Personal Injury Law
Community safety is one of the cornerstones of a vibrant and healthy public. Thus, community safety initiatives should always be welcome. Nevertheless, collective action problems often prevent any one individual from taking initiative and leadership in the community safety sphere, as it is a public good. Therefore, community safety initiatives often get lost in the large and bureaucratic nature of our government. However, personal injury lawyers are able to directly fight this problem and be leaders in community safety initiatives. Personal injury attorneys are able to be leaders in community safety initiatives because they hold governments, citizens, and businesses accountable, which puts pressure on these individuals to create positive changes throughout communities.
Personal injury lawyers affect governmental action by creating awareness of safety concerns, which allows them to be leaders for legislative change. By choosing what cases to take on, personal injury lawyers can bring attention to niche and specific issues that might otherwise be overlooked. In Charla Nash v. Sandra Herold (2010), Charla Nash was severely injured by a privately owned chimpanzee. When a personal injury lawyer took on the case, it quickly drew national attention as it went through the courts due to its shocking and horrific nature (Cleary, 2012). This national attention put pressure on the Connecticut government to ban citizens from owning their own exotic animals. After national pressure, Connecticut law was then changed to include chimpanzees along with other animals in the list of prohibited animals that private citizens could own. This is an excellent example of the ways in which private injury lawyers are leaders in community safety initiatives. They are able to engage community members on multiple levels to raise awareness for areas where change is needed. Personal injury lawyers have a platform that the average citizen does not have access to; thus, they are able to communicate problems to a wider audience. This increased awareness and understanding of issues allows all citizens to be more educated and informed. In turn, more educated citizens and lawyers alike are able to pressure governments and legislators to create solutions to problems. Therefore, personal injury lawyers are leaders in community safety initiatives because they are able to awaken the consciousness of legislators through their work.
By holding at-fault parties accountable, personal injury lawyers protect private citizens and enhance community safety by demonstrating there are punishments for reckless behavior. Personal injury lawyers are able to advocate for their clients and correct wrongdoing in ways that private citizens and governments often fail to do. They demonstrate immense leadership by advocating for clients in what can be the most vulnerable moments of their lives. Further, they enhance community safety by showing that at-fault parties will be held accountable. In a study published by the National Institute of Justice, Peter Finn and Maria Hylton found that civil remedies can be more effective in preventing crime than criminal penalties in certain cases. Due to the nature of their work, personal injury lawyers are often at the forefront of deterring crime in their communities. By bringing civil cases to court, they demonstrate that there are consequences to poor decisions and work as deterrents to further crime and reckless behavior in their communities. Therefore, they are leaders in enhancing community safety and making their communities better places to live.
Personal injury lawyers are leaders in community safety by holding businesses accountable for upholding and improving upon safety standards and regulations. Through their practice, personal injury lawyers are able to bring safety violations to the surface. In Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company (1981), a Ford Pinto car exploded into flames after being rear-ended, which resulted in the death of Lilly Gray and severe injury to Richard Grimshaw. As a result of this lawsuit and others similar, Ford recalled all Pintos (The Ford Pinto). The personal injury lawyer who took on this case demonstrates just how personal injury attorneys are able to lead in community safety initiatives. Due to the massive financial and publicity consequences this lawyer brought to Ford Motor Company, countless lives were saved when the Pinto was taken off the road. Personal injury lawyers pressure companies in ways the average citizen can not and in ways the government often fails to do. Personal injury lawyers can create legal and financial consequences for companies that are behaving poorly and recklessly. Additionally, they can oftentimes settle on punishments, reciprocity, and change faster than governmental agencies due to its bureaucratic nature. Across the board, personal injury lawyers are able to hold private companies accountable to safety standards. Their dedication and determination to this demonstrates their leadership in this area, where so often others fail
Personal injury lawyers are leaders in community safety because they hold the government, private citizens, and businesses accountable. Their work helps to bring positive legislative change at any level of government and addresses problems that the government can miss. They deter crime by showing that private citizens will be held accountable for their reckless behavior. Finally, private injury lawyers help to punish businesses and create safer rules and regulations they must follow. Personal injury lawyers are advocates in the truest sense of the word. They advocate for a better and safer place for everyone to live. Overall, our communities are safer thanks to the leadership of personal injury lawyers.
Cleary, Tom. “$4 Million Settlement in Chimp Attack Lawsuit – CTPost.” $4 million settlement in chimp attack lawsuit, November 29, 2012. https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/4-million-settlement-in-chimp-attack-lawsuit-4077398.php CT Gen Stat § 26-40a (2018).
Finn, Peter, and Maria O Hylton. “Using Civil Remedies for Criminal Behavior Rationale, Case Studies, and Constitutional Issues .” National Institute of Justice., October 1994.
Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Co., 119 Cal.App.3d 757, 174 Cal. Rptr. 348 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981)
Nash v. Herold, 2010 Ct. Sup. 10606 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2010)
“The Ford Pinto.” The American Museum of Tort Law, March 22, 2023. https://www.tortmuseum.org/ford-pinto/.