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The Merits of the Civil Justice System

Last week the State-Journal Register published a letter which re-emphasizes the role that the civil courts play and how they work to protect citizens across our state. Written by the President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Jerry Latherow, the article explains how those hurt by negligence, recklessness, and intentional misconduct depend on the basic system each and every day. Each Illinois medical malpractice lawyer at our firm is proud to help local residents navigate that civil justice system to ensure there is accountability and redress after errors or accidents.

The article explains how many corporations, health-care providers, and insurance companies are motivated by profits instead of considerations of safety or service. As a result, those entities often try to skirt all responsibility unless forced to do otherwise. Unfortunately, state and federal regulatory agencies lack the oversight resources and mechanisms to ensure the consequences of these entities are held in check. That is where the civil justice system comes in-leveling the playing field for all community members.

Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys know that those very entities held in check by the system often work to undermine is efficacy. As a result, despite the critical role played by the system, many community members do not understand exactly what the civil justice system provides or the consequences of weakening that system. It is important that none of us take the benefits of the system for granted.

Under the civil law, all individual Americans have the right to hold those who harm them responsible for that harm. This right exists whether the other party is a friend, neighbor, stranger, or even large corporation. This accountability tool ensures that those hurt can recover as much as possible as a result of the harm. In addition, it acts as an important deterrent-particular for big businesses-to enact safety protocols that prevent harm before they occur.

This seems like a basic principle and system that all should respect. But the biggest corporations, like big tobacco, pharmaceutical companies, big oil, and insurance companies, try to undermine the system. The civil justice system is often demonized by these companies and their front groups. Local community members have likely heard this message, seemingly blaming the civil justice system for virtually all problems in society at one point or another.

Our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys firmly believe that it is imperative to stand up to the misleading efforts to weaken the civil justice system. As Latherow explains, “Without it, these powerful corporations would have free reign to make and break the rules.”

At the end of the day, the truth is there is no “problem” with the civil justice system in Illinois that needs any fixing. All proposed “fixes” are nothing more than attempts to change the system to slant more heavily toward big interests and away from regular community members. Literally no credible evidence exists which connects the civil justice system to the health of our economy or healthcare system as a whole. Those who suggest otherwise are misleading the public and working to make the legal system a bit less fair and our community a bit less safe.

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