Personal Injury Claims Are a Costly Liability Risk

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Attorneys who specialize in personal injury claim cases are often looked down on and called names such as “ambulance chaser.” While there are unscrupulous attorneys who file dubious cases involving injury and disability claims, most personal injury claim cases are legitimate.

Though car accidents are the most common cause of personal injury claim lawsuits, they are not as common a cause as many people might think. Car accident injuries account for about 20% of all personal injury cases at the federal level, followed by product liability suits at 13and and medical malpractice at 10%. Such causes also can overlap. For example, a car accident injury could also be the result of a defective product or it could be exacerbated by a doctor’s error.

There are about 3 million workplace illnesses and injuries each year, although of course the majority of those do not result in lawsuits. There also are about 28,000 birth injuries to babies each year.

Another reason personal injury attorneys get a bad rap is that most such lawsuits never go to trial; in fact, 98% get settled outside the courtroom. To some people, that gives the appearance that defendants are settling simply because it’s cheaper than having to pay attorney fees to defend themselves in court, not because they feel they have any actual liability.

The sheer cost of personal injury lawsuits also tends to give personal injury lawyers a bad name. Civil suits cost the U.S. economy about $239 billion each year. That isn’t just the awards to plaintiffs but also attorneys fees and increased insurance costs.

Insurance can help guard against the costs of personal injury claims. People with homeowners or renters insurance get personal liability coverage, which protects against things such as personal injury lawsuits. Umbrella insurance offers additional coverage. On the business side, businesses carry liability insurance, and individual professionals such as lawyers and doctors carry malpractice insurance. Many businesses also carry disability insurance and workmens comp insurance to protect themselves and their employees against the risk of injuries or illnesses that are caused by something that happens at work.

Overall, personal injury claims are mostly legitimate and are a real risk to individuals and businesses.

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