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Verdicts & Settlements

Nuclear Verdicts in Florida: Why America’s Top Industry is Now Scared

— April 6, 2022

Some of the biggest critics of nuclear verdicts are in the trucking industry.

With so much talk about Russia and a potential nuclear armageddon, you might assume that the term “nuclear verdict” has something to do with military action. In reality, this term is strictly limited to the legal world, and it involves personal injury lawsuits. But just what on Earth is a nuclear verdict, anyway – and why is one of America’s most important industries so scared?

If you find yourself injured in a Florida trucking accident, you might want to get in touch with a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney and ask them about what a “nuclear verdict” means. The truth is that you could win a significant amount of money if you file a lawsuit against a negligent trucking company. Your attorney can recommend the best course of action before helping you file a lawsuit. They can also negotiate on your behalf, represent you in court if necessary, and much more. 

What is a “Nuclear Verdict?”

A “nuclear verdict” is one that is blown way out of proportion. Generally, the verdict goes far beyond the plaintiff’s damages, providing them with a settlement that goes far beyond their wildest expectations. These settlements are awarded by a jury who, for whatever reason, feels that it’s necessary to send a clear message and punish defendants as much as possible. Some say that a verdict becomes “nuclear” when it exceeds $10 million, while others would argue that the threshold is actually much higher. 

Some say that nuclear verdicts are a serious issue, as they have the potential to destroy entire industries. These critics even argue that plaintiff attorneys use techniques that illicit anger and strong emotional responses from jury members, causing them to act irrationally and award insane sums of money to their clients. 

How Does this Affect the Trucking Industry?

Image by Andrew Khoroshavin, courtesy of Pixabay.
Image by Andrew Khoroshavin, courtesy of Pixabay.

Some of the biggest critics of nuclear verdicts are in the trucking industry. These critics are pushing back against some of the most spectacular nuclear verdicts of living memory, including a $1-billion verdict handed down by a jury in Florida back in 20211. The lawsuit arose from a 2017 truck accident that claimed the life of a young college student at the University of North Florida. 

Some critics claim that this could damage the trucking industry, arguing that these nuclear verdicts have already put countless companies out of business. John Pion, former chairman of the American College of Transportation Attorneys, stated:

“We are seeing a disproportionate number of nuclear verdicts in the transportation industry. The scarier thing for me was a $21-million verdict in Florida in a case that everyone who looked at it thought, at most, it had an exposure of $750,000 to $900,000.”2

Where Can I Find a Truck Accident Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you might be wondering: “Where can I find truck accident attorneys near me?” Miami is filled with these legal professionals, and they’re ready to assist you at a moment’s notice. Simply book a consultation with one of these lawyers to get started, and you can immediately take your first steps towards fair, adequate compensation. 



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