Accountability v. Responsibility


In a recent blog post, Seth Godin wrote: “Accountability is done to you by the industrial system, by those that want to create blame.  Responsibility is done by you. It’s voluntary. You can take as much of it as you want.”   Seth Godin is a marketing guru and I enjoy his blog.  As it relates to the legal field and the work of the lawyers at the Law Offices of John Day, I would change this post slightly:   Accountability is done to you; when you do not take responsibility.  Here is why I say that.

Every day individuals and corporations make decisions that cause harm.  For the individual, it could be a decision to send a text while driving or to enjoy too many drinks while operating a boat.  Or it could be a failure to properly control a dog or a failure to properly secure a load on a truck.  For the corporation, the decision that causes harm might be to rush a product to market without proper safety evaluations or the failure to recall a product after reports of injury.  For the most part, neither the individual nor the corporation intentionally tried to harm someone. (Although on rare occasions, harm was intended and that is covered here).  Instead, the individual or corporation made a decision they knew or should have known was dangerous — a decision that posed an unreasonable risk of injury.  The individual or corporation was essentially gambling.  Unfortunately, the person who truly lost was the injury victim.  Once the injury occurs, the injury victim and the wrongdoer meet at the crossroad of accountability and responsibility.

At this crossroad, the wrongdoer will hopefully take responsibility for the action that caused harm and do what is necessary to appropriately compensate the victim or the victim’s family.  Sometimes, the wrongdoer does not have complete control over this decision as it could be in the hands of an insurance company but regardless of whether it is the individual or the insurance company, the act of taking proper responsibility negates the need for accountability.  Unfortunately though, all too often, responsibility is not taken or full responsibility is not taken.  The wrongdoer will usually try to avoid responsibility by arguing (1) they did nothing wrong or (2) other people including the injury victim did something wrong too or (3) the injury victim was not hurt that bad.  And, when that happens, the injury victim or the injury victim’s family has the right to insist on accountability via the legal process.

At the Law Offices of John Day, our award-winning lawyers help injury victims seek accountability every single day.  Sometimes, the accountability is in the form of proving an individual or corporation did something wrong.  In other cases, the accountability is ensuring the injury victim is made whole via a full settlement or appropriate jury verdict.  For the most part, accountability in the form of lawyers and litigation would not be necessary if responsibility were properly taken.

If you or a loved one needs to hold a wrongdoer accountable, we are here to help.  We offer a free initial consultation so that we can discuss your case with you.  We will let you know if we think we can help and you can decide if you want to hire us.  If both of those questions are answered in the affirmative, we handle all accident cases on a contingency basis which means we only get paid if we are successful in recovering money for you.   To get started, give us a call at one of the numbers below:

Nashville: 615-669-3993

Murfreesboro: 615-867-9900

Brentwood: 615-742-4880

Toll-Free: 866-812-8787

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