Lawyer as Negative Feedback Loop and The Fair Share Act

NeuwirthLawAuto Accidents, Case Matters, For Lawyers, Insurance, Sue The City

I view myself as a professional vengeance machine. The penance or vengeance I get is in money terms and never quite the revenge people wanted and rarely ever complete, but it is a form of retribution. What do I mean? If someone crashes their car into you and hurts you or your family or just simply postpones maintenance until someone is hurt, you are going to find me or another lawyer eventually. I then get to act for you and get some measure of revenge for the other person being negligent. Retribution. So, the car driver or landowner, or their insurer gets a sharp stick in the eye and you as the offending driver or landowner see your insurance rates go up etc. That is the negative feedback. If you don’t like bullies or smug corporate fat cats, this is a great profession. I can pretty much drag in anyone who screwed up and make them look like a fool. It’s my special gift or superpower.  If you are sitting across the table from me, odds are that someone was badly hurt and the only question is why you failed them.

However, there is often a hitch in the feedback loop. There are cases I simply cannot take because they make no sense businesswise. I have to avoid these like the plague, no matter how attractive they are for the avenging angel side of my personality.

I am in the middle of one such case that I took. I may regret it from a business perspective, but I could not look away. My client died at a large intersection in Northeast Philly in a car accident. He was driving 82mph, by all accounts. A pickup truck driver turned left in front of him causing the crash. Usually, the driver making the left turn is at fault nine times out of ten. Here, the speed is certainly a mitigating issue. But, eventually, the City disclosed that there had been 425 accidents, many with injury at that location. 425 is a very big number. Were there plans to fix that intersection? No. Will that be the focus of the case? In the words of famous wordsmith Sarah Palin, you betcha. Will some blame go onto my deceased client? You betcha.

In Pennsylvania, we have a law called the fair share act that seeks to apportion blame or liability and hence compensation based upon the amount of fault in the incident.  This will be a classic case about the application of the Fair Share Act. If you have questions about this or other cases like it, let me know.