Last night I watched a commercial for a legal firm. The commercial showed a teenager riding a bike being knocked over by another young man playing football as he was catching the ball. The bike rider gets up with a bloody nose that is dripping onto his shirt. The footballer apologizes and goes to leave until another young man runs up screaming, “You say you sorry! Look at what you did to his nose and shirt! Give him your shirt!” The footballer hands over his shirt. Then the teen demands that the footballer hand over his shoes and some money.
The commercial ends with the biker walking away with a shirt and shoes over his shoulder while telling the lawyeresque teen thank you for being a friend and there for him. The commercial ends with another voice inviting the audience to call their personal injury firm when they have been hurt in an accident. They promise to get all that they can for their clients.
The commercial bothered me. The story was not about justice. It goes beyond revenge to using an accident as a legal means to get rich quick scheme. I saw this attitude at play just a few days before leaving for vacation. A teen stepped off a curb as a BMW slowly started to pass. The BMW may well have clipped the teen (about 15 to 17) the driver had not swerved right. I overheard the teen telling his friend that he had hoped the driver would have touched him because it looked like the driver had money. Commercials like the one mentioned here only reinforce the thinking of the teen as well giving them thoughts of how they could set up non-deadly and non-serious injury situations to get some quick money.