I view South Carolina's personal injury attorneys as the last line of defense between danger and the community. You may be questioning why I would make this statement. Is this a lawyer trick? Am I so self-absorbed that I think of myself and my attorney brethren as superheroes? Or do I take this position because time after time, I've met with families who were harmed by rulebreakers and mistreated by insurance companies?
Most people think lawyers like me are bad for business: that we drive up the price of consumer goods, force companies to relocate, and file frivolous suits against well meaning doctors. Would you be surprised to know that most anti-lawyer campaigns are led by large insurance and multi-national corporations? Why would they want to trash a small business person like me? Simple, we force them to put public safety ahead of their own profits.
When dangerous car seats, toxic chemicals in the groundwater, or unfit doctors make their way into our neighborhoods, families are put at risk. Many times, a manufacturer will recognize the harm that could be caused by its defective product and attempt to cure it with a small, barely-visible warning. Likewise, a hospital group may be aware of failed attempts to get board certified, yet still choose to hire a surgeon in the name of cost-cutting.
When families are harmed due to a corporation's choice to put money ahead of safety, they can rarely count on an insurance company to make things right. Thus, they often seek the last line of defense: a personal injury attorney - not necessarily someone you've heard of before (a very, very small percentage of us advertise on TV), but certainly someone who is dedicated to keeping our communities a little healthier and safer by holding rulebreakers accountable for the harm they cause.
Imagine a world without safety laws or lawyers to enforce them. I chose this profession because I wanted to protect people. I am proud of the work I do, the rules I help enforce, and the harm we prevent across South Carolina by taking dangerous individuals and companies to task for putting their own interests ahead of public safety. The next time you hear someone call someone like me an "ambulance chaser," ask what put the victim in the ambulance and who is going to help them when the insurance company throws up a brick wall.