What Should Victims and Their Families Know About Litigation Against Kenan Advantage Group?
While any accident involving a commercial vehicle carries a host of complications, those involving tanker trucks in particular have their own unique set of legal issues of which victims should be aware.
One such factor in accidents involving tanker trucks is the higher level of insurance these vehicles are mandated to carry, compared to other commercial vehicles transporting solid freight. A simple rule in truck accident litigation is that the more money the trucking company has on the line, the harder they fight to protect it. Attorney Michael Grossman explains how this and other considerations could prevent you from recovering the full value of your losses.
Questions Answered On This Page:
- What is the Kenan Advantage Group?
- How many crashes has this company been involved in over the last two years?
- How could the increased insurance requirements of the company's vehicles affect your case?
What is the Kenan Advantage Group?
Founded in 2001 and based in Canton, OH, the Kenan Advantage Group (KAG) uses tanker trucks to transport oil and other refined petroleum products from terminals and refineries to retail locations, such as gas stations. These runs are known as "short-haul" or "last mile" deliveries, typically of 40 miles or less. It has an affiliated fleet of slightly under 7 thousand tractors, of which about 5 thousand are company-owned, and about 2 thousand are either lease-to-own or owner-operated trucks, as well as about 11 thousand liquid trailers. Their total revenues for 2018 were about $1.5 billion dollars.
In the last two year period for which data is available from the federal government, the company's vehicles have been involved in 118 crashes, with 49 of those involving some degree of injury. In the interest of reserving judgment, it's important to note that the process of gathering these numbers does not involve any assigning of fault one way or the other. However, it's just as unlikely that a KAG driver wasn't at fault for any of these crashes as it is that they were responsible for all of them.
Federal government regulations require every commercial truck to carry at least $750,000 in insurance, but companies that carry hazardous freight, like KAG, have to carry at least $5 million worth. While, for those who suffer serious injuries in an accident involving these vehicles, it's always better to have more money to cover their losses than less, that extra insurance comes with its own share of complications.
How Do The Increased Insurance Requirements of Tanker Trucks Affect Your Potential Claim?
Tanker truck companies like the Kenan Advantage Group and their insurer have a mutual interest, even more so than most trucking companies, in reducing potential payouts to victims of their driver's negligence.
If you or someone you love has ever been involved in a car accident, you're probably all too familiar with how hard an insurance company can be willing to fight just to avoid paying out on a standard policy worth in the neighborhood of $30 thousand. Imagine how much motivation they'll have to vigorously defend against a claim when a vehicle like a KAG tanker is insured for 170 times that amount, and you'll have some idea of what to expect if you're hurt in a crash involving one.
One specific way that insurance companies attempt to avoid paying out on commercial vehicle claims is to hire private investigators to investigate victims. The hope is that the investigator will turn up dirt that will make a jury less inclined to award an injured person all of the damages that they're asking for. While this can be expensive, when there are several million dollars at stake, a few hundred thousand dollars for an investigator can be a very prudent investment.
In addition to the use of private investigators, we've seen insurers comb through the social media pages of clients, looking for compromising posts or photos that could damage their case. For example, a photo in which an injured person was smiling with their family, despite whatever pain they may be suffering, could easily give a jury a bad impression, however misleading the picture may be when taken out of context.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you can be certain that the insurance company will allocate however much money is required to retain a decent defense attorney, specializing in truck accident law, to present whatever they ultimately dig up to a jury and paint victims in the most unflattering light possible.
None of this means that the insurance company is invincible, only that there isn't a single one on earth that's going to simply hand over a $5 million check, no matter how significant someone's losses may have been. Even so, it's still entirely possible to hold the responsible parties accountable, given the right strategy and sufficient evidence of the insured trucking company's liability.
How Can the Right Representation Make the Difference for You?
The potentially massive payouts that insurers for companies like KAG can face in connection with an accident involving a tanker truck are a strong motivation for them to fight with every tool in their arsenal to avoid facing up to their responsibilities. And without help from an experienced truck accident attorney, it's difficult, if not impossible, for the average person injured in a commercial truck crash to do what's necessary to force the company to do so.
Most personal injury attorneys see 1 or 2 truck accident injury cases in a year; here at Grossman Law Offices, we've successfully handled hundreds. In the course of all that litigation, we've learned that, when there's so much on the line, insurance companies will hire the best attorneys they can find. That's why it's so important for victims and their families to have someone in their corner who's up to the challenge.
If you've been injured or lost a family member in an accident involving a KAG tanker, call us anytime at (855) 326-0000 to find out how we can help you.
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