If You've Been Injured or Lost a Loved One in a Crash with AAA Cooper Transportation, Here's What You Need to Know
One of the more frustrating facts of life doing truck accident injury law for a living is most people's belief that trucking companies do the right thing for victims of commercial truck crashes. When I tell people about the lengths trucking companies go to in order to avoid responsibility for crashes, most people greet the news with far more than a healthy dose of skepticism.
In the past, some trucking companies, such as AAA Cooper Transportation, have gone far beyond normal legal maneuvering, in an attempt to avoid paying for injuries that their driver caused. Of course, no one has to take my word for it, as there's a case from several years ago that illustrates how far AAA Cooper and their attorneys went in an attempt to deny a person who sustained life-altering injuries his chance at justice.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is AAA Cooper?
- Has AAA Cooper been involved in many wrecks?
- How has a court found that AAA Cooper attempted to manipulate the legal process to cheat a victim?
AAA Cooper Transportation Inc.: An Overview
Dothan, Alabama-based AAA Cooper Transportation Inc. is the 50th largest trucking company in the United States. According to the company, annual revenues exceed $665 million, which the company earns via its fleet of 2,663 trucks and 2,925 drivers, who traveled more than 190 million miles in the most recent year.
Over the past two years, AAA Cooper Transportation vehicles have been involved in 233 crashes, of which 80 resulted in at least 1 injury, and 8 more took someone's life. It's important to note that these figures, compiled by the federal government, do not take into consideration who was at fault in a collision. If it involved an AAA Cooper truck, then it's included in the numbers.
For that reason it's important to view these numbers with a healthy dose of caution. It's doubtful that AAA Cooper is responsible for all of the crashes in the report. At the same time, there are so many wrecks that it would be equally foolish not to think that some portion of these incidents weren't caused by an AAA Cooper driver.
Obtaining Evidence Is Never Easy: An AAA Cooper Case Study
As I previously mentioned, the toughest thing for people to grasp after they've been injured or lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident is the no holds barred approach that most trucking companies employ in order to avoid paying for a victim's injuries. Perhaps nothing illustrates this point more clearly than the 2012 case of Howard et al. v. Alegria.
This case involved a Georgia motorist who had mechanical problems with his vehicle and ended up stranded in the middle of the road. After it became disabled, the motorist's vehicle was struck by an AAA Cooper Transportation truck. To be perfectly honest, the fact pattern in this case wasn't the best for the victim, given that there's a strong argument that the cause of the crash was the mechanical problem with the man's vehicle, not the AAA Cooper truck.
However, AAA Cooper employees and their attorneys weren't taking any chances of a jury finding their driver at fault. According to court records, AAA Cooper employees accessed information from the truck's Engine Control Module (ECM), which records data such as speed, braking, and other information that would establish what AAA Cooper's driver was doing in the moments leading up to the crash. Representatives for AAA Cooper then denied that the truck even had an ECM.
Internal communications with AAA Cooper showed that they anticipated a lawsuit before the victim had even hired an attorney. The ECM data was likely to decide the case. If it showed that the AAA Cooper driver took reasonable evasive maneuvers and still struck the victim's vehicle, it's highly probable that AAA Cooper would have won the case. However, if data suggested that the driver didn't brake or try to avoid the stranded motorist, then AAA Cooper was in trouble.
What happened? Courts found that AAA Cooper didn't even acknowledge the existence of that or other evidence that the victim's attorneys sought. In the end, a Georgia court found that AAA Cooper and their attorneys had done so much to subvert the victim's attorney's efforts to obtain evidence that they threw out all of the company's pleadings and simply ruled in favor of the injured motorist. Sanctions this severe are quite rare in the legal community, and aren't imposed for honest mistakes, only for intentional efforts to cheat victims of their right to a fair trial.
In the interest of properly weighing this incident, it's important to note that it involved one case and was several years ago. It's possible that AAA Cooper has since retained new attorneys who follow the rules and instruct employees to fully cooperate with future court proceedings, but is that a chance anyone who has had their lives turned upside down by a devastating commercial truck crash really wants to take?
Grossman Law Offices Holds Trucking Companies Accountable
While trucking companies rarely attempt outright circumvention of their legal obligations of the sort attempted by AAA Cooper in Howard et al. v. Alegria, there are still many perfectly legal ways for them to take advantage of victims who simply don't know any better. That's what makes having the right representation so important.
Grossman Law Offices has held trucking companies accountable when they injure or kill someone for nearly 3 decades. During that time we've seen everything a trucking company can throw at victims, whether it's stonewalling, hiding or tampering with evidence, or just not properly valuing a victim's losses. If our attorneys sound like the kind of professionals that you want in your corner, feel free to contact us at (855) 326-0000. We answer the phone anytime, day or night.
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