Why Personal Injury Lawyers Don't File Baseless Lawsuits

06/11/2009

Recently, a local Louisville personal injury lawyer filed the first lawsuit against the Louisville Zoo for injuries his client received after the zoo's train derailed.  Nothing unsual about it.  Nothing unusual at all, including the sarcastic and baseless attacks that were launched against the attorney on the Courier Journal's website in the comment section following the story.

What people don't understand is that most personal injury lawyers don't file baseless lawsuits.  There's no money in doing so.  Trust me, insurance companies don't pay big money for frivolous claims (heck, they seldom pay big money for legitimate claims).  A lawyer that works on a contingency fee (meaning she doesn't get paid unless she wins money for her client) has no incentive to file a lawsuit and incur thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses getting the case ready for trial.  Think I'm exaggerating?  I'm not, in my last three trials we spent in excess of $100,000 getting each of them to trial.

Contingency fee lawyers are just like any other business owner, they must turn a profit to pay the salaries of their employees, the rent, and other overhead and expenses.  If they fail to do so, they are not in business long.  My respected colleague John Day in Nashville has a great post on this topic.

Hans