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The Civil Justice System: Fairness for Brain Injury Victims

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers are proud to work within the civil justice system in our area to help those who have been hurt in a wide range of ways by the misconduct of others. Traumatic brain injuries occur in many ways which should have been prevented had others acted reasonably. Car drivers fail to follow basic road safety rules and get in accidents that hurt others. Property owners fail to keep their premises safe, leading others to unsuspectingly fall and suffer serious injury. Medical care providers often make egregious errors that severely harm the patients who were relying on them.

In each of these cases, those hurt (or their families if an individual is killed) are constitutionally able to seek redress for the loss and hold the wrongdoer accountable. This is true no matter how big or powerful the defendant might be. The biggest companies are not immune from having individual citizens force them to account for consequences of their actions. You can be sure that those companies would pay little heed to individual complaints if the law were any different.

Therefore it is probably no surprise that those big interests are fronting many efforts to change the civil justice system to take away rights from everyday consumers. That was the message in a new article published in the State Journal-Register by Jerry Latherow, the President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Attorney Latherow explains how the need to have accountability mechanisms is re-affirmed every day as “headlines are dominated with examples of corporations letting profits trump basic consumer protections: massive car recalls, food recalls, serious safety issues with prescription and over-the-counter drugs and financial institutions in trouble.”

Each Illinois brain injury lawyers at our firm appreciates that those trying to change the civil justice system often argue that fixing these issues should fall on federal regulatory agencies. However, that has zero effects on those actually hurt by the misconduct. Beyond that, history has revealed repeatedly that public regulatory agencies are woefully understaffed and underfunded. They simply cannot ensure that most major industries act appropriately all of the time.

That is why it falls on private citizens and the civil justice to ensure that the drive for profits by big corporations does not lead to undue harm to others. Unfortunately, because of the very nature of the business world, without outside checks, the entities often skew dangerously toward maximization of profits, even when it hurts consumers. When there is no accountability for the harm caused, then those industries will undoubtedly continue to act in whatever ways bring the most profits, with more and more innocent consumers hurt in the process.

The civil justice system acts at that check. Contrary to some misleading arguments made by those trying to pass tort reform laws, there is not an epidemic of lawsuits filed by private citizens against businesses. In reality the vast majority of suits are businesses suing one another. Far from the picture painted by some, lawsuits are not filed at random without merit. Instead, the system is simply a vital tool that helps those hurt and ensures other harms are prevented.

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