The Truth About Tort Reform
Many people in the political world are pushing for something called tort reform—an effort to change the way our court systems consider and hear personal injury lawsuits. Their hope is to make it harder for individuals to bring lawsuits before a court and to place caps on the amount of money victims can receive for their injuries. Their main argument is that frivolous lawsuits have taken over our legal system, resulting in a gold rush of sorts for those seeking “jackpot justice.”
Their argument is convincing a lot of people out there, and here’s why. The notion that people are getting wealthy by dishonest means touches a deep-rooted nerve in most Americans, and proponents for tort reform try their best to tap that nerve every chance they get.
Here’s the problem with their argument. Our court system already has a number of checks and balances in place to keep baseless lawsuits out of the courtroom. But wait a minute. What about the woman who spilled coffee on her lap and sued McDonald’s for millions of dollars? Wasn’t that a frivolous lawsuit?
Well, if you consider sustaining third-degree burns over 6 percent of your body from near boiling coffee (190 degrees) and undergoing multiple skin graft procedures “frivolous,” you may want to research what third-degree burns look like. This woman was dramatically disfigured and only initially asked McDonald’s for $20,000 to cover medical expenses. When they refused, she was forced to file a lawsuit. However, tort reformists point to this case all the time as an example of frivolous lawsuits running rampant.
The injury victims we help at Cofman Townsley aren’t looking to buy a new house with their settlement check or retire early from a windfall. They just want to be able to pay the next medical bill that comes in without missing a meal. If that sounds like your situation, give us a call. You deserve skilled legal help, and we’re ready to review your case for free.