Is It Frivolous To Sue?

Is It Worth My Trouble To Bring A Lawsuit?

Some people think almost all lawsuits are frivolous except for mega-billion dollar cases such as Samsung v. Apple.  What those people don’t understand is that there wouldn’t be a civil justice system if those were the only “real” lawsuits and, if that ever became the reality, then there would be no place in that justice system for real people to resolve their disputes.

Most “real” lawsuit don’t involve millions of dollars.  The facts also show that the number of actual tort lawsuits being filed is going down despite claims that “frivolous lawsuits” are out of control.

You Might Think It’s Frivolous Until It Happens To You

For those who think that a majority of lawsuits are “junk,” I have to say to you that you would change your tune real fast once something happens to you.  For you to see the real value in a lawsuit, you need to understand why it is so important that you have a right to the civil justice system in the first place.

Let’s take your car as an example.  You worked hard for the money to buy it and then you forked it over to a dealer for the privilege of having that car.  Everything is great until someone else comes along and hits it, causing $2,000 in damage to it.

If you truly believed that the “big” cases were the only lawsuits that aren’t junk or frivolous, then you should just walk away and say it’s okay.  You don’t because you are mad about the incident and you want the person who did it to fix it.  The person who caused the damage then says that it’s not their fault.  This adds insult to injury.  It’s like someone has taken a wrecking ball to all of that effort and work you did to pay for that car and doesn’t even care.  Is it so frivolous now to ask a judge to order that other person to pay you the $2,000 that it costs to fix your car?

Many people have become callous to civil justice and shouldn’t be.  If someone stole $2,000 out of your wallet or bank account, you would be asking for that person to be criminally prosecuted.  Causing $2,000 in damage to your car is the same as taking $2,000 out of your wallet.  The loss is the same regardless of how it happened.  So why is a lawsuit over the accident frivolous?  The answer is that it isn’t.

Time Out Of Work Due An Injury Is The Same Loss

Hopefully we see eye to eye that when someone damages your property that it is the same as taking money directly out of your wallet.  Even if we don’t, perhaps time out of work due to an injury will hit home for you.  Just as above, you work hard for your money.  You buy a car and someone crashes into it.  Instead of just the damage to the car, you are also injured in the accident and it now hurts to do your job or you can’t do it at all (for at least a little while).  Some of us have desk jobs and we can still do our jobs even if we are dealing with a back injury or a leg injury.  Most of us have jobs that require us to stand behind a counter for hours or to lift, bend, or move around.

Anyone who has to bend over, lift, climb ladders, or maintain a steady hand will have a hard time doing their job if they are uncomfortable and in pain.  To make matters worse, you typically don’t get paid unless you show up to work.  You can get 12 weeks of FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) but it’s unpaid.  So now you have a damaged car that you have to make payments on but you can’t work (or work as much as you could before).  If you don’t keep up with your car payments, you lose your car.  If you don’t make your mortgage payments, you lose your house.  Is it still frivolous to file a lawsuit and demand that the person (or their insurance company) pay for the damage done to your car, your medical bills, and your time off of work?

Some people will still say that you did it just to get money, but it’s really the other way around.  You missed work because you legitimately could not do the work and now you’re asking for the money back.  How fair is this?  No one likes to think that it can happen to them until it does.  “Toughing it out” isn’t so easy when you’re the one who has to do it.

Pain And Suffering Has Real Value, Even In Cases That Are Not Catastrophic

If you don’t believe what I’ve said above, then you should just stop reading because you’ll never be convinced until it happens to you.  However, if you see the light, then you already understand the real value in pain and suffering.  You shouldn’t have to lose everything to be entitled to pain and suffering.  But yet, compensation for pain and suffering from a jury is some of the hardest money to get.

There are so many people who are callous or grossly underestimate the value of an injury.  I suspect that this is because they have had good luck in not suffering an injury themselves and they don’t know what it’s really like.  For most of us, we are just one small step away from financial ruin.  Even if you are lucky enough to have savings to cover you for 6 months to a year, what do you do when that money runs out?  Your costs of living are higher after your injury because you can’t do what you could before and you have to pay other people to do what you should be doing yourself.

In addition, you feel terrible all the time and everything that you used to enjoy doing is no longer fun because it hurts.  If this is you, you know the value in pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, and a lack of relationship with a spouse (we won’t talk in detail about what that is).

The Key To Your Case Is Getting Disinterested People To Care

The real challenge in your case is getting strangers to care about your case.  In the callous world that we live in, this is often a daunting challenge.  In an automobile accident case, people think that awarding money to an injured person raises premiums for everyone else.  When someone is injured in a grocery store, people think that we all pay for that injury in the form of higher prices.

In reality, those companies (insurance companies, grocery stores, and banks, just to name a few) are all making millions (if not billions) of dollars in annual profits.  While I understand that every business has to make a profit to stay in business and that money does not grow on trees, those people are wrongly assuming that there is a direct correlation between compensating someone who has been damaged and raising prices.  Corporate profits go up and down based on changes in sales and liabilities and the economy in general.  Risking safety is not a way of keeping prices low.

Your case is a liability to the person who caused it and you are entitled to be compensated for it regardless of how well the insurance company is doing this year.  If you are able to get the people who are in charge of the money on your case to see the value (either the insurance adjuster or the jury), then you get compensated.  If you cannot make that connection, then you won’t get paid.

We Make The Connection Between The Loss And The Value

As personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys, making that connection between your case and the people in charge of the money is what we do.  Some people will get it while others never will.  If the adjuster on your case does not see the value in your case, then you need to file a lawsuit.  That lawsuit is not frivolous so long as it involves a loss of real value (which does not need to be millions or billions of dollars).

Remember, the money that it costs to replace something is the same as taking money directly out of your bank account.  The same is true when there is an injury or death.  It’s taking value out of the bank account of life.  While the money can never bring a person back or undo an injury, it is the only way that our society has to compensate someone who has suffered a loss.

Call Us For Help With Your Case

For those who have to do it, suing someone else is no joke.  If you have suffered a loss that was not your fault, you should get compensated for it.  Call us to see how we can help you with your accident or injury case.  We represent clients with lawsuits in Polk County including Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, and Haines City, Florida.

December 30, 2016