I speak with business owners and private clients every day, and I often give them an analysis of the likelihood they will be sued and how to protect themselves. After my analysis, I usually conclude that they will most likely never be sued.
Nevertheless, the greatest exposure someone has to be sued is because of a divorce or an automobile accident. Hopefully, you have enough auto insurance to cover you in case you cause an accident. (As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, get as much insurance as you can). Even if you caused a wreck, unless you acted completely reckless, like driving drunk, your insurance company will probably pay the claim without you knowing about it.
The media has driven fear into the public that a lawsuit is around every corner and that frivolous lawsuits are rampant. This type of reporting has one purpose in mind: to sell ads. Are frivolous lawsuits filed? Yes. Are most of them thrown out of court? Yes. In South Carolina we have a law called the Frivolous Civil Proceedings Act to protect citizens from frivolous lawsuits, so please stop worrying about being sued. I can’t begin to tell you how many Homeowner Associations, businesses, and individuals that I have represented who because of a fear of being sued have done away with “get-togethers”, fairs, and other events. I even had one family not want to have their son’s sports team over for a gathering because they were afraid someone would fall in their home and sue them. The laws in South Carolina concerning injuries on someone’s property are very pro-property or a business owner. Unless you know of a hazardous condition on your property and do not fix it, you are pretty safe from being sued. Next week I’ll share with you the factors I use in analyzing someone’s lawsuit potential.