We constantly get to learn about claims of frivolous lawsuits on the news and in the media. As common as it might be, nobody ever stops to explain what exactly a frivolous lawsuit is.
In simple terms, a frivolous lawsuit is a claim with no chance of proceeding due to a lack of legal merit. Categorizing a lawsuit as frivolous depends on one’s point of view.
As such, most personal injury cases are considered frivolous by the party getting sued. The injured party does not, however, look at it that way.
Here are a few facts about frivolous lawsuits that might be of some help to you to avoid such cases.
Do Lawyers Benefit From Frivolous Lawsuits?
Most people believe that lawyers make the most of frivolous lawsuits. Some even believe that lawyers are the ones who instigate and push their clients to make false claims. This, however, can be a misleading way of thinking.
A good lawyer will always analyze all claims by their clients even before they get to court. The lawyer will examine a claim presented to them and then analyze all evidence and claims before filing a lawsuit.
Many lawyers only charge attorney fees after the case has been terminated and depending on the outcome. Therefore, a lawyer will not take on a case they consider frivolous as they will be wasting their time.
What About Insurance Companies?
Many insurance companies have fallen victim to frivolous lawsuits, costing them millions of dollars. Many believe that insurance companies opt for out-of-court settlements because lawsuits cost a lot to defend. But that is far from the fact.
Insurance companies do not settle frivolous lawsuits and have put in place structures and policies designed to deal with insurance fraud.
Examples of Frivolous Personal Injury Lawsuits
Most courtrooms will be able to spot a frivolous claim from a mile away. Some, however, have been able to find a way through. Here are a few examples.
The Norman Family vs. Honda
Back in 1992, members of the Norman family took Honda to court due to the death of their daughter Karen Norman. The death of Karen occurred after she drove into Galveston bay in Texas.
The court went ahead to award the Norman family $65 million in damages even after it was found that their daughter was twice above the legal alcohol limit for drivers. This means she was drunk at the time of the accident.
The case was, however, appealed and thrown out.
Overton vs. Bud Light
In 1993, Richard Overton took Anheuser- Busch, the Bud Light beer brand owners, to court. In the lawsuit, Overton claimed to have consumed a 6-pack of beer but did not get visions of sandy beaches and beautiful women as a result.
He claimed that bud light insinuated in an advertisement that he would get the desired results after consuming the beer. The court quickly threw out the case.
What to Do About a Frivolous Lawsuit in Illinois
Lawsuits in the United States have become somewhat part of life. Some of them are often legitimate, but this isn’t the case with others. To be able to protect yourself from frivolous lawsuits, here are a few tips you can consider:
Keep Your Cool
Don’t let the stress get to you. If you have a lawsuit that you believe is frivolous, be sure to keep your cool. It would help to keep in mind all the frivolous claims filed every day at the courts.
Imagine a restaurant getting sued due to the small size of their seats by an obese customer. Most litigious people won’t follow up on their threats to take you to court because even they know the lawsuit would be frivolous.
If they follow up, it is crucial to stay calm as you plan for the next course of action.
Count On the Justice System
Most experienced lawyers and judges have come across and dealt with frivolous lawsuits before. As such, they have measures put in place to neutralize them quickly.
Your attorney might file a motion in court to dismiss the case, so it’s thrown out before it even gets to a hearing. It would also help to know that an attorney might get sanctioned, fined, or suspended for presenting a frivolous claim in court.
Gather All Records and Evidence
When dealing with any lawsuit, you must gather all previous interactions with the party suing you. Be sure to maintain all receipts, invoices, financial records, and communications such as emails and text messages.
These records will help you to create an account of what happened. All courtrooms demand evidence for any wrongdoing. It would therefore benefit your case that you have your evidence intact.
Avoid Communicating With the Person Suing You
Don’t communicate with the person suing you at any level, especially when they are the ones instigating it. Anything you say or do can get used against you in a court of law. Any communications must be done through your attorney.
Involve the Experts
When dealing with a lawsuit, you must talk to an experienced lawyer first. Many people fall victim to intimidation and threats of a lawsuit, then end up paying compensation when they were not even at fault from the start.
Many people shudder at the thought of entering a courtroom and opt to settle the matter quickly and avoid the court process. However, an experienced lawyer will guide you through the process and advise you on the next course of action.
A good lawyer will also give you advice on protecting yourself from such situations in the future.
Be on the Safe Side
Lawsuits are essential in any society. They ensure wrongdoers get brought to book while ensuring their victims get justice at the same time.
Unfortunately, some people try to abuse the justice system.
While some have succeeded, others have failed miserably. As civilization moves forward, measures are being put in place to curb the problem of frivolous lawsuits.
For this reason, you would be better placed to trust the lawyers and judges involved in these cases. Be on the safe side and call our office today at 708-460-9300 so we can help you deal with a frivolous lawsuit against you.
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