What Victims of Crashes With Dependable Highway Express Vehicles Need to Know
After being involved in a collision involving a commercial vehicle, it can be hard to figure out what you should do next. Representatives of the trucking company or their insurer may present themselves as altruistic souls who just want to help take care of you. Unfortunately, without an experienced attorney to protect your interests, any offer they make will almost certainly end up helping them much more than you.
While the federal government requires all trucking companies to have minimum amounts of insurance coverage, some companies, including Dependable Highway Express, voluntarily insure for substantially more than their legal obligations. This means their insurance company is likely to fight that much harder to minimize what they have to pay out. Dallas semi-truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is Dependable Highway Express?
- How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
- How does the company's significant insurance coverage affect litigation against them?
What is Dependable Highway Express?
Founded in 1950 as Dependable Trucking, Dependable Highway Express (DHE) is now the primary ground transportation arm of parent company Dependable Supply Chain Services, which is the 90th largest commercial transportation company in the U.S. Its around 500 18-wheelers and 700 drivers traveled about 33 million miles and generated about $275 million of revenue in 2017.
According to federal government data, Dependable Highway Express vehicles have been involved in 25 collisions over the past two years, with 6 resulting in injuries and 1 leading to at least one person's death. While this data can't tell us who was at fault for any of these wrecks, it's likely that at least some percentage of them resulted from a company driver's carelessness.
Official records also provide another piece of relevant data: the company's larger-than-average insurance coverage. This means that their insurer is likely to fight more aggressively than they otherwise would to avoid having to compensate victims of crashes fairly.
How Could Dependable Highway Express' Insurance Coverage Affect Your Case?
The more we have at stake in any given conflict, the harder we're likely to fight. While that's true in disputes between individuals, it also applies for insurance companies defending against commercial vehicle accident claims, where the amounts involved can be far more substantial than in passenger car crashes.
Every company that moves freight across state lines is required to have at least $750,000 in liability insurance, plus any amounts required by the state in which they're incorporated. For example, our firm's home state of Texas requires an additional $250,000, for a total of a million dollars in coverage.
While transportation companies transporting hazardous freight are required to have substantially more in coverage to allow for the increased risk they involve, some of them, despite carrying standard cargo, choose to be insured for larger amounts anyway. In the case of Dependable Highway Express, that happens to be $5 million.
This fact might not seem all that significant at first glance. After all, why should it matter to you whether a trucking company or its insurer ends up paying for the losses you've suffered? But there's plenty of reason to be concerned that an insurance company will be more inclined to play hardball with victims when they have millions of dollars on the line.
In our years of experience litigating semi-truck accident cases, we've been able to observe first-hand just how aggressive these companies' tactics can be in practice. They might start with the insurer sending someone to the scene to interview witnesses and get them on-board with the trucking company's preferred narrative, while someone else gets the semi-truck away from the scene for hasty repairs.
We've also seen insurance companies offer to pay for victims' current medical bills or property damage in return for signing a simple form. What they don't mention when doing so is that your signature on that seemingly harmless contract actually releases the trucking company and their insurer from liability, making it impossible for you to pursue legal action against them. By the time someone who's signed these releases discovers how many other costs they've incurred from their injuries, like lost wages and ongoing rehab, they've already foreclosed their only effective avenue for compensation.
Even if you're smart enough not to fall for these tactics, and are able to file suit in your case, the insurance company can still attempt to influence the proceedings in their favor in a variety of ways. That might mean combing through social media trying to find evidence that you were posting just before the crash, or taking past statements out of context to make you seem untrustworthy.
Ultimately, most of these gambits can only succeed if you are trying to handle your case on your own, with no one in your corner to effectively gather the evidence required to prove what actually took place. While there's no way to prevent insurance companies from attempting this sort of underhanded behavior, hiring an attorney with experience litigating commercial vehicle accident cases will ensure that you're able to keep whatever happens outside the courtroom from damaging your claim's prospects.
How Grossman Law Offices Can Hold Dependable Highway Express Accountable
The incentives that larger-than-average insurance coverage create for aggressive defenses by an insurer are just some of the many variables that can affect the success or failure of a commercial vehicle accident claim. That means that, even if you have some knowledge of the legal system, you'll need plenty of help if you want to have much chance of success.
Grossman Law Offices' history of successful litigation against trucking companies large and small goes back more than two decades. We know how to fight back against the strategies companies like Dependable Highway Express and their insurers use to avoid responsibility for their negligence. In addition, we have the legal and investigative resources to hold them properly accountable for the harms they've caused you and your family.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a Dependable Highway Express tractor-trailer, please call 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to advise you of your options.
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