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Legal Landmines in the Trucking Industry: Are You Protected?

The transportation industry involves a high degree of risk.  It only takes one major accident to put a trucking company’s future in jeopardy.  Are you prepared to defend your company if you find yourself in court?  You should take proactive steps to prepare long before setting foot in a courtroom – or it can mean financial ruin for your company.

Picture this scenario.  Your driver is following all the rules.  He’s driving the speed limit.  But a woman suddenly cuts in front of him and breaks hard.  Too big to slow down in time, your truck rear ends the small car, killing the driver and permanently paralyzing her young son.  

You can bet there will be lawyers lined up to take this case.  Even if all of the hard evidence – witness testimony, driver logs, ECM data, etc. – shows the accident wasn’t your driver’s fault, whose story do you think will arouse more pity from a jury? 

The plaintiff is going to dig deep to find whatever they can to cast suspicion on the driver and your company.  Has the driver had a rear ender accident in the past?  Was he screened for sleep apnea?  What are his CSA scores like?  Was he being rushed to complete a delivery?  If even some of the details suggest that the motor carrier is at fault, it will be easy to stir up emotions of the jury with the gruesome details of the accident and the story of the young child’s pain and suffering.  Your company is likely looking at years in court and a multimillion dollar judgment for wrongful death, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

It's important to know the risks associated with doing business in the trucking industry so you can better protect yourself against possible claims. Although some incidents are unavoidable, educating managers and employees on the depth that lawyers will go to find fault in your company. Knowledge and proactive treatment to prevent hurtful scores can result in huge cost savings in the event of legal action.

Topics: Transportation