Truck accidents happen all too frequently. Unfortunately, litigants injured in commercial vehicle accidents often target aggressive, long-shot litigation designed to force a higher-than-necessary settlement. Engaging experienced legal counsel to help defend against these lawsuits is essential to negotiating more reasonable settlements and protecting your company’s reputation and bottom line.
Build Your Defense Well Before Accidents Occur
Trucking and shipping companies are aware of their liabilities in the event of an accident. This is an advantage. By understanding your liability at the outset, you can take steps to build policies that minimize your risk. These policies can include:
- Driver hiring and training practices: Human error is one of the most frequently cited reasons for trucking accidents. You minimize this risk by taking every step available to train and adequately vet personnel.
- Scheduling and breaks: Keeping a tight schedule is critical to ensuring the profitability of your business. However, the law requires strict adherence to resting requirements for drivers. Any evidence of scheduling that violates these laws is a liability.
- Maintenance and loading: The trucks themselves must stay in operable condition at all times. Regular maintenance is a necessity. Requiring proper loading of vehicles by partners and clients is equally important.
When you know you have taken every step to secure the safety of your drivers and their vehicles, you put yourself in a strong position when someone files a lawsuit against your company.
Understanding The Plaintiff’s Angle
However, even with every precaution taken, you may still find yourself facing an aggressive lawsuit. In that case, you must rise to the occasion with facts that support your defense.
It is always in your best interest to pursue a vigorous defense of your company when faced with a lawsuit. Sometimes this means looking closely at the plaintiff’s claims and potentially related medical issues and providing a counter-narrative to what is stated in the lawsuit.
Faster May Be Better
Ultimately, you may find that taking measures to resolve an accident claim quickly is the most cost-effective choice, although much depends on the plaintiff’s particular demands. Determining the best strategy requires the input of a skilled legal team with a strong track record for successfully resolving trucking and transportation matters.