But aren’t people running to court all the time and filing frivolous lawsuits in hopes of winning a “jackpot”?

No. Contrary to popular myth, few injured Americans file lawsuits. The latest Rand Institute for Civil Justice analysis of how many injured people file lawsuits found that only 10 percent of injured Americans even file a claim for compensation, which includes informal demands and insurance claims. Only two percent file lawsuits. Medical malpractice cases are even more expensive and difficult to pursue. Even Victor Schwartz of the American Tort Reform Association has said, “It is ‘rare or unusual’ for a plaintiff lawyer to bring a frivolous malpractice suit because they are too expensive to bring.” (Mark A. Hofmann, “White House open to medical liability changes,” Business Insurance, January 30, 2011.) From 1999 to 2008, while there was a 63 percent increase in contract litigation (businesses suing consumers or other businesses), tort filings fell by 25 percent, according to the National Center for State Courts. NCSC said among the reasons for this decrease are, “Preemptive clauses for binding arbitration in consumer and commercial contracts divert claims away from state courts, but other factors including federal preemption of certain types of cases, international treaties, and legislative requirements that litigants exhaust administrative remedies in state or federal agencies before seeking court review have also proliferated in recent years.”

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