The Myth Of The “Ambulance Chaser”
The story goes that personal injury trial lawyers are simply “ambulance chasers” preying on accidents and tragedies to make a quick buck. They succeed due to the willingness of “greedy” people to profit on the misfortune of others by filing “frivolous lawsuits”.
According to the people who perpetuate this myth, costs for everything from insurance to consumer products would come down if these illegitimate legal adventures were put to rest.
The story of the ambulance chaser is wrong, plain and simple. It is a myth that has prevented far too many people from getting the help they deserve after being injured in an accident through no fault of their own.
Insurance Companies: Perpetuating The Myth
Insurance companies are all too happy to benefit from the perception of “ambulance chasers” and “litigious, greedy people” in our society. Every claim that goes unpaid is profit for the insurance company, often coming at the expense of people who need help.
Insurers are often quick to blame an increase in claims for a rise in rates in a geographical area, helping it cement the idea that personal injury settlements and other payouts are the reason consumers are having to spend more money on their policies.
The Truth: Personal Injury Lawsuits Are About Getting Justice For The Injured
In almost all cases, negligence is not a criminal act. Even where gross negligence is involved and punitive damages are possible, the civil justice system is where the victims of negligence have a chance to hold people and corporations accountable.
Personal injury lawsuits provide survivors and the loved ones of fatal accident victims with an opportunity to obtain a sense of closure and justice, and to make sure they have necessary resources for:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost earnings
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Do these damages sound frivolous? No. They sound like the necessary compensation people need in order to be made whole again after an accident. The resources obtained through personal injury settlements and jury awards can mean the difference between moving on and financial ruin.