No Need To Apologize
Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at 9:43 pm
It goes something like this-we sit down with a new client to gather the necessary information from the client, and he/she begins with-“‘m not the kind of person to sue someone, but…” In essence, the client is apologizing in advance for having the desire to file a lawsuit after sustaining personal injuries–seeking to justify the decision to move forward with a case, as if an apology or justification is necessary. Somehow, somewhere along the way somebody or a group (or country) of somebodies convinced this person that filing a lawsuit after sustaining injuries was wrong, that seeking compensation for wages lost, medical bills incurred and/or pain and suffering experienced is something to be embarrassed about. This line of thinking is not only misplaced, it is dangerous.
Dangerous you say? Come on? The civil jury system, and more specifically, the body of laws collectively known as tort laws, which aim to compensate individuals injured by the negligent or intentional acts of others, is crucial to maintaining public health and safety. Our founding fathers knew this and established a constitutional right to the jury trial. By requiring the responsible parties to bear the costs associated with their conduct the system encourages, indeed demands, that the responsible party will take steps to avoid such negligence conduct in the future. Additionally, by requiring responsible parties to pay for the harm they have caused, we send a message to others that they too should avoid such conduct in the future or else they may have to pay for the harms caused as well. Lastly, by requiring the responsible parties to pay for the consequences of their actions we ensure that the injured victims do not seek vengeance or retribution against the party causing the injuries. Thin Wild West here folks.
If I slip and fall on ice on your sidewalk because you chose not to make the sidewalk safe for passage, and you are not held accountable for the broken wrist i suffer and four weeks missed from work, what incentive or motivation is there for you to make sure that the sidewalk is safe for the next person who happens to walk by? If a company is not held responsible for the negligent design of a product that injures people who use it, do you truly believe that the company will endeavor to make the product safer or as safe as it can be to avoid future injuries? If someone drives 80 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h zone and rear-ends another vehicle resulting in injuries to the other driver, is the offender more or less likely to engage in such reckless or negligent conduct in the future if we, as a society do not hold him accountable for his action and require him to pay for the pain and harm caused?
Now listen, by no means are we encouraging people to file frivolous lawsuits, or to claim injuries when none exist. That doesn’t benefit anyone. However, what we are saying is that you should not feel the need to apologize for asserting a claim when you have been the victim of someone else’s negligence and have sustained injuries and damages as a result. In fact, you should feel obligated to pursue such claims and should do so with the knowledge that by doing so you are actually serving the greater good, not hurting it.
If you’ve been hurt in as a result of another person’s neglect, the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC may be able to help you hold them accountable. Call us at (215) 875-7030 to discuss your situation.