Modern Day Trucking Litigation: Exposing Both the Physical and Corporate Cause of the Catastrophic Wreck

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Part 2:

While at first glance, some may think these units are sent to the scene to “find out what happened,” the reality is the mission is to uncover “how can we get out of this precarious situation.”  But don’t just take my word regarding the purpose of these s.w.a.t. teams.  Instead just look at what the industry alone says about the purpose of these tactics.  A large national firm that handles trucking litigation for insurance carriers in catastrophic injury incidents recently gave these instructions:

Protect the Information Gathered During the Investigation From Discovery.

If it can be reasonably anticipated that litigation will flow from the accident, and the transportation company retains counsel to protect its interests in the potential litigation, the facts gathered by the defense attorney, or agents of defense counsel, are arguably protected from discovery by the attorney-work product-privilege.

Amazingly, some transportation companies and liability carriers have attorneys by region poised to arrive at the scene within hours of the wreck.  Working under the direction of defense counsel, typically will be found transportation coporate officials, insurance representatives, investigators, and often employees working for risk-management firms that strategize ways to reducs over-all claims exposure.  Often within 24 hours of a catastrophic incident, the entire risk management team has completely analyzed the wreck and are fully aware of the pitfalls of their case.  Unfortunately for victims, as outlined above, those who are responsible for the catastrophic injury often seek advice of counsel to find ways to attach privilege to detrimental evidence, while also destroying evidence that demonstrates the transportation company’s own culpability.  If the trucking company believes there is even a slight chance they can avoid liability, most will position themselves in a strong litigation mode.

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