Vital Information For Victims of Crashes Involving Maverick Transportation
America is the land of rugged individualists, and we're used to handling whatever life throws at us on our own. But when it comes to defending your interests after a collision with a commercial truck, trying to handle the situation without help can be a dicey proposition. That's because the burden is on you as the victim to prove the liability of the opposing party, and trucking companies like Maverick have a wealth of legal resources available to prevent that from happening.
In Maverick's case, their activities as alleged in prior litigation, in which a driver was ordered to operate an unsafe tractor-trailer, give even more reason to be prepared for an aggressive defense on their part. Dallas truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains why the company's history is relevant for victims.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is Maverick Transportation?
- How many accidents involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
- What does the company's behavior in the Canter case suggest about what victims can expect?
What is Maverick Transportation?
Founded in Texarkana, AR in 1983 in the wake of the 1980 deregulation of the trucking industry, Maverick Transportation is now the 80th-largest commercial transportation company in the U.S., with 2017 revenues of just over $350 million. It specializes in transport of building materials and perishable food products.
The company maintains a fleet of around 1,600 semi-trucks, driven by roughly the same number of drivers, which traveled more than 150 million miles last year. Over the last two years, federal government data shows that those vehicles were involved in 156 crashes, of which 42 involved injuries and 2 led to fatalities.
In all fairness, we should note that these numbers, provided by the federal government, can only speak to the number of collisions involving a Maverick vehicle and their consequences, not who was at fault. However, it's highly likely that at least some of them involved negligence on the part of a Maverick driver.
On the other hand, the events outlined in a lawsuit against Maverick by a former employee, in which the company defended its decision to order a driver to operate a vehicle with several known mechanical issues, do give a fairly clear impression, suggesting a potential for reckless operation that may have repercussions throughout its operations.
What Lessons Does Canter v. Maverick Hold for Victims?
Our best guide to how a company will behave in the future is often its past behavior, which is what makes Canter v. Maverick Transportation potentially instructive for victims of collisions involving the company's trucks.
The events of the case are fairly easy to summarize. In late 2003, Albert Brian Canter was driving a Maverick tractor-trailer when he struck a motorcyclist who had been knocked off his bike after the bike struck an animal. Canter was cleared of any fault for the collision. However, as part of their investigation of the crash, police inspected his semi-truck and found a host of issues with its brakes and steering.
After calling a vendor to adjust the brakes, Mr. Canter delivered his load to a truck stop and traveled around 70 miles to his home, where he remained for a month on medical leave. After he told the company he had elected not to return to work, Maverick asked that he drive the vehicle several hundred miles to the company's terminal, which Canter refused to do unless its mechanical issues were corrected first.
Maverick responded to this refusal by placing an abandonment notation in Canter's employment report, making it significantly more difficult for him to find future employment. After he filed a formal complaint, a judge with the Department of Labor ultimately ruled that his refusal to drive the truck was protected by federal law. The ruling also required the company to pay more than $100,000 in damages and remove the abandonment notation.
What can we take away from this story? First, that Maverick was made aware of defects with one of its vehicles that violated federal regulations and made it potentially dangerous to operate, and failed to correct them for more than a month. Second, that it asked a driver to put himself and the public at risk by asking him to drive it hundreds of miles before those mechanical issues had been repaired. When he responsibly refused to do so, they put a black mark on his record that hampered his ability to remain in the industry.
To be sure, these events all occurred more than 15 years ago, and it's entirely possible this was an isolated incident not reflecting the company's general approach. But is that a possibility you would stake your financial well-being on? If not, then it's only prudent to be ready for Maverick to play hardball in defending against your claim.
We've seen trucking companies go to incredible lengths to make victims seem less sympathetic to a jury, from digging up social media posts in which their injuries appear less severe, to presenting prior speeding tickets that might imply a plaintiff's reckless driving contributed to the collision. While these strategies might seem desperate, they can still be effective without someone to push back against them.
The best way to avoid having your claim derailed by the aggressive tactics of a trucking company's attorneys is to obtain assertive representation that can thoroughly investigate and document the negligent practices of the trucking company that were the actual cause of your injuries.
How Grossman Law Offices Can Help You Hold Maverick Transportation Accountable
There are some things in life that it's hard to be prepared for, and being in a crash involving a commercial vehicle falls into that category for most people. You may feel confused and overwhelmed, which is the worst possible condition in which to take on the massive burden of pleading your case to a trucking company.
Fortunately, you don't have to take the risk of handling your claim alone. At Grossman Law Offices, our more than 25 years of experience litigating commercial truck accident suits and record of success mean you can rest easy, knowing your claim is in qualified hands. And if you ever have questions or just want an update, we pride ourselves on being available to our clients whenever they need us.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a Maverick Transportation 18-wheeler, please call 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to hear your story.
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