Whether you are currently involved in the legal system or not the courts have a huge impact on your life.
Here you’ll find news from lawyers, the courts and the legislatures.
Until you are involved in the legal system it’s easy to think it doesn’t really matter. Consider the ways the legal system impacts every aspect of your life.
The Court System Impacts You
It is estimated that at least 25% of all the people in the United States will be sued before they leave this planet. Perhaps you’ll have a car accident. These often involve lawsuits. Perhaps you’ll get into a dispute with an adjoining landowner or even more likely with a contractor or sub-contractor who does work on your house. Unfortunately you may need to hire a divorce lawyer when your marriage fails.
In each of these instances you’ll be a litigant, either the plaintiff (the person that files the suit) or as a defendant (the person who has been sued). The way the court system treats you is important. It’s important not just to the result, but also to the way you view this idea of “justice.” Almost every person who gets sued believes that they have been wronged by the mere filing of the lawsuit. For many, that is just the beginning of what many believe is a horrible system.
Sometimes the end result takes second place to the experience itself. Here is a place where your choice of a lawyer to be your advocate really matters. One of the first things to do once you’ve hired an attorney is to ask her to tell you what to expect. Here’s where your lawyer can be worth her weight in gold. If you know on the front end what to expect you can be sure that how you feel during the case and afterward will be much more positive.
However, you may not be one of the 25% who sue or are sued. So how is the other 75% impacted?
Remember that court decisions materially affect the way businesses conduct their affairs. It’s often said that doctors practice “defensive medicine” because of fear that they will be sued if a mistake is made. You might be surprised to find out that in most states it is very difficult to successfully pursue a case for medical malpractice (doctor mistakes). This is really one of very few claims that have to go through some sort of review process before a lawsuit can be filed. Regardless how you feel about that you can easily see how your medical care is impacted by the legal system.
Unfortunately you may become a victim of a crime. If you live in a metropolitan area your chances increase exponentially. Even though in recent years there has been a significant push for “victim protection” in the court system, many will tell you that as a victim you have fewer rights than the criminal. I’m not suggested that is the case, I’m just saying many victims feel this way.
One thing that is constant in criminal cases is delay. Of course defendants (those charged with the crime) usually want to delay the trial as long as possible. Lawyers, as a general principle, believe that delay works in their favor when they are defending criminal defendants. As time passes memories fade. Often the passage of time makes victims less passionate (and often less willing) about testifying. As you can see, this would normally work in favor of the criminal defendant.
If you happen to be the victim, you’ll likely hate the delays that are inherent in the legal system. Just recognize that there is little you can do about it.
As you can see, the legal system impacts many areas of your life. This is just part of living.