What Should I Know About Truck Accident Litigation Involving Daseke, Inc.?
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a Daseke, Inc. commercial vehicle, you probably have a lot of difficult concerns to deal with, and the finer points of the law regarding semi-truck crashes may not be at the top of your list.
Unfortunately for those who've suffered injuries or deaths in their family from such a crash, not knowing the law can seriously impede their ability to hold a negligent trucking company accountable for its driver's actions. Nothing pains me more than when someone who attempted to resolve their own truck accident case calls me up and reveals that they've made serious mistakes handling their situation.
Many times I'm still able to step in and fix whatever damage has been done, but there are instances where a well-meaning victim damages their case beyond repair and the trucking company is essentially let off the hook as a result. I'm Dallas truck accident attorney Michael Grossman, and here's a bit of what you need to know about your potential claim against Daseke, Inc.
Questions Answered On This Page:
- What is Daseke, Inc.?
- What is the company's accident rate over the past two years, and how many of those crashes have involved injury or death?
- How can victims establish whether potential distraction from in-vehicle devices played a role in a crash?
What is Daseke, Inc.?
Founded in Addison, TX in 2008, Daseke, Inc. has grown significantly over the past 10 years, incorporating 15 other companies into its fleet, including The Steelman Companies and The Roadmaster Group. The company specializes in flatbed and specialized freight, which transports extremely wide or heavy objects unsuitable for carriage on standard semi-trucks. Its combined fleet comprises around 4,300 trucks and employs just over 4,000 drivers, which together traveled about 341 million miles in the most recent year on record. That's further than a round trip to Mars.
Unfortunately, when a fleet is traversing that kind of distance, it's pretty likely that at least some of its vehicles will be involved in crashes. In the last two years, data from the federal government indicates that Daseke trucks were involved in 406 accidents, with 128 of those leading to injuries and 14 resulting in at least one death.
To be fair to the company, it's not the responsibility of the agency gathering this data to determine fault in any particular incident. While it's very unlikely that all of these crashes were caused by the careless behavior of a Daseke driver, it's also difficult to believe that none of them were. As is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in between.
While there are literally countless negative behaviors that can cause a commercial truck accident, there are a few broad categories of causal factors that lead to the majority of crashes. It would take too long to relate how each of these can impact a truck accident case, but I think understanding how one type of crash works can illustrate what the injured are up against when they attempt to hold a company like Daseke accountable for their negligent behavior.
The Potential Role of Distraction in Truck Accident Litigation
If you've driven on our nation's roads or highways anytime in the past few years, you've probably noticed a lot of people paying more attention to their mobile devices or on-board displays than to the large piece of mobile metal they're operating. As you might expect, this causes a lot of accidents, with 1 out of every 4 crashes reportedly caused by phone use while driving.
For all their training, commercial truck drivers are human beings, just like you and me, which means they can be equally prone to technological distraction. In fact, a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 15% of semi-truck accidents were caused by a distracted truck driver. The difference between a crash involving only passenger vehicles and one involving 18-wheelers is that, if distraction on the part of a commercial vehicle driver results in an accident, the consequences for those injured will usually be far more severe.
While the federal agency that regulates the trucking industry, the FMCSA, has banned the use of cell phones by drivers since 2012, that doesn't mean they aren't still used while vehicles are in transit, only that drivers and their employer are fined when and if they're caught. What's more, handheld devices aren't the only form of technological distraction available to semi-truck drivers.
In addition to on-dash navigational equipment that has increasingly become standard in tractor-trailers, because of the increasingly tight labor market for commercial truck drivers, many companies, including Daseke, are now offering in-vehicle satellite television as an incentive to recruit and retain personnel. While some of these TVs are designed such that they will only function when the vehicle is not in motion, not all of them are, which means any truck with such a device installed could be literally an accident waiting to happen.
A truck driver traveling at only 55 miles per hour (at least 15--20 miles slower than many do on interstate highways) who takes their eyes off the road for 5 seconds for any reason, including changing a channel or because something unusually interesting came on TV, can travel the length of a football field without looking at the road. That's enough inattentive distance for any number of dangerous events to occur that could lead to a collision.
Of course, even if a crash does occur because of a driver being distracted by a television, on-board display, or other device, those injured because of a semi-truck operator's carelessness have no way of proving that, absent evidence from the truck that can show the devices were in use at the time of a collision. And given how damaging that sort of data can be, trucking companies won't just hand it over without a fight.
Electronic devices in commercial vehicles are a double-edged sword: while they can make crashes more likely due to the increased likelihood of distraction, they also leave behind evidence of negligent behavior. These electronic records can literally make a victim's claim, but only if they known how to obtain them.
Why Grossman Law Offices Is The Best Choice to Handle Your Truck Accident Claim
Obtaining the necessary records to prove a driver was distracted is a task that faces many legal barriers, and it's just one of many that often arise in the course of litigating a commercial truck accident. That's why so many people run into trouble when they try to handle their own commercial truck accident case.
At Grossman Law Offices, we've been dealing with the ins and outs of crashes like this for almost thirty years, and we're ready to put the knowledge we've gained to work for you. You probably wouldn't want a complex operation to be performed by a surgeon who'd only done 1 or 2 procedures, and having your case tried by a lawyer who may have only handled a couple of cases involving large trucks could prove equally risky in a legal sense.
If you've suffered injuries or lost someone you care for in a crash involving a Daseke, Inc. tractor-trailer, please give us a call at 855-326-0000 to find out how we may be able to help you. We're available any time you are, day or night.
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