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Trucking Industry Trying to Avoid Responsibility By Calling for Tort Reform

December 20, 2011

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 & Medby believe that this is just another ploy by the trucking industry to increase profits by ignoring the safety of innocent people.

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