Originally Posted by stapletonj
Despite the snide, small town, demeaning comments, yes, I HAVE heard of slip and fall lawsuits. I have tried them. It is difficult and expensive because the first thing you have to do is get an expert and these are not cheap (at least$1000.00 just for an initial report) No insurance company in their right minds will settle with you for more than $500.00 (of which the lawyer gets 1/3) until you have this. 99% of all client will not pay this and expect you to advance it against their settlement. You do the math. Typically, the settlemetns are in the neighborhood of proven specials (medical bills and lost wages) times 2 or 3, unless there is MD proof of permanent damage, in which case it can go up. Most companies will gamble in the bigger cases (serious and permanent injury) becasue they have been "educating" the jury pool for about 25 years now, and they realize that it is VERY rare for a jury to return an award that would seriously "whack" them, and human nature tends to say, "Well, look where you're going, you get nothing". Even on the "manhole cover that flips up when you step on it" case.....
I apologize for being confusing. I don't assign a perjoritive to rural and smaller cities, I was noting that you chose to preface your commentary with the info of the size of your city, which in my experience is uncommon. In other words I thought (I guess incorrectly) you were trying to make a point of the size of your city.
I think your experience with litigating "slip and falls" is likely the norm just as you decribe it. Though there is a subset of these cases where the known cost of litigation (not multimillion windfalls that make the news) is undercut by the damages (real or imaginary). The correct fiscal decision is to settle for a sum less than the cost of litigation. I guess the nomenclature of this would not be "frivolous" (though it would meet the dictionary definition) but rather: "nuisance" lawsuits.