What the Injured and Their Families Need to Know About Suits Against Mayflower Transit
Victims of crashes involving commercial trucks may think that the driver of the truck appearing to be at fault means they'll be able to easily win a case against the company, but there's no such thing as a simple case where a trucking company is involved.
The business model of a company like Mayflower Transit, whose work exclusively involves moving personal and corporate property, and in which the same individuals are often responsible for both loading and moving the items under transport, can create unusual considerations for victims' attempts to demonstrate fault on the part of Mayflower's employees after a crash. Accomplished truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains how this issue may factor into litigation involving a Mayflower vehicle.
Questions Answered On This Page:
- What is Mayflower Transit?
- How many accidents involving death or injury has the company been involved in?
- Can improperly loaded trailers cause truck accidents?
What is Mayflower Transit?
St. Louis-based Mayflower Transit, is, along with United Van Lines, one of the two largest operating divisions of UniGroup, a 1.7 billion dollar transportation and relocation services company. Between the two lines, UniGroup handles one in three professional interstate moves for both individual and corporate clients. Mayflower alone employs a fleet of 1,845 moving trucks with 1,970 drivers, all of which traveled a combined total of 46,609,000 miles in 2017, which is equivalent to half the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Its revenues in 2017 totaled around $10 million.
According to records from the Department of Transportation, the company's vehicles have been involved in 39 total accidents in the course of 2017, with 13 involving injuries of some kind. In the interest of fairness, this data alone can't say one way or the other whether the truck driver involved was at fault in any given incident, but the law of averages would imply the company's liability in at least some portion of them.
It's worth noting one consideration that may have a somewhat unique effect on potential liability for crashes involving moving vehicles. Because employees in this segment of the transportation industry often serve as both drivers and loaders of the items being transported, in the aftermath of a crash, even many experienced truck accident injury and wrongful death attorneys often overlook the potential of improperly loaded cargo causing a crash. If a lawyer can't even prove what actually caused a crash, what do you think their chances are of holding a company accountable in a courtroom?
How Can the Unique Loading Practices of Moving Companies Affect Their Potential Liability?
Improper loading of a commercial truck can cause an accident in a variety of ways. If the weight loaded is excessive or not adequately secured and balanced, the truck may not be able to brake in time to avoid a collision after traveling down an incline, roll over while taking a sharp curve due to its higher center of gravity, or suffer a tire failure that would not have occurred on a properly weighted vehicle.
In order to more thoroughly explain how the loading practices of moving companies like Mayflower could be an issue in litigation, it's worth briefly delving into how commercial trucks are sometimes loaded in other sectors. In many cases, a shipper of goods will load up the vehicle with the cargo they need delivered, secure the freight, and seal the doors of the trailer.
In this scenario, while it's still possible to hold the trucking company liable, they can make an argument that the improper loading of freight by the third-party shipper was the actual cause of the crash, while the shipper in turn can attempt to point the finger back at the driver's failure to exercise due care in operating the truck by speeding or taking overly sharp turns. All of this blame-shifting, if not effectively refuted, could render the question of fault muddier in the eyes of a jury.
By contrast, in the case of moving companies, employees of the company are generally responsible for both loading and transportation of the items being transported. As a result, if a crash is ultimately determined to have resulted from improper loading practices, including overloading and inadequate securing of freight, it's difficult to plausibly argue that another party was responsible.
Of course, the primary issue with holding a moving company responsible in such situations is proving that negligent loading by one of their employees was more likely than not to have been the factor without which a crash would not have occurred, or proximate cause. The benefit to victims is that companies who load their own trucks give victims two different routes to success. Whether the crash is caused by driver negligence, or careless loading, victims only have to prove that one took place to position themselves to win their case.
Companies know that evidence that proves their negligence in either scenario likely leaves them on the hook for the significant damages that often result from an accident. As you might expect, companies don't turn over damning evidence to victims on request, and under the law, they aren't required to. The only way to compel companies to turn over documents or other needed evidence relevant to your claim is with a subpoena, a formal order signed by a judge demanding that they do so. And it takes a skilled attorney with experience handling truck accident cases to obtain one.
Grossman Law Offices Knows How to Obtain the Evidence You Need
Obtaining evidence to demonstrate that negligent loading led to a collision is only one of a host of complex difficulties that will inevitably present themselves in the course of litigating any commercial truck accident.
After any crash involving an 18-wheeler, victims have to deal with recovery from traumatic injuries, arguing with insurance companies, and any number of other challenges. Handling all of the thorny problems associated with litigation against trucking companies on top of that is a serious burden that no injured party should have to take on alone. That's why clients have been trusting the experienced attorneys at Grossman Law Offices to handle any and every potential issue for nearly 30 years.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a Mayflower Transit moving truck, please call 855-326-0000 to find out how we can help you. We're available whenever you are, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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