Brad Pistotnik Law
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How do I find a truck accident lawyer that understands punitive damages and ratification?

How do I find a truck accident lawyer that understands punitive damages and ratification?

If you have been injured in a large truck accident or a tractor-trailer accident or big rig accident than you need one of the best lawyers you can find. Brad Pistotnik Law has many highly experienced and skilled truck accident lawyers. We have been trained in truck accident law and we are experienced in the interpretation of the FMCSR and regulations that large trucking companies and smaller trucking companies are required to follow.

When you bring a claim for punitive damages to punish the truck driver and trucking company or motor carrier, almost all states require you to prove that the motor carrier has ratified the conduct of the truck driver or has ratified the conduct of the managers and supervisors as well as safety directors and operations personnel in the trucking company. This may be done by express or implied evidence and is usually complex.

Keeping a punitive damage claim alive against the trucking company and motor carrier is dependent upon having the court not dismiss or kick out the punitive damage claims. Almost all defense attorneys will bring a motion for summary judgment or motion to dismiss any claims about negligent hiring, negligent safety practices and claims of merit that prove that the trucking company should be punished. At Brad Pistotnik Law ® we routinely defend these motions to dismiss and win most of the time by defeating these motions for summary judgment. Our lawyers and accident attorneys are skilled at taking depositions of truck drivers, safety directors, risk management officers, operations officers and other upper level trucking company supervisors to establish that they turn a blind eye to safety and they don’t do post-accident investigations.

We prove trucking companies don’t have any desire to set up accident preventability countermeasures. Why? Because it costs thousands of dollars to set up an appropriate safety program. It costs thousands of dollars to hire log auditing personnel. It costs thousands of dollars to set up an appropriate 3 day safety orientation for the newly hired driver hire so they can be taught about defensive driving, accident avoidance techniques, hazard perception techniques and cushion techniques to avoid killing and injuring the motoring public.

Ratification can be established by evidence before the accident, during the accident and after the accident has happened. See Smith v. Printup, 254 Kan. 315, 866 P.2d 985 (1993). In this case, the Kansas Supreme Court held that an employer’s failure to investigate its employee’s wrongful conduct can justify the imposition of punitive damages. It also held that ratification under K.S.A. 60-3701 may be either express or implied. Smith v. Printup, 254 Kan. at 342.

A good truck accident lawyer will be able to build substantial evidence about the lack of company safety programs and procedures and make the court believe that it is relevant and admissible. Sometimes, this is done by showing that the company has a long history of allowing its truck drivers to have falsified logs and drive over hours. It is also shown by establishing evidence that the trucking company has a long history of tolerating such violations and allowing them to continue. Basically, the trucking company allows hours of service violations and false logs violations which is sending a message to the truck drivers that the bad truck driver conduct is totally acceptable and okay with the company. In that event, the company has ratified the conduct of the driver and the safety supervisors.

At Brad Pistotnik Law ® our lawyers are known as The Bull Attorneys. ® We fight insurance companies and trucking companies and the cagey defense attorneys who help the trucking companies hide evidence that would prove ratification so that the claim for punitive damages can be made. Our lawyers are skilled at digging out the best evidence to use so that an injured plaintiff or a family in a wrongful death case can have their day in court and get punitive damages. You can call us at 800-WIN-BULL or 800-241-BRAD or 620-THE-BULL or 316-684-4400. You can call truck accident lawyer Brad Pistotnik on his cell phone at 316-706-5020. You can call truck accident attorney Tony Atterbury on his cell phone at 316-617-9237. We have offices in Wichita, Kansas and Garden City, Kansas and work across the United States. Brad and his accident attorneys have helped literally thousands and thousands of Kansans and truck accident victims in many states. Hire The Bull Attorneys! ®

Bradley A. Pistotnik © 2020