Do I Really Need An Attorney?
Yes, all insurance companies have an attorney. The primary goal of their attorney is to make sure you get paid as little as possible. If you are going to get everything you deserve, don’t make the mistake of thinking their attorney will help you get what you deserve. Only an attorney that represents you can do that .
What Good Can Attorney’s Do Besides Get Me Money?
Do you remember the Firestone 500 radial tire?
The Firestone 500 radial is the reason that radial tires are kept on the same side of the car when they are rotated today. Most tire manufacturers tell you the tires you buy today don’t have the same problem. The Firestone 500 came out in 1971, and in 1973 engineers had already figured out the problem with the tire. Firestone however continue to sell over 24 million defective tires publicly insisting that there were no defects, while an internal document noted that over 10% of the tires were separating at high-speed. By 1978 Firestone was forced to admit that there were 250 lawsuits due to injuries from tire separation, eventually the company recalled the tires.
How about the Ford Pinto with the exploding gas tank?
Gas tanks today are much safer than they were in 1972. The case of the Pinto gas tank was pivotal because it forced the company to publicly disclose that they put a value on safety. The lawyers were able to find documents at Ford, proving that Ford knew the gas tank was a problem, and could have fixed it for as little as $11 per car. Ford instead decided it was better to sell the car as is and let the injuries occur.
Ford was not alone in the gas tank debacle the 70s. General Motors had a similar problem with sidesaddle gas tanks in the Chevy Malibu. Internal documents that General Motors put the cost of updating the tank at $8.40 per car, and the cost of 500 fatal accidents at only $2.40 per car. This analysis led GM to continue with the “sidesaddle” gas tank until the Ford case was settled. When the Ford case settled GM realized that meeting the minimum government standards would not be enough, and they revisited their financial analysis.
Have you ever read the little fire retardant label on your car seats? It was only through the aggressive work of attorneys that a change was made requiring fire retardant materials. It was also during the 1960s that roof strength became an issue because of the rising number of rollover deaths. The list of issues which have been corrected due to litigation, rather than the Corporation’s desire to do the right thing is extensive.
Even today, without attorneys, the NHTSA wouldn’t be looking at Toyota and the acceleration problems or Cooper with the electric steering failures. What would you rather have, an attorney on your side when your power steering fails for no reason, or your car just keeps going faster for no reason? Yes it is true that a proffesional driver can stop a Toyota that is accelerating out of control so does that mean that Toyota doesn’t have to fix it?
Without any of these cases, one has to really wonder what kind of cars would you be driving today.