Fiction: People are filing frivolous lawsuits that clog our justice system and take advantage of the courts.
Fact: The Rand Institute for Civil Justice has found that only 10 percent of injured people seek compensation and only 2 percent of them file lawsuits. Also, since 1991, tort cases reflected only six percent of all cases filed. Big business, corporations and insurance companies have framed several legitimate lawsuits as frivolous by selectively discussing facts or falsely reporting them entirely. (Please see our blog concerning the McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case). Additional interesting facts are:
1. Personal injury lawsuits have decreased by 21 percent.
2. There has been a 52 percent decrease in personal injury jury trials from 1992 to 2005.
Fiction: Our tort system threatens business owners and job creators with frivolous lawsuits that will drive them out of our state.
Fact: Corporations and small business have repeatedly admitted that fear of litigation is not a high motivator for them. The Economic Policy Institute has found that “there is no historical correlation between the inflated estimates of the costs of the tort system and corporate profits, product quality, productivity, or research and development spending.” In 2008, a small business lobbying group, surveyed its members asking them to rate their problems and priorities. Out of 75 issues surveyed, “Cost and Frequency of Lawsuits/Threatened Lawsuits ranked 65th. To give this some perspective, the 64th issue that concerned businesses and corporations was solid and hazardous waste disposal.
Fiction: Medical malpractice lawsuits are driving up healthcare costs for everyone.
Fact: Medical negligence compensation accounts for only 0.3 percent of national healthcare costs. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the total amount spent defending medical malpractice claims and compensating victims is $7.1 billion annually – just 0.3 percent of America’s $2.2 trillion in overall healthcare spending.
Please stay tuned for part 2.
If you are injured, don’t be bullied into thinking that you shouldn’t file a lawsuit. Allow Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr or Attorney Aaron Ling to evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding your case to determine if a valid claim exists. Call us at (814) 946-4100.