How Is Holding Prime Inc. Accountable for a Truck Accident Different?
When one looks into Prime Inc., the first thing that jumps out is their commitment to safety. Few trucking companies post recordings of monthly safety meetings on the internet for all to hear. There are also not a lot of trucking companies that give drivers bonuses for clean safety inspections, like Prime does. Accident statistics show that this approach bears fruit, in that Prime trucks are involved in far fewer accidents than other fleets of similar size.
Of course, for people who've been injured or lost a loved one due to a Prime truck driver's carelessness, no commitment to safety by the company makes up for the pain they've endured. While it may seem perverse, if a company like Prime has gone out of their way to encourage their truckers to behave safely on the road, when a driver for that company does screw up and injure someone, it can make it more difficult for victims to recover what they need to put their lives back together. Attorney Mike Grossman explains how that works.
Questions answered on this page:
- How many truck does Prime Inc. operate?
- How many accidents have Prime Inc. trucks been involved in over the past 2 years?
- What complicates holding a "safe" trucking company accountable when they kill or injure someone?
Prime Inc. at Company Profile and Safety Record
Operating out of Springfield, Missouri, Prime is the 18th-largest trucking company in the United States. Prime's annual revenues exceed $1.6 billion. Its business involves using both company drivers and independent contractors to haul freight under the Prime banner.
A combined fleet of 6,331 trucks driven by 7,475 drivers covered nearly 3/4ths of a billion miles around the United States, in 2017. Prime trucks were involved in 750 crashes between 2016 and 2018, slightly more than one a day. Of that total, 22 collisions resulted in at least one fatality, while a further 223 had at least one reported injury. For a company that covers the ground that Prime does, those numbers are as safe or safer than its competitors.
Unfortunately, this commitment to safety doesn't make it easier for victims who are injured or who have lost a loved one to hold Prime Inc. accountable. While it may make accidents less likely to happen, when they do, a company with Prime's robust commitment to safety can actually make it harder to convince a jury that the company's driver acted in a careless or unsafe manner.
Holding a "Safe" Trucking Company Accountable Presents a Unique Challenge
Contrary to popular belief, lawyers and judges aren't where the real power lies in most court cases. In fact, the only entity that can compel a person or business to pay for the injuries they've inflicted upon another is a jury. Since juries are made up of everyday, ordinary members of a community, we can infer some things from how normal people generally feel about justice.
In short, few people have a problem with punishing bad people and rewarding good folks. When they get in the jury box, there isn't a person alive who isn't ready to hold a bad person accountable. Unfortunately, things get a little more complicated when the lines blur and a trucking company with a great safety reputation screws up and injures or kills someone. Few of us wish to see someone punished harshly for what we view as someone having a bad day.
The problem for victims in these kinds of cases is that a bad day in the trucking industry can have much more dire consequences than in other fields, like a mountain of medical debt, lost wages, or even the loss of someone beloved. Victims who've suffered terrible consequences like these don't want to hear about monthly safety meetings or clean Department of Transportation inspections in the aftermath of what they've endured.
The key to overcoming this handicap is first to know that it exists, and then to keep litigation focused on how the truck driver messed up in a particular instance. In order to make this happen, the focus has to be on the evidence in the case. Things like the truck's black box, calls with dispatch, cell phone records, and the story told by the physical evidence on the scene all direct a jury's attention to what happened on a particular day, rather than the good works of a defendant.
The law doesn't give companies who injure people bonus points for doing the right thing 99.9% of the time. They're still as accountable when an employee screw up as a company who couldn't give safety a second thought.
Of course, when an attorney is dealing with something as important as helping a victim of a commercial truck driver's negligence, it's vital to make sure that all of the bases are covered.
Have Questions? Call Grossman Law Offices
While every truck accident law firm should think about every aspect of a case from a jury's perspective, the friendly reception that "safe" trucking companies get from many juries is something that attorneys usually learn only through experience. For nearly 3 decades, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have successfully litigated hundreds of commercial truck accident cases. For a bit of perspective, most personal injury attorneys may handle one or two commercial truck accident cases in their who career.
Our experience means that the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have seen nearly every scenario that the trucking industry can throw at someone who is just trying to get their lives back to normal after a serous commercial vehicle accident. The insights gained from hundreds of cases allow us to see things that less experienced attorneys might miss. Who ultimately benefits? Of course it's our clients.
Whether you're looking for an attorney, or would simply like to know more about how the law applies to your circumstances, feel free to give us a call at (855) 326-0000 for a free consultation. We answer the phone anytime day or night and are passionate about not only practicing the law, but making it understandable for everyone.
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