Recent lawsuits filed against truck drivers regarding incidents that allegedly occurred at the same Gentilly truck stop are raising questions about the legitimacy of the lawsuits and eliciting comments from several groups and organizations, including the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense.
The coalition recently said Louisiana already is one of the most expensive states regarding the purchase of auto insurance and additional accidents and accident-related litigations will only drive insurance rates up higher.
"The Insurance Research Council has just released a new study pointing out that Louisiana ranks No. 1 on the list for least affordable states for auto insurance," Jim Harris, executive director of the coalition, told the Louisiana Record. "The report went on to mention the propensity of Louisiana claimants to hire attorneys and file lawsuits. Further, the report stated Louisiana claimants were 60 percent more likely to file lawsuits."
Harris' statement brings to light the lawsuit climate of the state and the fact that many individuals believe that going to court is the best way to resolve a problem, partially because they are encouraged to do so by lawyers.
"Louisiana citizens are told to sue constantly by billboards along the interstate and by television commercials every other minute or two," Harris said. "A recent study by the U.S. Institute for Legal Reform indicated Baton Rogue has the second highest ratio of legal ads to regular ads in the U.S."
Add to the prevalence of legal ads the fact that commercial truck drivers are required to carry a $1 million insurance policy, and the occurrence of lawsuits against truck drivers begins to make sense, as there is more to gain for those alleging injury in the accidents and more to lose for the truck drivers.
The Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense is a group of professional associations, companies and individuals committed to ensuring a fair legal climate for individuals and small and large businesses operating in the state.