In 2020, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) published a report titled “Understanding the Impact of Nuclear Verdicts on the Trucking Industry,” which provided a comprehensive analysis of the increase and impact of litigation verdicts over $1 million. Through this analysis, it became clear that the proliferation of lawsuits resulting in settlements or verdicts under $1 million also warranted further investigation. While cases of this size are not individually as devastating to companies with large private fleets, in aggregate, they have a significant negative impact on the commercial transportation industry.
Per ATRI, these factors are related to changes in the revenue structures of plaintiff firms. Increasingly, attorneys participate in “ambulance chasing” and structure plaintiff firms as “settlement mills.”
As stated in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review Vo. 41 (4), an ambulance chaser is “an attorney who actively and often intrusively solicits clients shortly after a crash.”
In addition to ambulance chasing, personal injury firms often operate on a volume-based business model. These firms, known as “settlement mills,” may have between 200 and 300 open cases at one time, settling more than 600 annually (The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics Vol. 22). The settlement mills focus on minor vehicle crashes that are medically not severe.
Furthermore, there has been a rise in litigation financing by third parties who supply the plaintiff attorneys with capital in exchange for a portion of the future settlement proceeds.
Even if your business is not a commercial trucking company, if you have a fleet, you share the same risks as large commercial trucking carriers.
Ask your current claims handling partner if they follow the below best practices that CBCS utilizes to reduce our client’s litigation, large verdicts, and costly settlements:
CBCS Claims Strategies:
After an accident:
- Immediate commencement of investigation
- Assistance with evidence preservation
- Early resolution strategies
- Identification of aggravating factors
- Internal Major Case Unit review
After a lawsuit is filed:
- Panel of expert transportation attorneys
- Legal plan and budget tailored to your specific objectives
- Adjuster directs litigation, not the attorney
- Implement ADR strategies to avoid uncertainty of trial