The Myth of the Frivolous Lawsuit April 19, 2019 Phrases such as the “era of tort lawsuits,” “lawsuit abuse,” “litigation addiction,” and “frivolous lawsuits” can deter plaintiffs from seeking justice for their injuries or losses. Yet the alleged frivolity of civil lawsuits is a myth. They are a vital part of our nation’s justice system and a critical tool for keeping citizens safe. Civil suits empower citizens to stand up for what is right and to fight for reimbursement for negligence-related losses. If you have recently suffered injuries in an accident, do not be afraid to take a stand for your or a loved one’s rights. Fighting for justice is never frivolous. It is a basic right as an American citizen and one you can exercise with help from an attorney. Filing Rates Have Significantly Decreased The idea of the frivolous lawsuit gained traction in the 1990s, when the litigation rate in America spiked to about 10 in 1,000 Americans. During the 1990s, America’s legal justice system became the costliest in the world – five times that of litigation rates in Japan and twice those in the UK. Since then, however, tort lawsuit rates have declined to fewer than 2 in 1,000 Americans. Plaintiffs are filing fewer claims due to stricter state regulations and campaigns by businesses to combat so-called frivolous lawsuits. Today, the idea of the frivolous lawsuit is more unfounded than ever. The Value of the Civil Justice System The purpose of tort law is twofold: to compensate victims for damages and to bring negligent or at-fault parties to justice. Tort law compensates injured victims for their damages, such as hospital bills, permanent disabilities, property damages, and the wrongful deaths of loved ones. It also holds responsible parties liable for their misconduct. When someone else’s negligence or intent to harm causes injuries, death, or other damages, the victim should not have to pay. The civil system instead places the financial burden on the party that caused the accident. Successful civil cases can establish a precedent or a new standard in an industry to help protect citizens from similar incidents in the future. Verdicts against local hospitals for medical malpractice, for example, can shed light on dangerous practices at a certain facility. This can force the hospital to reevaluate its standards and remedy the issue – ultimately increasing the safety and well-being of patients. In the same way, verdicts against the city for defective roadways can lead to repairs and prevent future accidents, and so on. The American Association for Justice (AAJ) is dedicated to preserving the civil justice system. The AAJ fights legislation that could potentially limit access to the civil courts. It advocates for every American’s right to seek justice and hold wrongdoers accountable. The AAJ recognizes the incredible importance of the tort system, and uses the mantra: “When no one is accountable, no one is safe.” This sums up why civil suits are never frivolous – they increase safety. Do You Have Grounds for a Lawsuit in Jacksonville? If you believe someone else should be held legally responsible for causing your or a loved one’s recent injuries in Jacksonville, stand up for your rights with help from Harrell & Harrell, P.A.. Our attorneys believe in the power of the civil justice system. We want to help you obtain the settlement or verdict you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.