Once attorneys had the right to advertise, thanks in part to law firm, Jacoby & Meyers, who successfully won the trial that disbanded advertising regulations, personal injury law firms all over the country started to take advantage. But the landscape would change quite dramatically. With the introduction of new technology such as the internet and social media, the way in which law firms sought to retain clients somersaulted. In addition, more lawsuits came into play for much smaller incidents. This would again give attorneys their old reputation as selfish and suspicious.
The “frivolous lawsuit” became a common type of charge by the end of the 20th century. Cases like one from New Mexico where a woman won three million dollars from McDonald’s for spilling hot coffee all over herself, became a subject of laughingstock for the media. The public opinion for a lawyer in personal injury started to switch from a defender of the working man to one seeking to make the biggest buck out of anyone who had an injury, no matter how minor or severe.
The frivolous lawsuits would eventually settle down but the number of personal injury cases coming did not. The newest object of injury in the 1990’s became negligent cases involving imported children’s toys that contained lead and many products from China. China’s new “Chinese Socialism” capitalist strategy meant little to no product regulation while producing by the millions of billions.
Nevertheless, industries like the insurance companies fought back against hefty lawsuits. Attempting to get governments on board, they claimed that many personal injury lawsuits cost taxpayers and insurance consumers thousands of dollars in the long run. They failed to mention, however, that it was the insurance companies themselves that raised insurance prices. Whether it was because of large lawsuits or whether they wanted to make a bigger buck themselves is left to interpretation.