Lawsuits Involving North American Van Lines Trucks
Most people assume that if they're in a collision with a commercial truck, that company is automatically responsible for the costs of any injuries or loss of life that occurs in the accident. They see a name on the side of the truck, like North American Van Lines, and assume they can just contact the company and get things resolved. It would be nice if things were that simple, but unfortunately, they're not. In order for a victim to hold a trucking company accountable for any injuries that result from a crash, a victim has to have to ability to prove in a court of law that the trucking company was at fault. That's a tall order.
The situation gets even more complex when dealing with a company like North American Van Lines, which isn't an independent company in its own right, but a subsidiary of SIRVA, a privately held trucking conglomerate that includes other companies, like Allied Van Lines. Subsidiaries like North American Van Lines may handle the day to day business, but when there's a major incident, one can be certain that the parent company will get involved.
These situations require not only an attorney who can prove that a trucking company screwed up in court, but also someone able to navigate complex corporate structures to determine just who they're dealing with. That's where truck accident injury firms like Grossman Law Offices can help.
Questions Answered in This Article:
- Do North American Van Lines drivers have more failed safety inspections than the average trucking company?
- Has North American Van Lines been involved in many wrecks?
- What do I do if I've been injured by a North American Van Lines 18-wheeler?
What Is North American Van Lines?
North American Van Lines is the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based subsidiary of SIRVA, a private holding company. According to the most recent publicly available documents, SIRVA had $664 million in annual revenue, placing it comfortably among the top 100 largest trucking companies in the United States.
The vast majority of United Van Lines business comes from physically moving the possessions of corporations who choose to relocate. Another substantial portion of its incomes comes from contract moves with private individuals who seek the help of a moving company. In essence, someone wants to move, but doesn't want to or isn't able to do it themselves, they call up North American Van Lines, and they show up with their 18-wheelers to haul everything to its new home.
To accomplish this, North American Van Lines owns 927 commercial vehicles and employs 1,523 drivers. In 2016, this fleet covered more than 37 million miles on our highways. Between 2016-2018, the North American Van Lines fleet was involved in 38 crashes, 7 of which resulted in at least 1 injury. Thankfully, North American Van Lines was not involved in a fatal collision during this time period.
It's fair to point out that just because a company is involved in an accident doesn't mean that their driver was at fault. Federal statistics currently include crashes in a company's count, whether the company's driver or someone else caused it. The flip side is that the numbers also don't rule out the possibility that some portion of these crashes were caused by a North American Van Lines driver.
It's also interesting to note, especially given the nationwide shortage of qualified truck drivers, that North American Van Lines drivers failed driver inspections at a higher rate than the national average. Certainly, some of these failures could be due to the mountains of paperwork, which drivers are required to keep, not being in good order, but failure can also stem from issues like an invalid CDL, failed drug tests, or drivers who exceed the number of hours that they can legally drive.
The way the government reports their data makes it impossible to know why North American Van Lines drivers fail safety inspections at a higher rate than their peers. What does raise some concern is that most trucking companies of similar size beat the national average by a significant margin.
What Do Failed Driver Inspections Mean For Victims Trying to Hold North American Van Lines Accountable?
The single biggest cause of accidents involving commercial trucks is driver error. While there are cases where the driver who causes the crash is in a passenger vehicle, a significant amount of the time it's the 18-wheeler driver who does something that results in tragedy. Why does this matter?
Law enforcement officials conduct random inspections of truck drivers. The purpose of these stops is to ensure that truck drivers are playing by the rules. When the inspector finds a violation, it means that the truck driver is doing something unsafe or not in compliance with regulations. Well, when a company has a higher number of drivers who fail these inspections, it certainly should raise questions if you're injured by that company's drivers. If nothing else, victims deserve to know whether the driver who caused their accident had failed a driver inspection.
Anyone with access to the internet, including accident victims, can look up aggregate driver safety statistics for a company like North American Van Lines, just as easily as we can. What most people can't do is obtain records indicating whether or not the particular driver who caused their wreck had a history of failed driver inspections or other red flags. Especially if there were red flags, a trucking company isn't just going to hand over damning evidence to a victim, absent the credible threat of litigation.
It's stating the obvious to point out that most people simply don't have the skills to navigate our courts and make a trucking company hand over dirty laundry they would rather not have aired publicly. That's where an experienced truck accident injury attorney comes in.
Grossman Law Offices Is the Partner Victims Need
While most personal injury attorneys will handle one or two commercial truck accident cases throughout their careers, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have successfully resolved hundreds over the last 30 years. People wouldn't continue to hire our attorneys if they didn't get results. Part of getting those results is knowing how to dig and get evidence that trucking companies would rather hide from victims. This not only exposes the truth, but helps hold trucking companies accountable when they screw up and kill or injure someone.
If you're skeptical whether a law firm can really deliver the goods, don't take this article on faith. Call Grossman Law Offices for a free consultation at (855) 326-0000. We answer the phone anytime, day or night, and are always happy to answer any questions that you may have. If you've been injured by a North American Van Lines driver, don't try and take them on by yourself. Get the help you need.
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