US Chamber of Commerce: Trucking Industry Is Being Targeted

The US Chamber of Commerce released a report last month on court cases involving truck drivers titled, Roadblock: The Trucking Litigation Problem and How to Fix It. In the report, they reviewed over 150 trucking accident cases spanning the years from 2020 to April of 2023. The results were shocking, leading to the conclusion that the trucking industry was – and is – being unfairly targeted by both the legal system, and by extension, insurance providers.

Trucking Litigation by the Numbers

Nuclear verdicts in court cases involving trucks are defined as those that award the plaintiffs $10 million or more. The US Chamber of Commerce reported that the mean award to plaintiffs from 2020 to 2023 was upwards of $27 million. In cases where settlements were reached, the median amount was upwards of $10.5 million. Looking at the range from 2005 to 2019, the number of verdicts with awards over $1 million saw a sharp increase of over 230%.

Litigation Tactics

Going beyond the monetary impact on carriers and owner-operators, the report detailed some of the tactics used to increase the awards granted to plaintiffs in accident cases involving trucks. First, litigators have built a narrative around inflated billing on the part of medical referral networks, alleging that plaintiffs have insurmountable medical debt for the treatment they received as a result of the accident. Attorneys will also expand the line-up of defendants to rope them into the case. This means doing beyond the driver and the carrier, pulling in shippers, brokers, equipment suppliers, and more. Third, lawyers working for plaintiffs will try to drive a narrative about negligence and a lack of care throughout the trucking industry, creating a story where carriers do not care about their drivers or hiring practices (which, it should be noted, are extremely stringent and thorough), as well as pointing to previous verdicts. Additionally, the report uncovered which states have jurisdictions that put trucking companies at risk for nuclear verdicts. These states include, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California.

The Larger Impact of Trucking Litigation

The Report from the US Chamber of Commerce shows a direct through-line from the targeting of the trucking industry to astronomical hikes in trucking insurance. While nuclear verdicts have been around for decades, they are becoming increasingly common in the last few years. This is due to the rise in awareness of the potential for large jury awards, as well as an increase in plaintiff attorneys’ willingness to pursue high-stakes cases. In addition, insurers have become much less willing to settle with plaintiffs and more likely to take cases all the way through a jury trial if they feel their insured driver was at fault. The result has been higher insurance rates for truckers who are now paying more due to increased premiums, deductibles, and self-insured retention amounts. Additionally, many insurers may be reducing coverage limits or refusing coverage altogether due to these rising costs. Consequently, trucking companies and owner-operators are facing a difficult decision when it comes to choosing an insurance provider.

Potential Solutions for the Trucking Industry


The report does not just expose problems with trucking litigation, it provides potential paths forward for the trucking industry. First, the report suggests that legislation is one option. The information in the report should not be kept in a bubble. Carriers and owner-operators need to bring the data to the attention of lawmakers, who have been working in a bipartisan manner to help the trucking industry, because they know it is the foundation of our economy. Second, more work needs to be done to expose fraud rings. The US Chamber of Commerce points to Operation Sideswipe in New Orleans, which as recently as March of 2023 saw people arrested and convicted for taking advantage of targeted litigation against the trucking industry by staging accidents for large payouts. Third, lawyers and judges need to be made aware of how the trucking industry works. There should be little tolerance for letting attorneys get away with a narrative of negligence in the trucking industry, inflated medical costs, and more simply to get large awards at the expense of drivers and carriers. Fourth, the insurance industry needs reforms. Insurance providers cannot simply hike premiums at the drop of the hat because the trucking industry is being targeted.


Single Point Capital provides comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage specifically designed for the trucking industry. Additionally, we offer a deferred down payment program to offset the upfront cost to clients that use our freight factoring services. To learn more, reach out to the team at Single Point Capital today.