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Massive PR campaign aims to improve image (and jury appeal) of trucking industry

Written by Steve Gursten Posted November 25th, 2014

Is the goal making trucking companies as defendants in personal injury lawsuits more likeable, after looking at the donors behind this campaign?

Commercial-trucks-300x145“Trucking moves America forward.” You’ll be hearing a lot of this slogan in the coming year. The trucking industry has recently taken an ambitious and aggressive step aimed at improving the image of the industry and its truck drivers in the eyes of everyday Americans, including those who get summoned to jury duty in lawsuits involving truck companies as defendants.

Their slogan, “Trucking moves America forward,” is true. Nobody can deny that trucking and the hard working men and women of the industry play a crucial role in our daily quality of life. Truckers are responsible for moving goods, food, trade that affects the economy, and have an impact on virtually every facet of our modern lives.

It’s doing this kind of legal work that makes our own attorneys appreciate the importance of truck drivers.

However, like anything (including attorneys – especially attorneys?), there are a minority of bad apples that ruin the image of an entire industry. And the trucking cases we see are a powerful example.

Most truck drivers are good people who care about safety. Many trucking companies want to protect the public. I help many truckers injured in accidents caused by motor vehicles in my own legal practice when they’re hurt in serious accidents.

But there is a minority of dangerous truck drivers and motor carriers out there who simply don’t care about safety. They knowingly break safety rules designed to keep everyone on the road safe without regard to the consequences — even if those consequences include hurting or killing somebody. These are the truckers and motor carriers that are the bad apples, and it was these bad apples that caused the creation of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable law firm.

It’s unfortunate that these minority of truckers smear the image of an industry.

The public relations campaign I’ve written about above initially started out with a fundraising goal of $1 million. According to a recent statement, the project has reached over 80% of that goal – with more than $800,000 so far. The campaign aims to build a positive image of the commercial transportation industry and help people understand the important function of trucking in the American economy.

But is it also to influence juries? When you look at who is donating, you will find that Great West Casualty (a huge truck insurance company) is among the largest donors.

This raises some interesting questions:

Is this campaign truly about promoting the hard work and dedication of those good truck drivers?

Or is it about insurance companies doing a nationwide PR campaign to make jurors view trucking companies more favorably when litigation ensues stemming from serious safety violations that caused deaths and serious injuries?

One has to wonder…

Related information:

Why the push back from OOIDA on increased truck insurance limits?


Steven Gursten Photo

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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