What You Need to Know if You've Been Injured in an Accident With a Heartland Express 18-Wheeler
Heartland Express claims, "safe operations take precedence over any other objective within Heartland Express." Federal crash statistics indicate that Heartland Express lives up to its word. On a per mile basis, Heartland Express is every bit as safe as UPS, one of the safest trucking companies on the highway.
Unfortunately, safety in the trucking industry is a relative concept. Even "safe" trucking companies are involved in hundreds of crashes every year. For people who are injured or who lose a loved one in these crashes, it's little comfort that the vast majority of the time, a company, like Heartland Express, operates in a safe manner.
Heartland Express also poses a unique challenge (and opportunity) for those who've been injured or lost a loved one due to a truck driver's negligence--cash on hand. These challenges mean that those who seek to hold Heartland Express accountable for their injuries can expect a very difficult fight, but at the end of the fight, the company has the means to cover the entire cost of a victim's losses. Attorney Michael Grossman explains how that could affect your truck accident case.
Questions answered on this page:
- What is Heartland Express?
- What challenges do lawsuits against Heartland Express face?
- Why does a company with cash on hand pose a serious challenge to victims?
About Heartland Express
Before discussing the challenges of holding Heartland Express accountable when one of their driver's causes a collision, it's important to understand a bit about the company. Based out of North Liberty, Iowa, Heartland Express specializes in short-to-medium hauls out of its regional distribution centers. The company hauls loads for such well-known companies as FedEx Freight and Lowe's.
Heartland Express' truck fleet consists of 3,759 trucks and 3,655 drivers. In total, those drivers covered 326 million miles in 2016. This generated a little over $612 million in revenue and a $56 million profit in 2017. This is down from almost $900 million in revenue back in 2014. Heartland Express dropped from the 33rd largest trucking company in the country to the 52nd during this time period.
Over the past 2 years, Heartland Express trucks have been involved in 278 crashes. Of that total, 78 resulted in at least one injury and 4 cost someone their life. On a per-mile basis, Heartland Express is as safe as the average large trucking company, and those tend to be safer than smaller companies on the whole.
Why Does Heartland Express Presents Victims with a Difficult Challenge?
At first, people are usually surprised to learn that most trucking companies, not just Heartland Express, do not automatically pay full compensation for the injuries or death their drivers cause. This can be frustrating and confusing, but it makes sense when you know what's going on.
It's not news to anyone that the more that someone has at stake, the harder they'll fight to keep what they believe is theirs. For instance, most people would expect that if someone owed them $5, the other person would just pay what they owed, because the amount at issue is nominal. However, if that same person owed $5,000, it's far more likely that they'll fight to pay less, and the matter is much more likely to end up in court.
The same general rule applies to commercial truck accident personal injury and wrongful death claims. This is particularly true for Heartland Express, not because they're a bad company, but because of what's at stake. While every company that operates in Texas is required to have $1 million in insurance, federal records show that Heartland trucks are insured for at least $6 million. No insurance company on earth is going to hand over $6 million without a fight, regardless of how badly a truck driver screwed up. They're going to make the victims show that they have to ability to go to court and win. Most people, without help, just can't make that happen, which allows the insurance company to offer pennies on the dollar compared to the costs that victims have actually incurred.
Raising the stakes even higher, Heartland Express has over $100 million in cash on hand. This means that, in the event the costs of making a person whole exceed the insurance policy limits, the trucking company could be on the hook for any excess amount. This provides a powerful incentive for the company to fight victims' claims every step of the way.
The problem that most people who are injured by a trucking company or lose a loved one face is that by the time they realize just how serious a legal situation they're in, they've already made mistakes that can compromise their chances of recovering the full value of their losses. That's what trucking companies bank on in order to reduce their liability.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Grossman Law Offices Is Here to Help.
How can one stand up to such a large, motivated opponent? The great equalizer is the law. However, it takes a trained truck accident attorney to effectively work within the legal system on your behalf. Without that, a company like Heartland Express has every incentive to try and minimize your damages in an effort to maximize their profit.
At Grossman Law Offices, we believe that a company's profit is what is left over after the company has paid everyone to whom it owes money. This doesn't mean that they get to pay their suppliers and the people who keep their company going, while ignoring those they have injured. It deeply offends us that a company that has already run over someone in our community on the highway would try and do so again in a courtroom. That is why we stand up on behalf of those who have been injured by trucking companies to hold them accountable for the damages they have caused. After all, you're the one who has been injured in a truck accident, and you don't need a trucking company treating you like you did something wrong for lawfully using the roads that belong to all of us.
For nearly 30 years, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been taking on big trucking companies in an effort to help our injured neighbors obtain compensation after suffering injuries or the loss of family members in 18-wheeler accidents. We know how to demonstrate to a jury that the trucking company was liable for your accident and, just as importantly, trucking companies know that we have won hundreds of truck accident cases. We have experience calculating the total value of the damages inflicted upon accident victims, and we've developed relationships with a wide variety of damage estimation experts to help demonstrate the validity of our calculations in court.
If you are involved in a truck accident dispute with Heartland Express, don't try to go it alone, call us today for a free consultation at (855) 326-0000 (toll free).
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