A lot of people think that America has become too litigious a society. They blame it on the lawyers. And you know what? They are right!
Let me explain. It’s not every lawyer’s fault. In fact, most lawyers are caring, conscientious people who studied law because they wanted to improve the world, not because they wanted to sue McDonalds over hot coffee. We’ve all seen the other kind, though; the lawyers that put ads on TV that guarantee success, the ones that promise that the viewer’s injury, no matter how minor, ephemeral, or nonexistent it may be, can be a source of monetary gain. These lawyers are the deserved butt of many jokes, and, in my opinion, they are the root of a very deep problem in the American legal system.
First, these “advertisement lawyers” predispose jurors to think poorly of lawyers in general. Jurors are everyday members of society, and, as such, they will likely have seen lawyer commercials. Just from watching television, then, they will often associate legal professionals with greed and irrationality.
Second, the advertisement lawyers have perpetuated the myth that the legal system exists to be exploited. That’s just not true. The lawyers who work for the insurance agencies and big companies know how to do their stuff, and they will make sure that every single aspect of a situation has been explored, examined, investigated, and gone over with a fine tooth comb. It will take years for the case to get settled. Easy isn’t a good work to describe the process. Neither is quick, and, a vast majority of the time, neither is profitable.
Here’s an important thing to remember: you don’t want a six-figure injury. The clients who earn million-dollar settlements don’t buy expensive condos and throw expensive galas — they live with a lifetime of grief and remorse, and the money, if it ever comes, only arrives after a long and protracted legal battle. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
I watch TV, and I’ve seen a series of lawyer advertisements that I think a really pretty funny. You can check them out here, or, if you prefer, I’ll summarize them for you: the lawyers behind the company encourages viewers to call, but only if they have a real injury. When it comes to this kind of case, I think that might the best piece of advice you can get.