One of the reasons our injury attorneys enjoy helping clients is because we know that with each case we may push a corporation to offer better safety training for its employees, cause drivers to be more careful on our roadways, and force businesses to be more mindful of the health and well-being of the public.
Injury law helps victims recover the harms and losses they suffer as a result of injury thrust upon them at no fault of their own. Injury law also helps shape future behavior so that we are all safer. Safety is the essence of injury law. Unfortunately, we see insurance companies disregard safety frequently but never as overtly as a recent case.
As the saying goes, “sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees.” An insurance company lawyer in a recent case objected to our asking “safety” questions of witnesses during litigation. The insurance company lawyer argued verbatim to the Judge:
These questions—seeking to elicit testimony about the existence, purpose, and importance of alleged “safety rules”—are irrelevant and prejudicial and would simply serve to annoy, embarrass, and unduly burden Defendants.
This is a direct statement from the insurance company’s attorney for the driver and company responsible for a semi-truck crash that resulted in our client’s brain injury. The lawyer is trying to prevent questions like “would you agree with me that safety is the most important factor when operating a commercial truck?” and “do you agree that a tractor-trailer combination can cause serious injury or even death if not operated safely by a commercial truck driver”.
The insurance company, trucking company, and their attorneys claim they are “annoyed” and “unduly burdened” by having to answer the simple question of whether or not safety should be important for them as they operate multi-ton vehicles on the public roadways. It is remarkable and sad that some trucking companies and insurance carriers believe that questions about safety are “irrelevant,” even after a serious truck crashes.
The attorneys at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima have proudly fought for better safety rules and on behalf of injury victims for decades and we will continue. In an industry so warped by money that it puts its objections to safety in writing, we will be here to show the Judge and jury the “forest through the trees.”