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Were You Injured in a Collision With A JBS Carriers Truck? There Are A Few Things You Should Know

While obtaining compensation after any commercial vehicle crash come with its share of complications, when a livestock hauler like JBS Carriers is involved, it brings its own unique challenges for victims to overcome.

Because this subset of commercial trucking has been given special exemptions from regulations requiring trucking companies to automatically log their drivers' time on the road, there may be an increased risk of fatigue playing a role in wrecks caused by their vehicles. That makes it vitally important to arrange for a full investigation of any incident by an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Michael Grossman, a 30-year veteran of tractor-trailer accident litigation, explains.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is JBS Carriers?
  • How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
  • Why do the regulatory exemptions for livestock haulers matter for your case?

JBS Carriers Quick Facts
Crash statistics courtesy the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

What is JBS Carriers?

With its parent company JBS USA Holdings' roots dating back to the mid-19th century, JBS Carriers is the 63rd-largest private fleet in the country. Its roughly 700 trucks and almost 800 drivers traveled over 50 million miles in 2018. The parent company's most recent financial statements show total revenues of almost $28 billion.

Over the last two years, federal government data indicates the transport arm's vehicles have been involved in 69 crashes, of which 33 have led to injuries and 2 have resulted in fatalities. While these numbers don't allow us to draw any conclusions about who was responsible for these incidents, the sheer numbers involved suggest that a JBS driver's negligence caused at least some percentage of them.

While they haul a variety of meat products, JBS Carriers also uses a significant portion of its fleet to transport livestock. Because the agency regulating commercial transportation grants workers hauling this type of freight special exemptions from a mandate to have their hours electronically tracked, there's an increased likelihood of drivers exceeding their hours of service, which may in turn increase the risk of fatigue-related collisions.

The Significance of The Livestock Carrier ELD Exemption for Your Case

At first glance, it may not seem like there's much connection between a regulatory exemption for a small subset of commercial drivers and the negligence of the one that hurt you. Hopefully we can make the link clearer by the time you reach the end of this article.

You probably know without me having to tell you that it's extremely unwise to operate highly dangerous equipment like a tractor-trailer at anything less than full alertness. Because we can't trust to the angelic natures of drivers and dispatchers never to drive while fatigued, the federal government establishes regulations, known as hours-of-service requirements, dictating how long truckers can work without a break and how long those breaks have to be.

Naturally, these rules don't operate on the honor system, so they also require drivers to maintain logs of their hours worked, which have to be surrendered to inspectors on demand. For many years, these logs were traditional paper log books, so it was fairly easy for unscrupulous drivers to keep two sets of books, one for the government showing them to be in compliance with all rules and regulations, and another for their employer showing their actual hours worked.

However, as technology has advanced, electronic logging devices, or ELDs, which automatically track hours on duty, became increasingly popular among commercial fleets. Because it's much more difficult to falsify records of duty status when ELDs are in use, regulators now mandate them for all commercial drivers.

A study by a Canadian livestock consultant showing fatigue to be the primary cause of crashes involving livestock haulers shows this concern to be more than just speculative.

While this mandate applies to the vast majority of commercial drivers, one sector, livestock haulers, has been granted a special exemption from the ELD mandate to allow for the unique circumstances of their work. Among these are those transporting livestock, like many of JBS Carriers' drivers. While there are reasonable arguments for this exemption, they also create potential hazards that wouldn't otherwise exist.

To be specific, when drivers have the ability to falsify their logs due to the absence of ELDs, it allows for many to drive over their hours-of-service limits, which makes it more likely that they'll end up causing crashes due to fatigue. A study by a Canadian livestock consultant showing fatigue to be the primary cause of crashes involving livestock haulers be more than just speculative.

While many of these incidents were single-vehicle crashes, they could still involve another potential danger unique to this segment of the industry: the potential for livestock being dumped onto the roadway after one occurs. These animals can become a major hazard for motorists who may not be able to avoid striking one in time. If that happens, the trucking company is just as liable for the resulting injuries or deaths as they would be for a piece of equipment left in the road after falling off a flatbed.

Of course, this requires you to successfully establish that the animal was actually being transported by the vehicle involved in the crash. And that requires access to the full manifest of the vehicle involved, which the company won't hand over to you unless they're forced to do so by a valid subpoena that a judge has to approve. This also applies to any other evidence that might be needed to prove your case, including any and all logbooks in the driver's possession. If any of it is withheld or destroyed, as we've observed happen with logbooks in many cases, a judge can issue sanctions that make it easier for you to win your case.

To be clear, there's no way of knowing for sure what might have caused any of the incidents enumerated above without a fuller investigation of each one, and I don't mean to suggest that fatigue or HOS violations necessarily played a role. But given the exemptions that livestock transporters receive, it's important to arrange for an inquiry by an experienced semi-truck accident attorney to look into the possibility.

Grossman Law Offices Is Prepared for Every Complication of Litigation Against JBS Carriers

After being harmed by a crash involving a commercial vehicle, you've got plenty of challenges to deal with, from the long process of recovery to the struggle to keep the lights on. You shouldn't have to add the unique challenges of a crash involving a livestock hauler, or the hundreds of others that litigation like this can involve, to the burdens you're carrying.

At Grossman Law Offices, we have almost 30 years of experience helping people just like you hold negligent companies accountable. We've obtained multiple six- and seven-figure judgments through a combination of thorough investigation, aggressive negotiation, and powerful presentations before a jury. While we can't guarantee any specific results in your case, we can promise that hiring us on means having someone in your corner from the initial filing of your claim to its final resolution.

If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a JBS Carriers vehicle, please call (855) 326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're available whenever you need us to advise you of your options.

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