Products that cause injury are a fact of life in the United States, and the legal system in California and other states allows those injured to seek compensation, within some limits. For example, the California statute of limitations generally lets you sue only within a two-year time frame.
However, not everyone who has been affected by a product injury sues. Here is a look at some reasons why.
Fear of shame
America has a reputation for being a litigious society. Sometimes, people label a victim who sues with a hurtful and untrue term such as "gold digger" or "fraud." You may worry that someone may claim you are faking or exaggerating your injuries. To be sure, some people sue when they should not, but generally, most victims have sound and legitimate reasons for doing so.
It is natural that this type of fear might cause you to hesitate before filing a lawsuit. Just remember that only you know the true extent of your injuries and how they affect your daily functioning or that of your small children or loved ones. Only you, not these other people, are saddled with mounting medical bills and emotional struggle.
Belief that the injury is not too bad
Another reason people do not sue is the belief that their injury is relatively minor and that their insurance can largely or entirely cover it. Why go through the "hassle" of a lawsuit if you can take care of expenses yourself? What happens all too frequently, though, is that an injury gets worse and/or begins to affect your life in ways you did not anticipate. By the time you are at the point of realizing the extent of your injury, the statute of limitations may have passed.
Misconceptions about cost
A third reason is misconceptions about cost. Many people think that in order to sue someone, you must shell out a lot of money for a lawyer and end up practically broke. The reality is that quite a few attorneys work on a contingency basis. They get money only if you win.