If you pay attention to advertisements and the occasional news story, then you have probably heard about frivolous lawsuits. In a short definition, a frivolous lawsuit is one that is filed in a court despite it not having any legal grounds, or one that is filed despite not having any feasible chance to succeed. You might have also heard that America’s civil justice system — the courts that handle injury claims and other disputes between two civil parties — is crammed with so many apparent frivolous lawsuits, it takes people with genuine concerns and cases much, much longer to get them resolved.
However, if you have nodded your head at any of what was just said, it is time to set the record straight. Frivolous lawsuits are real, yes, but they are not so numerous that they are causing widespread harm to the civil justice system. In fact, the overall number of claims and cases brought to civil courts each year has been steadily declining for decades. This is largely in thanks to legal campaigns to inform people of their rights, and to individual attorneys and law firms who help new clients understand upfront if they have a case or not.
Who Tells the Myths of Frivolous Lawsuits?
If the number of frivolous lawsuits is actually a tiny percentage of the total number of lawsuits in the civil justice system, then why have so many people heard about them being problematic? The truth is corporations of all sorts have worked hard to spread myths about lawsuits being frivolous, wasteful, and actually harmful. The underlying idea being that people who believe the myth will be less likely to file a claim if they ever get harmed by the negligence of another party. Big pharmaceutical companies, automakers, and oil corporations have all tried to avoid accountability for wrongdoing in the past by perpetuating the myth of frivolous lawsuits and denouncing people who try to file claims as “greedy.”
Without civil lawsuits being brought to light, though, major advancements in the law and safety regulations would have never happened. For example, the safe and proper placement of gas tanks in automobiles became regulated after it was discovered through a lawsuit that GM calculated their company could save more money by paying a few plaintiff claims than actually recall vehicles for repairs. Not only are so-called “frivolous” lawsuits not jamming the civil justice system, but they are also undoubtedly helpful and beneficial to us all.
You can learn more about the usefulness of civil claims by clicking here by viewing a brief YouTube video provided by the Trial Lawyers Association DC. If you have a civil lawsuit or claim of your own that requires the attention of a trusted team of attorneys, you can come to Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP for guidance and representation. Our Cleveland trial attorneys can take a variety of case types, including personal injury claims, business litigation, and medical malpractice. Call (216) 600-0114 or use an online contact form to arrange a no-cost case evaluation today.