Often times when I first meet a client who has been harmed by the careless acts of another, I am lucky to hear: “I’m not the kind of person who does this kind of thing.” Obviously, this “thing” is the filing of a lawsuit for money damages. I like this kind of client because I am not the type of lawyer who brings lawsuits without serious consideration.
The tort system, known in today’s parlance as a personal injury claim, was first created in England as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harms done by someone who violates safety rules. The tort system requires those responsible for harming others to compensate the victims by payment of money. Typical harms include loss of income, medical expenses, payment for pain, suffering, loss of life’s pleasures or loss of future income.
A tort 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. When I evaluate whether to bring a tort action, I ask three 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?
The answer to these questions is not always yes. If the answer is no to any of those questions, it may not be a matter I pursue. It is by the enforcement of safety rules through the tort system that we hold responsible parties accountable for their actions and hopefully, by enforcing safety rules, make it less likely that others will be harmed by such conduct 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 and trusted advisors of Baratta, Russell & Baratta to assist you in recovering the harms and losses caused.