The Law: The Great Equalizer

The Law: The Great Equalizer

Horace Mann, in the 1800’s, noted that education is the great equalizer, referring to it as the “balance wheel of the social machinery.” His comments were in the context of his support for public education during an era in which there was much debate over the subject. Today, in our modernized world, there are those that affix the term “great equalizer” to guns, implying their necessity in that they arm the weak against the power of the strong, creating a balanced playing field.

We propose another idea, one more in line with Horace Mann’s thinking about the good that public infrastructure can do for the people. Just as public schools are available for use by citizens of the United States, so too are the court systems in this country, which serve as arenas in which the law is put to use in seeking justice. As far as we are concerned, the law is the great equalizer. The law, thanks to the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, stipulates that all citizens of the United States are entitled to “equal protection of the laws.” “Protection” is an interesting word, and an important one, too. It signifies a sense of support, of defense, which no tool can assist in better than the law. Guns break, houses crumble, alliances fade, but, though there are inevitable hiccups in the system, the law is enduring.

There was a time, of course, when there was no expectation that law might even the playing field and give one rights that elevated them above the specific class into which they were born. There were times during which, if you were a low-level laborer, you could be abused endlessly by the corporation that employed you. Now, there are labor laws that mandate that you must be treated and compensated fairly. If you feel you are being treated unjustly in the workplace, there are laws that protect you, lawyers that enforce them, and courts that will hear them.

Likewise, just as we understand that bad things happen from time to time, there was once a time during which that was an acceptable answer. If you were struck by another individual on the road, or if you slipped and fell on a slippery floor in a market, or if you fell through an uncovered manhole in the middle of the road, suffice it to say you would be told that “things” happen in life, and that life isn’t fair. While it’s true that life doesn’t always seem fair, there are laws in place to protect you from unnecessary and unjust treatment. So, if you are struck by another individual on the road, there are laws that enable you to seek compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. If you do fall after slipping on a wet floor at a marketplace, there are premises liability laws that allow you to sue the owner of that establishment for compensation for your damages. And, likewise, if you do fall through an uncovered manhole, you can sue (probably the local city government) for negligently leaving uncovered a dangerous manhole in an attempt to seek compensation for your injuries.

The year is 2013 and there is no longer – nor has there been for quite some time – a reason to expect that bad things are just supposed to happen in life. While sometimes bad luck mixes with bad timing to result in unfortunate incidents, often times there are individuals who acted negligently and caused your injuries; if that’s the case, the law is available for you to wield against the person that caused you harm.

If you feel you have been wronged by another individual or company, please contact us for a free consultation at 561-266-9191 or

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