Latest News 2017 February Why You Should Never Be Ashamed to Sue a Negligent Driver

Why You Should Never Be Ashamed to Sue a Negligent Driver

Despite how often people crow about our lawsuit-happy society, the fact is that there are less lawsuits being filed now than ever. Since 1996, the number of torts—claims for damages in civil court—heard every year has decreased by over 30%. People are more reluctant than ever to sue each other.

Why is that?

Part of the blame falls on our culture. Ever since the infamous McDonald's coffee lawsuit (where an elderly woman sued McDonald's for serving coffee at a near-boiling temperature), potential claimants have feared being viewed as fraudulent, entitled, or excessively harsh about the mistakes of others. However, lawsuit filers—including the McDonald's woman—couldn't be further from any of these descriptors.

Below, we outline why you should absolutely pursue a valid claim.

#1: It's Not About Punishing Your Wrongdoer

Sometimes the victims of car accidents see themselves as forgiving and pleasant people. However, you can be perfectly forgiving and still recognize the need for a lawsuit. See, we associate lawsuits with people who are looking for vengeance. In reality, claimants go to court to seek relief, not vengeance. Negligent drivers rarely pay out-of-pocket for your damages anyway—it's almost exclusively paid by insurance companies who already have money set aside for these cases.

#2: Negligence Deserves to Be Addressed

Regardless of how you feel about the at-fault party, the fact is simple: your life was endangered because they were careless. Even if you're inclined to extend mercy to them, drivers need to recognize that their actions have enormous consequences for other people. Nothing opens up a person's eyes to the reality of their actions like being held formally accountable for another's injuries.

If you don't hold that driver accountable now, they may never learn their lesson—and someone else might get hurt.

#3: Suing Is Not Frivolous or for "Whiners"

Civil courts all over the country dismiss frivolous lawsuits with extreme prejudice. We've all heard urban legends about ludicrous lawsuits receiving enormous sums for sheer dumb luck. Sprained ankles worth millions, burglars suing their victims for damages. The likelihood of these stories being true notwithstanding, 99% of civil claims are filed by genuinely injured parties looking for relief from medical bills.

Lawsuits serve an important function. When someone suffers injuries as a result of someone else's carelessness, civil claims ensure that the victim suffers as little as possible. While the injury can't be undone, the least that an at-fault party can do is pay for their own mess.

There's no arguing with that logic. Claimants aren't irresponsible—their defendants are.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, when you're facing mounting medical bills and falling deeper into a pit of debt, there's only one way out. Whatever your personal feelings about lawsuits and lawyers, your only way out of this hole—which was dug by someone else, mind you—is through the law. Even then, your defendant has a chance to make things right and settle with you. Their refusal is what will kick off a trial, not your need for financial relief.

This, above all, is why you shouldn't feel ashamed of filing a lawsuit: it's what you need to move forward, and it's the right thing to do.

Categories: Car Accident