Blaming the victim

When I'm talking to jurors, they always bring up the "McDonalds" case or other examples of frivolous lawsuits.  I wish they could see my clients' faces when they hear that an insurance company has decided to twist the truth or attack them  in order to hang onto money that should be paid for injuries.

Most people have no idea how awful it is to have to file a lawsuit.  First, the defense is often allowed to get all of your medical records from the moment of your birth forward.  Yes, you can have a broken arm and they can and will pour over your gynecological records.  If you've ever seen a counselor - even as a child - they will grab those records.  They often will hire a private investigator to follow you as you take your children to the dentist or on errands, peering into your windows if possible.

Second, they will claim whatever happened is your fault.  One of the worst cases I had was a young woman who was hit by another driver who for some stupid reason thought she was in a turn lane but had in fact crossed over the center line and was driving down the wrong way lane.  She struck and almost killed our young client who suffered among other things a head injury so severe that she cannot speak and has to live in an assisted living home for the rest of her life.  They said that our client should have driven off the road into a ditch to avoid getting hit, so the accident was her fault.

Third, if you have any weakness at all, they will attack you with the hope that a jury will punish you for not being perfect.  One client was on a building that collapsed.  He was an alcoholic though he had not been drinking and was clean at the time of the injury. The accident was entirely the defendant's fault and the man terribly injured.  Yet in trial they tried to prove that he was unworthy of a verdict because he had an alcohol problem.

So when I hear of people complain about how terrible lawsuits are, I usually agree.  They are terrible for the people that are forced to bring them.