Frustration is nothing new in accident and injury lawsuits. All the parties have something to complain about: insurance companies don’t like to pay high settlements, the courts are backlogged, and personal injury victims may have to wait years for their cases to be resolved.
Add to all these concerns the perception that the situation is getting worse.
In recent years, insurance companies have created the idea that there has been an explosion in the number of lawsuits. But a little history lesson puts that idea to rest. The Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog had an entry earlier this month about car accident lawsuits that really opened my eyes to the true situation.
The entry quoted a Time Magazine article, “Traffic Jam.” Here are some fast facts from that article:
- Car accidents account for more than half to three-quarters of personal-injury lawsuits. Tens of thousands of auto accident cases await trial in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.
- Car accident victims might wait years for their cases to get to the jury.
- Despite taking in huge sums in premiums, insurance companies suffer a net loss!
The pretty shocking truth is that the Time Magazine article was printed Jan. 10, 1964! That is more than 45 years ago.
I don’t write this in the sense of “Let’s all despair; things are never going to get better.” The reality is that the system is always being refined. Just because things aren’t perfect, let’s not forget to look at what is improving.
The truth is that there are fewer NY accident lawsuits per capita now than there were 20 years ago. In fact, statistics from the NY State Office of Court Administration show that there were actually more than 13,000 FEWER cases brought in NY Supreme Courts in 2006 than in 2002.
Will the legal system ever be perfect? Probably not, because “justice” is a perception to all the parties involved in a case. Most outcomes are likely to displease someone involved.
But it’s important to appreciate the fact that the law is continually being adapted to make things better. Maybe the law will never be perfect, but that is what it aspires to be.
Thanks for reading,
James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062