Often times when I first meet a client who has been harmed by the careless acts of another, I am likely to hear: “I’m not the kind of person who sues.” I like this kind of client because I am not the type of lawyer who brings lawsuits without serious consideration.
When I evaluate whether to bring a lawsuit, I ask 4 important questions:
- Could others have been hurt by what the defendant did?
- Could the defendant or others like the defendant cause future harm if not held accountable?
- Would the community be safer by enforcing safety rules?
- Was my client substantially harmed?
The answers to these questions is not always Yes. If the answer is No to any of those questions, I will likely encourage my client to NOT file a lawsuit
Personal injury claims were permitted in England, before the founding of our country, as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harms done by someone who violated safety rules.
The idea underpinning personal injury law is that if someone harms someone else, they should make up for it. Lord Blackburn explained in an 1880 case, that compensation for physical harm should be “that sum of money which will put the party who has been injured in the same position as he would have been if he had not sustained the wrong for which he is now getting his compensation or reparation.”
A personal injury action is a valuable tool used for social good because it allows the community to ensure that safety rules are enforced. By enforcing safety rules, others may be able to avoid being harmed by a similar action in the future.
I like representing clients who feel similarly. So, I congratulate my new client on taking steps to ensure that others will be safer.
If you, a member of your family, or someone special in your life has been harmed by the negligence of another, please consider the aggressive advocates at Baratta, Russell & Baratta.
Tony Baratta is a trial attorney in Huntingdon Valley, PA who represents clients who have been seriously injured including due to medical mistakes. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and on the board for the Philadelphia VIP. Tony is a Nationally Certified Civil Trial Advocate, AV Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbel and a member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA). He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys and voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers 2008-2015.