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Why Personal Injury Lawsuits Against BlueLinx Holdings Are Different

After being injured due to the negligence of a commercial vehicle driver, your mind is probably on your recovery and keeping the lights on, not the maintenance practices of his employer. But if inadequate maintenance on the 18-wheeler involved turns out to have been the cause of the crash, it's important to have experienced legal help that can obtain the evidence needed to prove it.

This risk is particularly acute in the case of crashes caused by BlueLinx Holdings drivers, because there's reason to believe the company may not be paying sufficient attention to proper maintenance. Regardless of what ultimately turns out to have caused the wreck that caused your losses, it's important to obtain the help of an attorney who can figure out what happened and hold the company accountable. Acclaimed tractor-trailer accident attorney Michael Grossman explains how victims can protect their interests.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is BlueLinx Holdings?
  • How many crashes involving injury or death has the company's fleet been involved in?
  • What does the unusually high out-of-service rate of the company's vehicles mean for your case?

BlueLinx Holdings Quick Facts
Crash statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

What is BlueLinx Holdings?

Founded in 1954, Atlanta-based BlueLinx Holdings now controls the 45th-largest private commercial fleet in the U.S. Its roughly 600 flatbed trucks, driven by around 500 drivers, traveled just over 15 million miles in 2018, with the company as a whole generating almost $3 billion in revenue that year.

Over the past two years, federal government data indicates the company's vehicles were involved in 28 crashes, 17 of which resulted in injuries. Fortunately, no one was killed in any of these wrecks. While this data may seem high for the distance traveled, it provides no indication of who bears responsibility for any of these incidents. On the other hand, given the numbers involved, it would be pretty unlikely if none of the wrecks in which someone was injured resulted from a BlueLinx driver's negligence.

While there are many risk factors that can lead to commercial truck wrecks, a lack of proper maintenance is one that generally isn't apparent from an initial examination. Given that BlueLinx Holdings' fleet has an out-of-service rate higher than the national average, it's even more important to properly investigate this possibility.

Why Does BlueLinx Holdings' High Out-of-Service Rate Matter for Your Case?

The possibility of inadequate maintenance contributing to a collision involving a commercial vehicle often isn't given the consideration it deserves, even by the local police who generally conduct the first investigation of the incident. Because it's not easy at first glance to tell the difference between a driver who didn't stop because he was distracted by his phone and one who didn't stop because his brakes were poorly maintained, it can be easy to assume that the operator's carelessness is all that matters.

There are a variety of ways that maintenance issues can contribute to a crash, from tires becoming delaminated and suffering blowouts to malfunctioning brake lights and tail lights that render the vehicle impossible to spot from behind. Regardless of the particular issue, it's crucial to have a full investigation into whose careless decision actually caused it.

Given that the average out-of-service rate for commercial vehicles is 20%, there's certainly reason to suspect that many of these trucks may have issues that haven't yet been detected, any number of which could put them at higher risk of catastrophic failures.

There's enough evidence of an underlying problem with the company's repair practices to underscore how important it is to obtain a comprehensive, independent investigation.

In the case of BlueLinx Holdings, that risk is likely even more acute, because its out-of-service rate is even higher than the already troubling national average, at more than 23%. Keep in mind that this is the rate of vehicles that were evaluated and ordered off the road by regulators. If almost a quarter of the company's fleet is in such poor condition that the government forbade them from travel, how well-maintained is the rest of their fleet likely to be?

It might seem strange that a company would allow their trucks to be in such disrepair, given the many risks it exposes them to if a crash occurs as a result. But ultimately, this is yet another case of a company gambling that those harmed in collisions won't have the resources to hold them accountable for their negligence. If the bet pays off, they're able to keep their costs down by reducing maintenance costs and improve their often-narrow profit margins.

The most obvious way for companies like BlueLinx to avoid liability in wrecks resulting from mechanical failures is simply refusing to turn over the evidence needed to prove that it happened. Because they usually remove the vehicle involved from the scene as soon as possible after the collision, and any records of maintenance performed or neglected are their legal property, you have no way of obtaining it without drafting the appropriate legal documents to a judge's satisfaction. And that requires the help of a semi-truck accident attorney who knows exactly what needs to be included and how it should be formatted.

To be clear, I don't mean to imply that any of the crashes involving BlueLinx's vehicles were necessarily the result of mechanical issues. It could easily turn out that the wreck that harmed you resulted from a driver on their phone, in a rush to make their next delivery, or trying to make an unsafe lane change. But there's enough evidence of an underlying problem with the company's repair practices to underscore how important it is to obtain a comprehensive, independent investigation from someone with the legal acumen to conduct one.

Grossman Law Offices Is Ready to Take The Fight to BlueLinx Holdings

Investigating whether an uncorrected mechanical issue contributed to a crash is just one of the many hundreds of complex tasks involved in any commercial vehicle accident litigation. Without qualified help, it's all too easy for the company's well-paid defense attorneys to stymie your claim or convince you that their paltry settlement offer is the most you can expect to obtain.

At Grossman Law Offices, we don't have to dazzle you with elaborate marketing gimmicks, because our record speaks for itself. Over nearly 30 years of practice, we've successfully litigated hundreds of semi-truck accident cases, regularly winning six or seven figure judgements for our clients. And as their rave reviews indicate, we believe in putting our clients first, including answering your questions in plain English.

If you or a family member have been injured in a collision involving a BlueLinx Holdings vehicle, please call (855) 326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help. We're available whenever you need us to advise you of your options.

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