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449: Lawsuit

Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit?


Full episode script

In a June 2005 article of Caseload Highlights, the authors took a look at the trends when it came to civil court cases — and discovered that 1992 had been the peak of civil lawsuits, with over 3.2 million cases in just that year.

The number has continued to go up and down, but frankly I had a very difficult time finding specific statistics on how many people are likely to be sued. Even my old friends at five thirty-eight don’t seem to have a great set of stats on the likelihood any specific individual being faced with a lawsuit.

In some ways, it makes sense — there are so very many factors that play into the likelihood of being sued that an overall likelihood may be difficult to figure. At one point, an umbrella insurance company provider gave a calculator, but it has since disappeared off the internet. A 2012 Forbes article about the calculator reports that some of the factors that increased your risk of being sued include:

Swimming pools, teenage drivers, dogs, How many times a year you throw big parties at home, rental properties, or driving a sports car.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that:

Some of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits involve legal issues stemming from automobile accidents, physician or surgeon medical malpractice, faulty products (e.g., asbestos, tobacco), and slip and fall cases.

The US is also a country where the legal fees are often not included by default in decisions, no matter what direction they go – and some argue that this particular quirk is one that encourages more lawsuits.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.