It seems as if almost daily we are told that the proliferation of personal injury lawsuits will be the ruin of Western civilization as we know it. This propaganda is generated by a host of pro-business interest groups such as the Chamber of Commerce. A simple search of “Tort Reform” on www.cuil.com (An interesting alternative to Google) will produce over 137,000 results.
But are there really more personal injury lawsuits? Every year the Judicial Council of California produces a statistical report concerning the State Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and the Superior Courts of each County. The truth is that all personal injury filings are down over the last 10 years. In fact, motor vehicle lawsuits are way down. In 1997 there were 43,947 motor vehicle lawsuits filed in California’s Superior Courts. In the most recent 2007 report that number has dropped to 31,389.
Were there really that many fewer injury accidents. Of course not. In the last 10 years did the insurance companies start settling claims fairly without a lawsuit being filed. (If you have ever been injured in an accident you know the answer is no.)
The answer is that the propaganda machine has made people reticent to file many injury lawsuits. That doesn’t mean there were not hurt. It simply means they are not being fairly compensated.
If you have ever wondered why big corporations would fund propaganda campaigns to distort the truth one need only look at the record profits being reported by the largest corporations.