Lawsuits have become big business, especially since the economic downturn. They’re a cheap way for people to make lots of money, often with an investment of just a few hours’ time. Consider -- the plaintiff may never even have to prove a thing; the prospect of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills can scare a defendant into opting for a settlement without ever putting up a fight. Even if he did nothing wrong.
More than 100 million lawsuits are filed each year; one in three people will be sued in the next 12 months. No one’s immune, but people with a lot of assets showing are especially vulnerable. If someone thinks you’ve got a lot to lose – and thus, they’ve got a lot to gain – you become a choice target. People who are less affluent are vulnerable in a different way: If a person with $100,000 in assets gets sued for $1 million, they’ll be wiped out, whereas the person with $5 million can survive a $1 million lawsuit.