Greedy Trial Lawyers? Whatever!

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at 4:02 pm    

OK, I am going to talk a little politics today because politicians are taking cheap shots at lawyers again. Once again, politicians are carrying the water for the poor insurance industry and forgetting all about their constituents!

I’m talking about this “Greedy Trial Lawyer” nonsense you are hearing in these political ads from places like the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce” and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Do you know what “I fought the greedy trial lawyers” really means?  It means the government took rights away from you, the people, and gave them to the insurance industry and other industries. Its that simple!

You see, each citizen has what I like to call a “bundle of rights” and every year legislators are asked by the insurance industry to take some of those rights away from yo. They are asked to take your rights away and give them to the insurance industry.  Because I am part of a group of lawyers that reviews bills every year I see the type of nonsense laws these folks try to get passed.  And, you just wouldn’t believe the nerve of these guys.  The bills that get introduced in the Mississippi legislature would amaze you and horrify you.  There was event a bill introduced this year that would have given insurance adjusters immunity if they lied and had you arrested.  Can you believe that!

 

The biggest example of rights being removed from each citizen’s “bundle of rights” occurred back in 2002 and 2004 when the big wave of so called “tort reform” hit.  Fat Cats like Haley Barbour and his lobbyist buddies raided the Capital and got all kinds of favors from cash hungry politicians who thought they needed campaign contributions to keep their prestigious jobs in the legislature and it worked!  What would normally be considered a bribe was washed clean by a campaign contribution scheme that basically allows politicians, or their campaigns, to be showered with money from special interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  And in exchange, legislators take rights away from people and remove the tools citizens have to protect themselves from being taken advantage of by the insurance industry.  The very tools that help citizens make insurance companies behave when they refuse to behave is what your elected officials are fighting to take away.

Don’t people remember how many home owners along the Gulf Coast had to file lawsuits against the insurance industry to make them pay for damages caused by hurricane Katrina?  When you hear Senator Cindy Hyde Smith talk about fighting “the Greedy Trial Lawyers”, I want you to understand, who’s side she is on.  Its the insurance company’s side, not the people’s side!  When the scales are tipped in favor of the insurance industry, it  makes it harder for citizens and small businesses to be adequately compensated following a loss. It makes it harder for citizens and small businesses to get back things that are taken from them by fire, car wrecks, medical malpractice and defective products.

Before you blow off what I’ve said, I want people to stop for a second and ask yourself: “Have I ever been disappointed by an insurance company before?”  (Almost Everyone Raises Their Hand).  Then, ask yourself how many times you have personally and honestly been disappointed by a trial lawyer before.  I would bet if you’ve been disappointed by a trial lawyer, the fault probably lies with the law, the facts and the environment created by years of false propaganda and not their skills, work ethic or honesty.  Hopefully, you have not had to make too many insurance claims in your life but most of us have had to make at least one claim in our lives, and for a very large percentage of us, we felt like the insurance company got the best of us in that process. Because they almost always do when a lawyer is not involved to protect you.

Being disappointed in the insurance claims process happens for a couple of reasons: (1) insurance adjusters are professionally trained to minimize the amount they have to pay you on your claims to increase profit and (2)  insurance companies heavily lobby our legislators and get favoritism written into the law that tips the scales in their favor and against the average citizen.  This tipping of the scales in the law and the very effective propaganda campaign makes it harder for trial lawyers to financially justify pursuing claims that should be pursued in the public interest. We see this every day in our Personal Injury Law Practice and, on a regular basis, I have to explain to people why their claim is not economically feasible.  It’s often because the legislature took away their rights to protect themselves.  The legislature removed rights and tools from their bundle of rights and their tool box.

So when someone says they “took on the Greedy trial lawyers” they are really saying they took on the citizen’s right to protect themselves from greedy insurance companies who don’t want to pay what is fair.  They took on the people they are elected to represent for “thirty pieces of silver”.