PERSONAL INJURIES: But I’m not the TYPE to sue…

In the 25 years that I have practiced law I have listened to the stories of hundreds of clients.  For most I feel a sense of empathy, and sometimes even sympathy,  for what they have been through prior to meeting me.  Often, the pain of their injuries will go on long after my case with them ends.  For some unknown reason, however, the truly seriously injured always feel the need to tell me that “they are NOT the type of person that sues other people.”  I often ask, in reply, “Who is that person?  What are they like?  What makes them WANT TO SUE anyone?”

The simple fact is that no one WANTS to sue anyone.  I can’t imagine anyone that would derive joy or benefit out of the idea of suing another without proper cause.  Imagine the time commitment, out of pocket costs and inconvenience, just to name a few of the reasons why someone wouldn’t.  Also, believe it or not, good lawyers who are honest and hard-working  are usually pretty good at screening cases.  That means knowing which ones to take and which ones to turn away.  The best lawyers respectfully decline to take as many cases as they accept.  Why?  There are 3 reasons.

First, I have to be certain that my client’s circumstances are the “legal fault of another”.  In my business we call this LIABILITY.  The person(s), company or entity that I’m going to sue, on behalf of my client, has to be RESPONSIBLE for the harm they caused.

Second, I have to be certain that my client has suffered “permanent personal injuries”.  Lawyers call these DAMAGES.  My client needs to have suffered PERMANENT INJURIES in order for me to sue another party.  Injuries that heal, go away normally or are “bogus” are not the kinds of injuries that are proper for a lawsuit.

Third, I have to be certain that my client’s permanent injuries are “directly related” to the event which caused the damage.  We call that CAUSATION.  Said another way, their must be a connection between your injuries and the event that you are suing over.  If you injure your back in a car accident, caused by another, you have the right to sue ONLY if you hurt your back or worsened your back in that particular accident.  Good lawyers don’t take the case of the person who is claiming injuries from an accident when they’ve made the same claim over and over again in prior accidents.

So please, if you find yourself in your lawyer’s office complaining of serious permanent personal injuries sustained in an accident caused by another…do not feel guilty about the process.  You’re not a “bottom feeder”, you are a victim who is entitled to redress.  You are entitled to recover a sum of money to repsond for the damages that you have sustained.  Don’t be embarrassed about your need for help.  Sometimes a good, honest lawyer is all yo’ve got on your side!  Rest assured, the people that WANT to sue someone have been weeded out long before you got there.  Be safe.

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