Sue Happy Society?
By Daniel L. Hightower
As a lawyer who has been helping and representing people seriously or severely injured, or family members of people killed, in motor vehicle crashes and work accidents since 1976, I am more than a little concerned about all the lawsuits filed, results and recoveries that we read, see, and hear about from different information sources.
I understand that the media is in the business of selling news and advertisements or commercials in different formats . . . newspaper, television, radio, streaming, billboards, Internet, etc. . . . and that sensational news sells better than ordinary news. And I understand that a lawyer who files a “$50 million dollar lawsuit” may or probably thinks it will be picked up by the media and get their client’s name and grievance and maybe even the lawyer’s name in the news media. And I understand that we have more people in America today than in 1976 when I started helping and representing seriously injured people . . . and also before lawyer advertising. So logically, more people means more lawsuits to enforce their legal rights and remedies guaranteed under State and Federal law to every citizen. And I understand that filing a civil lawsuit is just filing a claim . . . and the person or lawyer filing the lawsuit has to prove that claim by facts and evidence. And I understand that some lawsuits filed are frivolous and not supported by facts and evidence . . . which seriously concerns me as a lawyer and Officer of the Court.
We live in a very special country, the United States of America, and We the People have legal rights and remedies that few in the world have. And it would be a very sad day in America if ordinary citizens, whose legal rights have not been violated and do not need the Justice system, lose confidence in the best System of Justice in the world due to what they perceive as the overuse or abuse of our American Justice System and get desensitized to legitimate lawsuits.
The only solution is for each of us to keep an open mind about lawsuits, do not jump to any easy conclusions or generalizations about the volume of litigation in America today . . . and evaluate each case on its own merits.
Finally, remember that if you or a family member or close friend is severely injured or worse by a careless or reckless driver or in a work accident, our American Justice System will always be there for you, your family member or close friend. It’s an “Ace in the Hole” legal right for you, too! So, let’s make sure that we all defend and respect the American Justice System and do our part to insure that it is fair for other Americans who need it from time to time.