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5 Myths About Personal Injury Lawsuits

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By Richard J. Lehmann – New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyer

MYTH #1: Courts are clogged with too many personal injury lawsuits.

FACT: Personal injury lawsuits have been on the decline for decades. According to the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), tort cases declined by 25 percent between 1999 and 2008. (National Center for State Courts)

MYTH #2: Winning a lawsuit is like winning the lottery.

FACT: Most lawsuits result in relatively small verdicts. According to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the median award is just $31,000 and award sizes have actually decreased over the years. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

MYTH #3: Corporations are hit with excessive punitive damage awards.

FACT: According to the BJS, punitive damages were sought in just five percent of all tort trials where plaintiffs won. In New Hampshire, punitive damages are not allowed.

MYTH #4: There is an increase in medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors.

FACT: The number of malpractice payments to have dropped over the last 10 years. According to the NCSC, medical malpractice cases represent well under 2 percent of all civil cases. (National Practitioner Data Bank; National Center for State Courts)

MYTH #5: Most medical malpractice cases are frivolous.

FACT: Medical malpractice cases tend to involve severe injuries. For instance, medical malpractice cases involve the death of the patient. Researchers have found few claims that were without merit. Most negligence claims were meritorious, with 97 percent of claims involving medical injury and 80 percent involving physical injuries resulting in major disability or death. Because these cases are very expensive to bring, it is hard to find medical malpractice cases that are without merit. (National Center for State Courts; New England Journal of Medicine; Los Angeles Times)

If you have suffered a personal injury, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer such as one of the attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. Call us at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.