Friday, October 9, 2015

SUE-HAPPY

Not A Sue-Happy Person?

Lately I have been hearing this term more often, “sue-happy.”  As an injury lawyer, I am often contacted by potential clients that are very concerned about making any claims, because they don’t want to appear to be that type of person. I fully understand that.
Here is the funny thing…if you are worried about appearing as that “type” of person, you probably are not that type of person.  The folks that are looking for a lawsuit on every corner could not care less what is thought of them. 
Sue-happy people bring frivolous lawsuits. Examples of this include a man who sued a dry cleaners for millions when they lost a pair of pants. Ridiculous. I wish I had been able to be the judge at that moment. He would have never forgotten it.
It is cases like that bring disrepute on lawyers, the justice system and victims with legitimate, compensable injuries. 
Seldom do we hear about the cases that are settled. This is sometimes because we have to sign confidentiality clauses that prevent their discussion. Often, it is because they are quietly settled, without a suit even being filed.
Other traits bring disrepute on the legal system too. Obnoxious television ads by lawyers are constant. Unethical medical or chiropractor clinics calling injured people the day after a wreck.
The other day, a client came in having nine calls or messages on her phone after a wreck!
A real case, that is not frivolous, demands justice. Often times, this can be settled quietly without going to court. But is trial is necessary, honest victims should not have to apologize for simple making a claim that the insurance company often undervalues.
Many cases in my office have medical bills of $50,000 – $500,000, in addition to lost wages and disability, not to mention what they have been through. These claims, by people who hire me, are not brought by sue-happy people. Many times, they feel awful having to even make a claim.
It is a good reminder that our tort law derives from the Bible, and that there are right ways to go about it.