How to Successfully Manage Transportation Liability Claims
Apr 19, 2022

At this year’s RIMS conference in San Francisco, Gallagher Bassett’s Doug Betkowski, Senior Vice President, Transportation Practice and John Spiros, Vice President, Safety and Claims Management at Roehl Transportation, Inc. presented “Keep on Trucking: Managing Transportation Liability Claims to Superior Outcomes,” covering the current challenges facing the transportation industry and the best practices organizations can implement to improve their claims outcomes.

In recent years, the transportation industry has become what Betkowski called a “target defendant,” stemming from a growing trend of nuclear verdicts and a number of six- and seven-figure settlements, which have raised alarm from a risk and claims management standpoint.


Leveraging a real-life example of a catastrophic loss and following mediation from a self-insured transportation business, they presented a set of best practices that can help motor carriers prepare for and respond to catastrophic incidents and drive superior claims outcomes.


Mobilize Rapid Response

Immediately following an incident, the motor carrier and its third-party administrator (TPA) claims and risk partner are responsible for mobilizing internal and external stakeholders to relay information to key decision makers as it becomes available in real time. Getting boots on the ground as quickly as possible will help maintain the integrity of the evidence and the investigation, as well as the confidentiality of information to protect the reputation of the motor carrier.


Have a Plan in Place

While responding quickly to an incident is crucial, without a comprehensive plan in place prior to an incident, an organization risks losing precious time and evidence that can make the difference in resolving a claim. Additionally, taking the time to create a detailed incident-response plan empowers the team and provides necessary support in a critical time of need.


Build the Right Support Team

Every investigation requires the right experts in place to preserve evidence and protect information. Investing in the right multidisciplinary team, including experienced claims professionals, lawyers that understand the context of similar claims, independent adjusters, and public relations representatives, can prove the difference between resolution and a drawn-out, far more expensive settlement.

Be Empathetic, Respectful, and Transparent

Speed of response is essential, and a part of this response is the sincerity with which an organization recognizes and takes responsibility for any necessary fault in an incident. Whenever possible, communicating understanding of the situation and dedication to finding a fair resolution for all parties can go a long way toward improving negotiation during a difficult process.

Connect with Us

The GB Transportation team is composed of former defense attorneys, claims leaders from motor carriers, experienced transportation claims professionals that specialize in high-severity, catastrophic claims, as well as resolution managers that focus on day-to-day claims management.


The GB Transportation Major Case Unit (MCU) is a team of specialized, seasoned transportation claims professionals who handle only the most complex or high-exposure claims. The MCU team works collaboratively with the client and reduces cost of defense and losses—ultimately driving savings for the motor carrier’s liability portfolio.


Get in touch with us to learn more about how we provide expertise and quality support for the unique exposures faced by the transportation industry.


Doug Betkowski has over 30 years of industry experience and is the Senior Vice President, Transportation Practice Leader of the Major Case Unit. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


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