Why Trucking Companies are not easy to defend…

I enjoy working with trucking companies and truck drivers, but it’s no place for sissies or those who want to “win” every case. Why? 

Because of three stereotypes:

Trucks are bullies

Trucking accidents are always horrific

Trucking companies don’t care about drivers or the public

Of course, we know better because we work with these people every day, but the perception prevails. Huge verdicts are a direct consequence of these stereotypes, so what can be done to address these problems? Well, because I don’t know if the plaintiff’s bar may view these blog posts, I don’t want to reveal ALL of the strategies, but I will address a few facts.

Fact #1: Trucks scare people

I take methodical time to explain the purpose of transportation and the good that it does. I show the many safety features that a company implements. I show the millions of miles driven without incident. In other words, we have to change the perspective.
Fact #2: Jurors are more put off by the trucking industry than by truckers.
80% of the public has a positive overall view of truckers. So we have to learn personalize the company. We must never overlook telling a story about the company and the good that it does.
Fact #3: Jurors assimilate trucking companies to general corporate greed.
The good is ignored. The bad over-stressed. The underlying reasons for unfair verdicts
1. Thoughts of Self-Preservation
2. Expectation of Safety
3. The Desire to Improve Things
4. The Generation X Factor

There are so many factors that go into defending the trucking company and truck driver. Knowledge of the regulations and case laws are basic, but you also have to know the locality of the venue. You know what will work well and what will not. You have to press for the best defense, even if the client who is paying the bill doesn’t want to spend the money on certain tests, surveillance or activities that can help you win the case.

Hey, I get that costs must be maintained, but we have duty to provide the best defense available, and sometimes, it takes time…and money. Particularly to overcome the biases that are often unfairly imposed on our clients.

Sorry for the short blog this week, but I have been extremely busy with DOING the work, that I have not had time to write about it. I hope these blogs are interesting and helpful to you.

Let me know if there are other topics I can cover that are of interest to you and others in the industry. Call if there is anything we can do for you.

Mark Perkins
Perkins & Associates, LLC
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