A published study regarding compensation for accidental injuries in the U.S. shows that one in every six Americans sustains an injury in an accident that results in measurable economic loss. Approximately one-third of those victims suffer a moderate to severe injury that imposes significant costs on them and society. The financial ramifications are quite severe for most working-class citizens. The study goes on to state that accident victims depend on an informal network of public and private compensation schemes, such as “private insurance, publicly subsidized programs like Medicare, work-related programs like workers’ compensation, and the fault-based tort liability system.”
For accident victims, their search for the most effective compensation inevitably leads to the question: “Can a personal injury law firm really help me?”
Researchers note in an article in the Pepperdine Law Review that “[w]e conclude that the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that representation benefits clients. The vast majority of the studies provide evidence that represented parties obtain more favorable outcomes than unrepresented parties.”
Our Florida personal injury lawyers can help bring your personal injury claim to a satisfactory conclusion. Victims who retain personal injury attorneys are more likely to receive compensation and to realize a higher average payout.
How the Law Benefits Floridians and Society in General
Understandably, accident victims are primarily concerned with how a personal injury attorney can help them with their case. However, the law benefits society in important ways that most people don’t even consider.
Holding Florida Businesses Accountable for Consumer Protection and Worker Safety
When companies attempt to deceive consumers or require workers to participate in unsafe work practices, personal injury attorneys assist damaged consumers and injured workers in bringing claims against these businesses. A particularly useful tool that personal injury attorneys employ to keep companies on the straight and narrow is known as “punitive damages.”
Punitive damages, also known as “exemplary damages,” are financial penalties against companies for behavior that is willful and malicious, violent, oppressive, fraudulent, wanton, or grossly reckless. In other words, when a court finds that a company acted in a particularly outrageous manner, they will assess punitive damages along with, or in addition to, a victim’s actual damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, etc.
Another way of thinking of punitive damages is as deterrents to future similar types of conduct. Punitive damages can be quite substantial; after all, unless punitive damages are large enough to truly punish a company, they are unlikely to deter any future similar behavior.
Being an Agent for Positive Changes in the Law
By holding businesses accountable, as discussed above, Florida personal injury lawyers help obtain court decisions that lead to the removal of dangerous products from the marketplace. Safety recalls for thousands of defective or dangerous products and pharmaceuticals that don’t meet consumer safety standards are issued every year in the U.S.
Some responsible manufacturers recall dangerous products voluntarily based on advice from the FDA or upon discovering a defect themselves, but many others are recalled only after consumers have been harmed and lawsuits have been filed with the help of a lawyer. If it weren’t for these lawsuits, many more people would likely be injured by the defects in these products before a company would decide to take action.
A good example of injury attorneys as agents for change is the well-known asbestos issue. The positive work of lawyers was largely responsible for the removal of this toxic substance from buildings and homes in the sixties and seventies.
Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Actually Prevent Many Frivolous Lawsuits from Being Filed
It is a common misconception that lawyers file lawsuits every time a client feels wronged, even if their claims have no legal merit. However, professional and experienced personal injury attorneys recognize that quite often, a lawsuit is not in their clients’ best interests. Cases that have no merit are usually discouraged, and even cases where a client has been injured due to a legitimate reason are successfully settled in a way that actually benefits both parties in the long run.
By keeping questionable cases out of the court system, personal injury attorneys ease the strain on our legal system in a way that most people are unaware of, and further benefit their clients in the most efficient way.
Pro Bono Work
The term “pro bono” comes from the Latin pro bono publico, which means “for the public good.” When lawyers provide pro bono services it means they provide legal services without pay. This allows individuals who otherwise can’t afford legal services to be served.
The American Bar Association (ABA) strongly encourages pro bono work and have drafted Model Rule 6.1, which states that lawyers should aspire to render, for free, at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year, with an emphasis on services provided to people of limited means or nonprofit organizations that serve the poor. This rule has been adopted by most states.
It is widely recognized that low-income people do not have access to justice in the way that wealthier people do, leading to the recognition, unfortunately far too often, that “justice is only for the rich.” The rule acknowledged that only attorneys have the specialized skills and knowledge needed to secure access to justice for low-income people, whose enormous unmet legal needs are well documented.
Lawyers have paid attention to this rule. Approximately 81% of attorneys in the United States have provided pro bono services at some point in their careers.
Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help
Searcy Denney does its part to benefit society as a whole, but if you’re our client, you are our number one priority. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay a penny until and if you recover. If you’ve been injured in an accident or lost a loved one, contact our Florida personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. Our legal team will review the facts of your case, help you understand your options, and file any legal claims that may be necessary. Contact us online today.