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The Country Lawyer and the Blame Game

It wasn't me

I am a trial lawyer. My cases involve unfortuanate tragedies where a loved one has been maimed or even killed by another person. Usually, it is not difficult to figure out what happened. Someone was drunk and driving or fell asleep and crossed the road or was texting and not paying attention.

It is hard to believe, however, that very seldom will anyone accept responsibility. I am sure that the insurance company and their lawyers make this clear: don’t talk to anyone!

I doubt, though, that most people realize how horrible it is to lose someone in an “accident” and no one ever steps forward to express remorse, much less accept responsibility.

People show up on my doorstep most reluctantly. The family is in dire straits. No income and mounting medical bills. They don’t have a choice. I have become adept at obtaining compensation for them but I can’t get them what they most want which is a simple apology and an acknowledgement of responsibility. The settlement agreement will call it “settlement of a doubtful and disputed claim.” Often times the claim is settled for a confidential amount. This concludes the case but I have seen many clients walk out the door disappointed in the process.

Vindication can sometimes be had at trial but this is a high price to pay for resolution of something that cries out for a little common decency. Even worse, the client finds themselves on trial as good lawyers pour over every aspect of their lives and their relationships.

Isn’t this part of what’s wrong with our country? No one wants to accept responsibility. Point the finger and change the subject.

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