How Personal Injury Lawsuits are Impacting the Trucking Industry

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The number of trucking accident injuries has grown substantially within the last ten years, and so has the size of the average jury verdict. Read more about how so-called ‘nuclear verdicts’ are impacting the trucking industry.

When California drivers sustain injuries related to a trucking accident, they have the right to pursue compensation that goes towards paying down the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the accident. In recent years, however, the average verdict size for personal injury lawsuits has grown by approximately 1,000 percent. These so-called “nuclear verdicts” have forced several trucking companies to scale back on insurance, which actually puts them at greater legal risk. Let’s take a look at how these substantial verdicts are impacting the trucking industry.

Trucking Accident Data Trends

The National Safety Council’s analysis of current data found that over 5,000 trucks contributed to fatal crashes in 2019, which was a 43 percent increase from 2010. During that same period, trucking accident injuries rose by 7 percent. As the number of incidents increases, so does the amount of the average jury award. This means that trucking companies are involved in more legal disputes and, if found liable, they must pay more than they had in the past.

The Rise of “Nuclear Verdicts”

Between 2019 and 2018, the average jury award for trucking accidents rose from $2.3 million to $22.3 million, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. Jury awards surpassing $10 million are called nuclear verdicts, and these are occurring with greater frequency. While the plaintiff (and the jury, in most cases) believe that trucking companies should be held responsible for the damage their trucks and drivers cause to others, trucking companies believe these nuclear verdicts are unfairly punitive. As a result, insurance rates for trucking companies are skyrocketing, forcing many to cut back on their coverage. This decision comes with great risk, as it leaves the trucking company vulnerable to future legal woes.

Contact a Trusted Riverside County Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a trucking accident injury, enlist the support of a knowledgeable Temecula personal injury attorney right away. Your attorney will listen closely to your goals, answer your questions, and address your concerns. Together, you can explore your options for pursuing and securing the compensation you need to get your life back on track.


Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, helps trucking accident victims recover compensation in Temecula and Murrieta. Call (951) 489-3320 today to get started.

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