Lawsuit Abuse in Trucking

It doesn’t take long if you watch TV, listen to the radio or just ride down the road to see or hear about an attorney that will help you sue a trucking company. In fact, many (most) of these advertisements specifically target trucking companies.

We all understand that if someone else is responsible for your accident that they should be held responsible, but is it ethical to specifically target an industry just because they are see as an ‘easy’ target? Because many unethical attorneys know not only that the trucking company’s insurance company is likely to settle, they also know exactly how much they can sue for because everyone knows the minimum insurance requirements in the industry.

I can give you lots of examples of this type of abuse, which actually puts small trucking companies out of business because of rising insurance rates even if they eventually win the lawsuit.

Here is an example of what I mean.

A few years back a small trucking company had a driver on the interstate in Texas. Another vehicle merged into the truck and then fled the scene. The truck driver decided to follow the other vehicle until they were able to get them pulled over and get the police to respond.

The police wrote the other vehicle a ticket for failure to maintain lane and let everyone go.

There were no injuries. The other vehicle had a minor scrape on a utility trailer they were pulling that did not require repair. They truck had about $800.00 worth of damage to the fender which the insurance company for the other vehicle paid without question.

Everything seems fine, right?

No, about nine months later the trucking company is served a lawsuit for $4,000,000.00. The driver of the other vehicle was claiming injuries and PTSD because of the stress the accident caused them. The owner of the trucking company immediately contacted his insurance company and was assigned an adjustor.

Once the adjustor turned it over to a lawyer representing the trucking and insurance company the owner of the trucking company called the lawyer to ask what was going to happen. The lawyer said “I have reviewed the case and don’t think there is anything to worry about. The lawyer the driver of the other vehicle is well know to us; he files these types of lawsuits all the time.”

The lawyer was correct and eventually the lawsuit was settled for a very small amount, but the damage was done.

The trucking company was small, running about six trucks at the time. Because they had a $4,000,000.00 lawsuit outstanding, their insurance company refused to renew. In addition, no other insurance company would touch them because of the amount of the outstanding lawsuit. There was a way they could get insurance through a State program but it was cost prohibitive.

Eventually, the owner of the trucking company decided to close his business.

Just another of what I am sure are many examples of lawsuit abuse putting trucking companies out of business and driving up insurance rates around the county.

What kinds of experience have you had?

What can be done?

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