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How Victims of Crashes Involving Bison Transport Can Protect Their Interests

For victims of crashes involving commercial trucks, it may seem like presenting their account of what happened to the trucking company's insurance provider should be all they need to do to receive fair compensation for their injuries. However, because these businesses have a strong interest in minimizing their costs, they'll fight aggressively to pay as little as possible to those harmed by their negligence. That means legal action is usually the only way to be made anything close to whole for what you've lost.

While drivers for any trucking company are capable of careless behavior that leads to others being killed or injured, some, like Bison Transport, still have policies that make them appear significantly safer than others. While their extensive safety programs are certainly responsible, the impression they create for a jury could also make it more challenging for victims to hold the company accountable after a collision. Dallas 18-wheeler accident attorney Michael Grossman explains.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is Bison Transport?
  • How many accidents resulting in injury has the company been involved in?
  • How could the company's reputation for safety affect litigation against them?

Crash statistics courtesy the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

What is Bison Transport?

Founded in 1969 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Bison Transport provides cross-border transportation across most of Canada and throughout the Continental U.S. Its 1,400 trucks and 1,600 drivers generated a total of just over $470 million in 2017, making it the 65th largest trucking company by revenue.

The company's drivers traveled around 150 million miles in 2017, a bit further than the distance from the Earth to Mars. Over the last two years, federal government data indicates that those drivers have been involved in 20 reportable crashes, 12 of which resulted in injuries. Thankfully, none of these crashes have led to fatalities.

It's important to note that this data only reflects the number of wrecks in which a Bison vehicle was involved, and makes no suggestion about who was responsible for them. It's highly likely, however that at least some portion of the total were the result of a Bison driver's negligence.

While obviously any number of crashes caused by a tractor-trailer is too many, it's apparent from examining data on wrecks involving Bison Transport that their rate is significantly lower than the average competitor of comparable size. While it's hard to say for sure, this may be partly the result of the company's demonstrated commitment to making their operations as safe as possible. While there's nothing wrong with this, it may also have unintended consequences for those harmed in the wrecks that will almost inevitably still occur.

How Can Bison Transport's Reputation for Safety Affect Your Case?

There's a saying plastered on posters at many trucking companies: "Safe Driving Is No Accident." Obviously, it's impossible for management to be present in every 18-wheeler on every trip to ensure that drivers are following the company's safety protocols. But there's still a lot they can do to encourage safe practices, provided the company's leadership decides that it's worth the investment.

Bison demonstrates its own commitment to safe operations in a variety of ways. These include a program that financially rewards drivers for safe miles of travel and advanced driving simulators that expose them to dangerous roadway scenarios in a safe, controlled environment similar to an arcade game.

Prominent trade groups have also given the company several awards for its safety practices, including the National Fleet Safety Award of the Truckload Carriers Association and the Safe Fleet Award from the American Trucking Association. Many of these awards have been won over several consecutive years, showing that encouraging safety has remained a long-term core value for the company.

A trial is a battle to win the jurors' minds to one of two incompatible viewpoints.

While all of this is certainly a good thing, it's unlikely that any internal safety policy can prevent collisions altogether, as Bison Transport's crash data demonstrates. What's more, when they do occur, the appearance of being a "safe trucking company" can wind up working against the interests of those injured by a commercial driver's carelessness.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but let me explain. When a case is litigated in front of a jury, the trial is a battle to win the jurors' minds to one of two incompatible viewpoints. In one, a trucking company that makes every effort to encourage safe operations has been dragged into court by an unreasonable plaintiff, who's trying to hold them responsible for a tragic event, caused by events totally beyond their driver's control.

A narrative based on the actual situation, in which the commercial driver's negligence directly caused your injuries, may seem less compelling when viewed in the context of a trucking company's extensive safety efforts. Because most people are naturally inclined to reward good and punish evil, seeing a "safe company" with one driver who did a bad thing can make them less inclined to punish that company appropriately.

Only the efforts of an experienced semi-truck accident attorney can counteract the effect of a company's reputation for safety by keeping the jury's attention where it belongs: squarely on the evidence demonstrating the negligent behavior of their employees, and why the crash could not have happened without it.

That should include data from the tractor-trailer's engine control module, showing driver behavior like sudden braking or excessive speed just before the collision, maintenance records documenting a failure to perform needed repairs, and the truck driver's personnel records. These files can show whether they were involved in previous crashes or had a history of company warnings for unsafe driving.

Precisely because any claim relating to a semi-truck crash requires this evidence to succeed, trucking companies won't hand it over unless a judge's subpoena compels them to do so. And only an attorney familiar with such cases will be able to draft one that a court will approve, and that includes all relevant materials and information.

Grossman Law Offices Has The Knowledge and Experience To Help Your Case Succeed

Until now, you may not have considered how a company's reputation for safety could affect the process of litigation after a commercial truck crash. And it's just one of a long list of variables that could affect whether your commercial vehicle injury or wrongful death claim's likelihood of success.

Just as important as retaining an attorney is making sure you choose one experienced enough to give you the best possible chance of success. At Grossman Law Offices, our almost 30 years of practice successfully litigating these complex claims means we're ready for all of the difficulties yours might involve.

If you've been injured in a collision involving a Bison Transport tractor-trailer, please call 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to hear your questions and concerns.

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