How Victims Can Protect Their Interests in Litigation Against Anderson Trucking Service
There are a lot of bad things that can happen to us without warning or any chance to prevent them, and being injured in a commercial truck crash certainly falls into that category. However, even if there's nothing we can do to stop these terrible things from happening in the first place, how we respond after can still make a big difference.
A lot of people might assume that a trucking company considers paying fair compensation to victims of their drivers' negligence just another cost of doing business and maintaining their reputation. While it may come as a surprise, in most cases this just isn't true. Even if a company like Anderson Trucking Service tries to do the right thing in other areas like safety practices, almost all of them will still do everything they can to try to pin the blame somewhere other than their driver. Dallas personal injury lawyer Michael Grossman explains what victims can expect.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is Anderson Trucking Service?
- How many crashes involving injury or death have the company's vehicles been involved in?
- How could the company's extensive use of safety technology affect litigation against them?
What is Anderson Trucking Service?
Founded in 1955 in St. Cloud, MN, Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) has since incorporated at least 10 subsidiaries and grown into the 36th largest trucking company in the U.S., with 2017 revenues of more than a billion dollars. It specializes in transportation of heavy solid freight, particularly wind turbines for power generation.
The company's roughly 2,000 semi-trucks and drivers traveled around 190 million miles in the most recent year on record. That's the same as two round trips from the Earth to the Sun and back!
In the course of their extensive travels over the past two years, the company's vehicles have been involved in 183 reported crashes, with 64 of those involving injury to one or more persons, and 5 resulting in someone's death. The federal government gathers this data, but it's important to know that it is only a list of crashes, not an indication of who is at fault for them.
Anderson Trucking Service invests heavily in fleet safety, employing a host of advanced safety technologies. Most people may be inclined to believe that investing in safety can only be a good thing, but in commercial truck injury and wrongful death litigation, "safe trucking companies" can actually create complications for victims trying to recover after a crash.
How Advanced Safety Technology Can Affect Litigation Against Anderson Trucking Service
If you've purchased a vehicle in the past few years, you're probably aware that safety technology has come a long way since the era of James Dean. This is as true of semi-trucks as it is for passenger vehicles, and while not every company has chosen to pay the costs of outfitting their fleets with the full range of options, those that do can take advantage of a host of device-enabled capabilities, including lane departure alerts, automatic braking to prevent rear-end collisions, and limiters to keep trucks within prescribed speeds.
On some level, companies paying the few thousand dollars or so per vehicle required to have this equipment installed is obviously a good thing. Taking reasonable steps to prevent the kind of horrific crashes that result when an 18-wheeler hits another vehicle is something everyone favors. Anderson Trucking Service is a good example of a company that takes advantage of new technologies, such as anti-collision and tire pressure monitoring systems, among other safety features, installed across its fleet.
It may seem strange that the installation of these safety systems could create new issues of their own, but there are a couple of ways for that to be the case. To cite just one example, having a system on a semi-truck that automatically brakes before a rear-end collision may lead drivers to pay less attention to the road, believing that the system will save them from disaster.
Another issue is that simply installing these systems isn't always enough to ensure that they actually operate as intended. I've personally read accounts in online forums from truckers who, annoyed by the alleged "oversensitivity" of the system and the loud alerts they generate, have found a way to disable them while making their runs and even instructed other drivers on how to do so.
The really scary part for injured motorists is that most police crash investigators aren't even trained to look for misused or disabled safety equipment. To make matters worse, all of that equipment is the property of the trucking company. This matters because most modern safety equipment uses computers and real-time data to improve safety. This data leaves a trail and is important for understanding what happened in a crash, but that's not always a story that a trucking company wants everyone to know about, particularly when it shows that their driver screwed up. Does anyone believe that a company with potentially millions of dollars on the line is going to let a victim or their family near a piece of damning evidence if they don't have to? The only entity that can make a company hand over their assets against their will is a court, through its subpoena power.
Another issue that can arise from the presence of this safety equipment is the misleading impression it can create in the minds of a jury. Even if an individual driver's negligence or a trucking company's failure to do proper maintenance was actually the cause of a crash, having advanced safety features installed could make a company's claim that their driver did nothing wrong more plausible.
To top it off, jurors, because they're everyday people, are inclined to punish bad people for doing bad things. When they see a good person who allegedly did a bad thing, some jurors simply aren't as disposed to punish them as harshly as they would a bad person. In addition to reducing their rate of collisions, companies that cultivate a safety culture can also end up being rewarded by juries, who may see it as a reason to reduce the awards such a company has to pay when a wreck does occur. That reduction deals yet another blow to those who were injured, making it even harder for them to put their lives back together.
Ultimately, the only way to prevent this from happening is with the help of an attorney who can keep the jury's attention focused on the facts and evidence at hand.
How The Experienced Attorneys at Grossman Law Offices Can Make The Difference For Your Case
In my experience, few people ever think about the different ways safety technology can impact commercial truck injury and wrongful death litigation, even if they've been involved in a serious truck crash. The trucking industry is so complex, and each possible convolution has the potential to impact the course of litigation. That means knowing both the industry and the law is the key to both unlocking the full value of a case, while avoiding the damaging pitfalls that can ruin one.
At Grossman Law Offices, we've been successfully litigating commercial truck accident cases for almost thirty years. In that time, we've seen and overcome a wide variety of defenses on the part of trucking companies, making us well-prepared to counter whatever they can throw at us. Our secret to success isn't complicated: we gather the evidence, find out where it leads, and make a compelling case that either leads a trucking company to a fair settlement, or convinces a jury to hold them accountable at trial.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving an Anderson Trucking Service vehicle, we encourage you to call at 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help. We're available any time of the day or night to hear your story and answer any questions you may have.
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