Will the real killer truck please identify itself? Commercials like this rile Senior Contributing Editor Tom Berg. 
 - Screenshots by Tom Berg

Will the real killer truck please identify itself? Commercials like this rile Senior Contributing Editor Tom Berg. 

Screenshots by Tom Berg

Personal-injury lawyers constantly troll for accident victims to represent and make some money on. There's nothing wrong with that, because sometimes folks really are wronged and plaintiffs want to settle for as little money as they can.

For instance: Years ago my wife’s car was rear-ended on a California freeway. A guy in a big pickup had been tailgating her for miles, and when traffic suddenly halted, he didn’t. While his insurance company agreed to get our car fixed, the adjuster didn’t want to give us any monetary compensation at all (including making up for lost wages) until medical treatment was final. That would’ve been a while.

My wife got mad and called a lawyer, and he got results – not a lot of dough, but quickly, and enough to be fair. So lawyers have a legitimate role.

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However, some lawyers advertise aggressively and target trucks as serious dangers on the road. They can be, but that still irks me. And I really get riled at a lack of preciseness in commercials. Case in point: A currently running spot in which two different trucks are portrayed as one, and the scene shifts from rural to urban.

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It starts with a tractor-trailer moving down the open road with a tired driver behind the wheel. We see the trailer’s big wheels a-rollin’ and the driver dozes off, resulting in a head-on crash with an innocent motorist.

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Initially, the killer tractor is a heavy-duty Mack, but when the wreck is over, the offending vehicle is a medium-duty International straight truck, and the trailer is nowhere around.  

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Moreover, the accident scene is in front of a garage, not out on a highway, where the sad tale begins.

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Am I the only TV viewer who sees these discrepancies? Apparently the lawyer who sponsors this commercial doesn’t, or doesn’t care enough to correct it. If he’s careless in this way, how well is he going to handle that injured motorist’s case – or even mine?

I suspect this commercial is “canned” -- produced by an agency based somewhere besides central Ohio, where I live, and is sold to and run by lawyers all over the country. Maybe you’ve seen it where you live. No matter – can’t they get the details right?

By the way, the rugged-looking lawyer who appears toward the end of this commercial, declaring that “I don’t get paid unless you get paid” -- might not be the assertive tough guy he portrays himself to be.

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A few years ago I talked with an insurance adjuster and happened to ask him about lawyers who advertise on TV, particularly this very one. He said, “Kevin? He’s easy. He takes the first offer I make.”

I suppose that way he gets paid faster, and hey, it takes constant cash flow to run those sloppy spots.  

Author

Tom Berg
Tom Berg

Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational trucks and trailers of all types.

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Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational trucks and trailers of all types.

View Bio
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