a full recovery. It is very rare that a case actually ends up in court. It’s more likely that an attorney will be able to work with the at-fault party’s insurance company to resolve your case fairly and efficiently without ever having to file a lawsuit. Visit the free legal resources tab at stglegal.com to find answers to related questions.