David Brose looks at recent trends in truck accidents, and the key first steps in litigating this type of case.
The number of injuries from trucking crashes in alarming, and unfortunately on the rise. From 2009 to 2016, trucking crash injuries increased from 74,000 to 145,000 – an overwhelming 96 percent increase.
Langdon & Emison Partner J. Kent Emison was published this month by Thomson Reuters' Automotive Journal, with a piece titled "Theories of Recovery in Trucking Accident Cases Involving Insufficient Insurance." The article featured commentary on agency/joint ventures, negligent hiring, and examined representative cases illustrating hot topics within truck accident litigation.
"In trucking accidents that cause catastrophic injuries, the medical expenses victims incur far exceed the minimum coverage these small companies carry," Kent said in the article. "When a trucking accident victim sustains catastrophic injuries, it is critical to look beyond the negligent truck driver and the small motor carrier for sources of recovery. Analysis of liability must also include a close examination of the shipper of the load: the large trucking company that hired the small carrier or independent driver.
"Many large corporations that hire small truck companies will hide behind an alleged independent contractor relationship and other predictable defenses. Several theories of liability can be asserted against the large corporation and other responsible parties to help you recover more than the meager policy limits held by the small carrier or individual driver."
Kent has been lead trial counsel in a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, having handled cases all across the United States. Kent is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a frequent lecturer to bar associations and trial lawyer groups nationwide. He dedicates the entirety of his law practice to litigation in product liability, motor vehicle accidents, and other cases involving personal injury and wrongful death.