There’s a rumor going around that attorneys don’t have the best reputation when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. Something about us chasing ambulances with dollar signs flashing in our eyes. And to that, our honored reader, we must respectfully object.
Unless an A-list celebrity hits you with their car.
Then we’re running after that ambulance like a tween girl chasing Bieber after the last concert of his farewell tour. In fact, there are a couple ambulances in particular we really regret not catching.
Dream case #1: The Queen of Comebacks runs over someone’s foot
In 2007, a TMZ photographer was doing his best to exploit a low point in Britney Spears’ life: the day her visitation rights for her children were suspended.
(Side note: we also do child custody cases and we could’ve prevented that suspension)
Nonetheless, there the pop princess was, heartbroken over the temporary loss of her children, with her foot on the accelerator and an inconsiderate idiot with a camera in her crosshairs. So, she did what any reasonable diva would do, she ran over his foot.
Yes, foot singular. But we’ll never know how well that acrobatic feat could have been argued in court; the $230,000 lawsuit was settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum.
What we do know is that the photographer’s Goodyear®-imprinted sock/sandal combo went for $1,000+ at auction. Which, in itself is at least two more crimes.
Fantasy case pick #2: Flakes always settle out of court
Around the office we refer to Lindsay Lohan as the Tow-Truck Diva. She’s been sued more times than her name has graced the silver screen, and most of the cases resulted from hitting people (and innocent freeway medians) with a seemingly endless supply of luxury cars.
If we had to pick just one case, it would definitely be from 2010, wherein Lohan allegedly ordered her assistant to drive...through a member of the paparazzi.
An order which the assistant reluctantly, we hope, kind of...took to heart.
When the lawsuit went to trial, Lohan played hooky, and might as well have slammed the gavel "case closed" herself. As we’ve reminded clients time and time again, judges don’t look kindly on unexcused absences, and in the Tow-Truck Diva’s case it resulted in a $1,000 fine.
Even Lohan’s own attorney filed paperwork to formally complain about her flakiness, cementing this case’s ranking as one of the easiest personal injury lawsuits since Injurus sued Liabilitus for running him over with his chariot in Ancient Rome.
(Dis)honorable mention: celebrities we don’t want to sue, and clients we don’t want to represent
Keanu Reeves has been dealt quite a few bum hands over the years. Between the devastating events in his personal life, and his impassioned work in the criminally underappreciated Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Keanu’s off limits in our book.
But that didn’t stop a paparazzo named Mr. Alison Silva from claiming the actor injured him while he was surreptitiously taking pictures of Keanu visiting his sick sister at a medical facility in 2007.
Unfortunately, a team of ambulance chasers with just a few scruples less than us helped Alison attempt to sue Keanu to the tune of $711,974 for “past and future lost earnings” (a patented Buckingham, LaGrandeur & Williams move by the way*).
After a year-and-a-half of legal proceedings, the jury came to a decision in just over an hour: Reeves didn’t owe a dime. Why? Because several experts, even Silva’s own doctor, testified that the injuries predated the event.
And that, dear reader, is what separates an ambulance chaser from a personal injury attorney. The former practices law based on little more than a cursory read of Personal Injury Lawsuits for Dummies, and the latter ensures bad actors (pun intended) pay for bad behavior.
- Placing one of your extremities underneath a wealthy celebrity’s tire might put you ahead a grand or two after medical expenses -- assuming you’ve got evidentiary apparel to hawk to a rabid fan.
- Suing woefully unreliable celebrities ups your chances of a fat, out-of-court settlement by at least 102%.
- Don’t ever, ever, smear Keanu.
Although we’d love to go after some of that celebrity cash, it’s not like all-star attorneys can always go up against heavy-hitters. Give us a call with your personal injury case against Joe Blow, because even the Huskies have to stoop to whooping the Cougars every once and awhile.
*UPDATE: We’re legally obligated to clarify that, no, we have not patented this legal maneuver.