Here’s a question you probably won’t ask yourself very often, “Is my lawsuit frivolous?” Chance are if you are in a lawsuit you think it’s anything but frivolous. USlegal.com defines frivolous lawsuits:
Frivolous lawsuits are those filed by a party or attorney who is aware they are without merit, because of a lack of supporting legal argument or factual basis for the claims. Frivolous lawsuits waste time, money, and judicial resources, and fines and/or sanctions may be imposed upon a party or their attorney for filing such a claim.
How Many Frivolous Lawsuits Happen In Texas?
In Texas, it’s long been a political point to argue that Texas needs statutes to put in check all of the lawyers and plaintiffs trying to file frivolous lawsuits in order to make some money out of the judicial system.
So What Are The Statistics Behind Frivolous Lawsuits?
Thanks to a fellow lawyer who gathered some statistics about national rates of lawsuits, we’ve listed them below. They still do not point out whether or not frivolous lawsuits exist but they do depict the “congestion” of our judicial system and shows us just how much we “need” protections against the “huge” problem of frivolous lawsuits (hopefully sarcasm translates on the internet).
- Only 10% of injured Americans make informal demands or file claims. Only 2% actually file lawsuits
- Less than 10% of people injured by medical malpractice file lawsuits
- Personal injury lawsuits decreased by 21% between 1995 and 2005 despite a growing population in 30 states
- Personal injury lawsuits consisted of only 1.3% of all civil dispositions in 2005 in 104 reporting counties
- Jury trials in personal injury cases decreased by 51.8% between 1992 and 2005 in the 75 most populated counties in the country
- A survey of Texas Judges in 2005 showed that 86% felt like there was no additional legislation needed to lessen lawsuits
- Jury verdicts have declined by approximately 40.3% in the 75 most populous counties in America between 1992 and 2005 after being adjusted for inflation
- In 2007, 83% of Texas State Judges responding to a survey reported that they had never had to exercise a provision which reduced a Plaintiff’s jury verdict due to being excessive
- Multiple Courts in North Central Texas report that they have had either one or no civil jury trials as of May of this year
These are just a few statistics that point towards the ambiguity of the the existence of frivolous lawsuits. Also There have long been rules that give judges and certain courts the power to turn down a lawsuit if it is frivolous and even put lawyers at risk for a felony offense when they try to back up a frivolous lawsuit. So is there still any need for any fuss? There are also caps on medical malpractice cases (despite the small number of the population who actually file malpractice cases). So why does this mass awareness of frivolous lawsuits exist when they in fact do not? Some might claim that insurance premiums are high because of these lawsuits and that’s a reflection of the rate of frivolity in our country. However, it’s the insurance industry’s interest to minimize the amount of any and all civil lawsuits because then they have to pay money for damages.
The idea or notion of frivolity is relative. If you’re an individual who has third degree burns from a cup of coffee and you want you medical bills paid for then you will not see your case as frivolous. If you’re the insurance company having to pay out the 2 million dollar settlement for this case, you will most likely believe it to be frivolous. If you are the judge presiding over the case, you’ll look at the content, the facts, and the evidence to make a judgement of whether or not the case is frivolous.
Is My Case Frivolous?
Chances are if you are asking yourself that question, your case is not. This picture our mass media has painted of Americans has greedy, lawsuit-seeking animals just isn’t true.
If you have any doubts about your case, let your team of attorneys figure that out for you and explain the options you have. Most of us don’t want to clog the judicial system or risk getting punished for trying to clog the system. At McMinn we realize our role in society is to help those who have been injured, ensure justice, and protect other individuals from falling victim to the same negligence or malfunctions.
Call us today for a free consultation and we’ll discuss your case with you and explore every option you have.