I received a great personal note recently from the vice president of safety and claims management at a large commercial truck company. He requested I not use his name or name his trucking company, and I will of course respect his request. “John” and I just concluded a very substantial truck accident personal injury case together, and even though I’m a plaintiff’s truck accident lawyer who fought him, he had some nice things to say.
My client had been rear-ended and seriously injured by one of the trucks in his fleet. As former president of the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group, I did my normal research into the safety of his trucking company, the number of safety violations, the number of truck accidents the drivers had caused in recent years, etc.
Currently, there are more than 1,000 trucking companies in Michigan with less than satisfactory safety ratings. This means there are countless trucks speeding around with defective brakes, bad tires, loads that dangerously exceed weight limitations, and unfit drivers with little or no safety training. This problem is so serious, that I launched a national campaign about dangerous trucks last year.
I was a little surprised with this case, because there was not very much there. At the conclusion of the truck accident case, John sent me one of his company’s shirts and a personal note that said:
“… bottom line, we may be on opposite sides of litigation, but I think we are on the same side in making the highways and roadways more safe.”
I want to sincerely thank John. He is absolutely right. I wish there were more senior management and claims people who felt the way he does. Maybe, hopefully one day, there will be and we can all work together to prevent truck accidents.
If you want to research any trucking company’s safety background, check out my page on how to find the dirt on unsafe trucking companies.
– Steven M. Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group, and has received the top reported trial verdict in Michigan for truck accidents. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his efforts in promoting truck safety in Michigan and throughout the country.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by chris.corwin
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