Trucking Industry Trying to Avoid Responsibility By Calling for Tort Reform

The trucking industry is trying to convince the American public through the use of a propaganda campaign, that purports to use polls and research, that it should not be held responsible for trucking accidents.

In “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry- 2011,” a report released by The American Transportation Research Institute, tort reform is called one of the top ten critical issues in the trucking industry.

Presented to the American Trucking Association — one of the most powerful trucking lobbying groups—the October report proposes that the trucking industry should seek tort liability reform to “ensure that punitive damage awards are reasonable and directly related to negligence.”

Ignoring the fact that those most likely to be permanently harmed in truck accidents are motorists in other vehicles, the trucking industry feels it is being unfairly singled out for large punitive damage awards.

The report suggests three proposed strategies to push tort liability reform through all available government channels:

  • Advocate for federal legislation to regulate lawsuits and impose new caps on non-economic damages.
  • Encourage a new legal fee structure and caps.
  • Engage in public outreach and education to explain the negative consequences of excessive civil litigation.

This last point in particular is a tactic designed to convince the public that when a 100,000 lb. truck hits a car, the driver and passengers in that car are just gold-diggers and not really as injured as they claim. The truth is that truck accident victims – if they survive the truck accident – often find their life – physically and financially – in ruins.

The other 9 “critical issues” found in the report are listed as: economy; hours-of-service laws; an industry-wide driver shortage; Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) policies; fuel issues, including prices and efficiency; road congestion; transportation funding; onboard truck technologies; and truck size and weight.

Four of the other nine issues are directly related to preserving f safety for other motorists on the road. The truck accident attorneys at Garcia, Artigliere & Shadrack believe that this is just another ploy by the trucking industry to increase profits by ignoring the safety of innocent people

What to Do If You have a Truck Accident

An accident with a big-rig, semi-truck, or other large truck can turn your life every which way to wrong.

Often drivers who are in a truck accident will suffer serious personal injuries or worse due to the sheer size of the truck causing extreme damage. In those cases, just getting emergency medical treatment and being taken to a hospital is all you will be able to do.

But should you be “lucky” enough to not suffer serious injuries, or if you witness a truck accident, here is what you need to do:

A big rig accident is a frightening experience. To ensure that you are compensated to the degree that you should be, it is imperative that you choose your truck accident attorney wisely.

Truck Driver Error Main Factor in Large Truck Crashes

Terrifying truck accident statistics are anything but hard to find. Rolling out of research institutes, trucking associations, and the National Administration of Highway Safety, these statistics paint a very bleak picture of what truck accidents looks like today.

For example:

  • One out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a large truck.
  • Nearly 90 percent of all commercial truck accidents are either caused or worsened by human error.
  • Around 500,000 truck accidents occur in the United States each year.
  • Approximately 98 percent of these truck accidents result in at least one fatality.

With a significant difference in the weight of a standard car or SUV—approximately 4,000 lbs—and a big rig, semi, or tractor trailer—which can weigh anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 lbs—it falls on truck drivers to be aware of the motorists around them.

For people involved in one of the 500,000 big rig truck accidents each year, this isn’t enough.

With a slew of at-fault parties in any collision, there are many contributing factors that can lead to a big rig truck accident:

  • Animals and debris in the roadway.
  • Dangerous weather conditions.
  • Driver Fatigue (This contributes to nearly 30 percent of all truck accidents.).
  • Defective truck parts, tires, and brakes.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Excessive or insecure cargo loads.
  • Lack of driver training or experience.
  • Poor road conditions such as potholes and construction zones.
  • Reckless, negligent, or distracted driving.

Yet the number one contributing factor in all large truck crashes is distracted and unprepared truck drivers, motorists, passengers, and nearby cyclists or pedestrians.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury or a wrongful death in a big rig, semi, or tractor trailer accident, contact an experienced truck accident attorney at Garcia, Artigliere & Schadrack for a free, no-obligation consolation.