How Personal Injury Lawyers Protect Public Safety

lawyer working with scales of justice in foreground

“Who is looking out for our safety?” This was the question my good friend Drew Ashby asked of the employee of a government agency in a lawsuit involving a tragic death.

The witness’ response: “Well, I guess nobody.”

The correct answer is: “The trial lawyers.”

Holding Liable Parties Accountable

Last week I reviewed cases involving the tragic death of a baby because a mother’s labor was mismanaged for hours and a c-section was not performed despite clear signs of fetal distress, a deck that collapsed because a home inspector did not identify a clear building code violation in an inspection just several months earlier, and a young girl whose leg snapped in half because a trampoline park was not properly staffed and did not enforce safety rules.

If there were no lawyers and no mechanism for bringing a lawsuit to recover damages, then these negligent actors would never change their behavior. They would never be held accountable.

The next time a young mother comes into their hospital to give birth, or the home inspector inspects a deck with the same safety issue, or the trampoline park welcomes hundreds of young kids into its park with the same safety violations, they will act the exact same way. It will be business as usual.

A Reason to Change

A perfect example of this comes from the recent deposition I took of the manager of a large hotel in downtown Atlanta where two dozen people have fallen because of the same static hazard. The manager admitted under oath he did not “see enough of a pattern” to cause him to want to make any changes.

But when asked, “What if a jury returned a large award of money damages in this case?”

His response: “I don’t think I’d have a choice then.”

Seeing Beyond the Stereotypes

It is easy to vilify personal injury lawyers. There are a lot of tasteless advertisements that make it seem like we are all greedy, money-hungry people who just want to gain from other people’s pain. But for the vast majority of us, it isn’t about the money. It’s about getting our clients some measure of justice. It’s about holding wrongdoers accountable. And it’s about making the world safer for all of us.

The next time you hear a politician or a big-money corporate lobbyist attacking trial lawyers or attempting to impose limits on lawsuits, just know this: trial lawyers are the ones keeping you safe.

The big corporations aren’t doing it, and the politicians aren’t doing it. Trial lawyers, bringing lawsuits and having 12 members of the community decide individual cases in the most local form of democracy, are the ones looking out for your safety.

Do you agree? Join the conversation with me on LinkedIn here.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.