An iconic quote from the movie Jerry McGuire shows Cuba’s Gooding Jr.’s character yelling, “Show me the money!” We’ve heard songs throughout the years, quotes, and hearing how “money makes the world go ‘round.’” But most people don’t willfully suffer injuries for a payday. There is so much more than just getting paid. The pain and suffering, recovery, physical and mental limitations, the hassle of dealing with lawyers, insurance companies, and going to court. As a car accident attorney, I’ve heard that not only my clients are concerned about money, but lawyers are too. The short answer is yes, but it comes with a big caveat as to why.
When you file a lawsuit, you ask the court for a “remedy.” A remedy is defined as “the means by which the violation of a right is prevented, redressed, or compensated.” In laymen’s terms this means: something is prevented (injunction); ask the court to force an act, usually a contract (specific performance); or monetary compensation for damage or injury (money).
In the car accident context, the first two will probably not apply. There is no reason to ask the court to stop something from happening because the act already happened. An example of an injunction might be to prevent demolishing a building. Similarly, asking the court to enforce something doesn’t really apply here either. Specific performance is usually reserved for contracts or real estate where monetary compensation wouldn’t apply. Thus, the only remedy that is typically available to injury victims is monetary compensation.
Many injury victims, especially those in medical malpractice cases, just want an apology or be able to prevent others from experiencing the same thing. We regularly see victims of drunk driving accidents want charges filed. But that is in the criminal court. As car accident attorneys, we are not prosecutors. Our only available remedy to our clients is monetary compensation. Similarly, if a corporation violates a law and someone is injured, the law isn’t changed through their individual civil case. The individual’s case could be used as an example of why it needs to be changed, but it needs to be changed through the legislature.
Unfortunately, many lawyers don’t explain this to their clients and it can ultimately have a negative impact on their relationship with a client. I live by a saying that was told to me by a very smart individual: we seek compensation for the consequences of someone else’s negligence. These consequences can be great and far reaching. And they shouldn’t be the burden of the victim to bear. But most often, the remedy for that is monetary compensation. This is most likely the reason you will hear lawyers talk about money. Because that is what the court system prescribes to compensate those who are injured.
My name is Daniel Hanecak and I am a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer. I know from personal experience how stressful and time consuming a car accident can be. When you call Hanecak Law Inc., you will speak with me directly. It is my aim to provide you with free and friendly advice. Call me today at (858) 206-4DAN for a free case evaluation.