Don’t Be So Quick To Dismiss A Personal Injury Case As ‘Frivolous’
It’s interesting how often, in the practice of law, we hear the term ‘frivolous lawsuit‘ thrown around. People are quick to use it to describe any variety of case, and often do so without hearing the details of the suit. Unfortunately, this can discourage others from pursuing their case, for fear of the label being applied to them.
A frivolous lawsuit is one whose claim does not have much legal merit and is often filed out of malice. This does not always mean they’re unwinnable, but for the most part they’re so over the top that the legal basis of the claim is questionable. While these claims do happen, the label of “frivolous” has lost some of its meaning of late.
Recovering damages from an injury brings more factors into play than one realizes. There are medical costs, there are quality of life factors, there are lost wages, and so on. These costs add up, and the injured party is not trying to bankrupt anyone out of spite, but rather just get their lives back to somewhere close to how it was before.
People often cite the Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants case as the quintessential “frivolous lawsuit.” It’s the infamous hot coffee lawsuit where a woman sued McDonald’s because a cup of coffee scalded her legs. “How did she not know coffee was hot?” people would ask. Usually they ask this right before they scoff at the $2.7 million judgement.
In reality, the plaintiff in that case suffered some of the most severe burns known to medical science. She required multiple skin grafts, and was partially disabled for two years. On top of that, McDonald’s had been warned repeatedly by officials to lower the temperature of the coffee they served, as they were pouring it at 190 degrees — just short of boiling. Also, the plaintiff had only asked for $300,000 — part of her medical bills.
Not so frivolous now that you know the facts, is it?
Should you be injured in an accident, there’s nothing malicious about asking a negligent party to do what’s right. Your life was turned upside down through no fault of your own. You’re well within your rights to expect the party at fault to pay for your damages.
Nobody else knows what you’re going through and how much money you’re shelling out. Only you and your lawyer know this. While there are still many claims that earn the ‘frivolous’ label, you’re likely not one of them. A good lawyer can walk you through the process, and be sure you’re compensated properly.
Don’t let labels scare you off.
If you’ve been severely injured in any sort of accident, a lawyer can help you learn about your rights. Use our form below to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who can go over your case with you.