How to Defend Yourself in Case of a Frivolous Injury Lawsuit

Written by: Bridgewest

How-to-Defend-Yourself-in-Case-of-a-Frivolous-Injury-Lawsuit.jpgFrivolous injury lawsuits are those claims that have little legal merit and stand small chances of being won. If you are the defendant in such a lawsuit you must know how to defend yourself and how to negate the claims made against you. Our team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you throughout the lawsuit.

Frivolous personal injury lawsuits in California

Personal injury cases are considered frivolous if the plaintiff has not enough supporting evidence to prove negligence and that the injuries were indeed sustained in that accident. These types of lawsuits can be filed in order to inconvenience the other party or, in some serious cases, as a form of harassment.
If you are involved in a frivolous lawsuit you should seek the help of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney who can help you prove negligence and deny any other elements invoked by the party claiming compensations for an act that cannot be classified as a personal injury.
In some cases, even if the lawsuit is considered a frivolous one, the plaintiff can greatly benefit from working with a specialized lawyer, such as our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. The experience of a lawyer who has dealt with many cases in a particular type of accident, as well as the fact that he is well aware of the existing case law, will increase the plaintiff’s chances of obtaining compensations. This is the case even if the compensations that are sought are for smaller injuries than normally applicable to certain types of accident, like in the case of motorcycle accidents, for example (when the victim is usually severely injured).
Frivolous lawsuits will not include serious accidents or injuries like those caused by car accidents, for example. The case will most likely be based on small injuries. One such example can include an individual that files a lawsuit against a famous restaurant chain for coffee burns. A claim like this must be sustained by clear evidence and if the plaintiff does not prove that the burn injuries actually came from coffee served in that restaurant, then the case is considered frivolous.

Negligence in personal injury claims

The most important element in a personal injury case is negligence. This is proved by solid statements for a breach of duty of care. Because the relationship and the duty of care between the two parties is different from case to case, a lawyer can help you argue if a duty was indeed owed or breached. An individual cannot be held liable for an injury if he or she behaved accordingly in those given circumstances.
The four elements of negligence are the following:
  1. Duty of care: the defendant clearly had a reasonable duty of care towards the plaintiff.
  2. Breach of duty: the defendant failed to act as per the said duty of care, thus leading to the third important element.
  3. Causation: the defendant’s actions, his inability to observe the duty of care caused the accident and harmed the plaintiff.
  4. Damages: the injuries and damages are clearly suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.
In a frivolous lawsuit, these elements are just as important as in a regular case in which the plaintiff suffered to a great degree. It is important to be able to present your case in such a manner that will help you highlight the exact damages, albeit small, suffered as a direct result of someone else’s negligence. Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can help you if you were involved in a minor vehicle accident while driving your bike in Los Angeles or in another area in California. Likewise, our team will also assist in building your case if you were injured in another type of accident.

Compensations in case of frivolous lawsuits

In case of most frivolous lawsuits the victim will not settle for a large amount and may not obtain damages for pain and suffering. These are indeed awarded in many cases, however, for this to be possible, the victim would need to prove that he or she has suffered emotionally after the accident, which, in most frivolous lawsuits like those that imply small defective product cases, will be overlooked and will not have a solid base. 
When deciding to seek compensations for an accident, be it a serious or a frivolous one, the plaintiff can use a damage calculator to find out an estimate of the compensation amount. Our lawyers highlight the main types of damages often listed by this type of online tool:
  • medical bills: the costs of the medical treatment immediately after the accident and in the future, when applicable.
  • lost wages: the income list by the plaintiff as a result of not being able to work after the accident.
  • future lost wages: like in the case of medical bills, the calculator also has a category for future lost income.
  • property damage: assets, items, property lost or damages in the accident; these can all be compensated for.
Please remember that a damage calculator only offers an estimate of the settlement amount and victims who wish to obtain compensations for frivolous lawsuits will not be able to include all of the damages. In most cases, their case will not include the compensations for lost wages or a large amount for the medical bills. However, they may be able to obtain the monetary value of the property or assets lost in the accident. Likewise, it is unlikely that future medical costs are to be awarded in such a case, as the injuries are not debilitating or long-lasting. 

What to keep in mind about frivolous lawsuits

Most personal injury cases, including those that are not considered frivolous, will settle before going to trial. It is in the best interest of both parties to negotiate and settle on an amount that will satisfy the plaintiff rather than having to go to court. However, in frivolous lawsuit cases, the insurance company may not wish to settle. This approach has to do with the company’s credibility and the fact that their policies to not permit the automatic settlement for each and every case, thus encouraging more individuals to open cases against them. The role of a lawyer in a frivolous lawsuit is to determine whether or not the case has merit and if the victim can have the chance to obtain compensation. A lawyer can also help when attempting to make a claim against a state agency.
A damage calculator can be a useful tool for those victims who wish to pursue a frivolous lawsuit. Irrespective of the severity of the damages, victims have the right to claim compensations as well as prove that the negligence of another party (when and if applicable) has affected them in a direct manner.
The statistics below are relevant to the situation of frivolous lawsuits in the USA:
  • 40 million: this is the estimated number of lawsuits that are filed every year in the United States.
  • 640,000 $: the value of the damages awarded to Stella Liebeck, the victim in the McDonald’s Coffee Case.
  • 12,000 $: the sanction rules by the judge against the plaintiff (Roy L. Pearson) in the Dry Cleaners Case; Pearson was sanctioned for creating unnecessary litigation. 
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help you if you are a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit initiated against you. Likewise, one of our experts can also help you if you are the plaintiff and have been injured in any type of accident.