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What Victims of Crashes Involving Reyes Holdings Vehicles Should Know

After being involved in a collision involving a commercial vehicle, you may be too overwhelmed trying to deal with all of the other challenges it's created to figure out how to obtain compensation from the company responsible. That's even more true when the defendant is just one part of a much larger entity, like Reyes Holdings.

Although Reyes Holdings is comprised of a host of subsidiaries across the country, they all appear to make good safety practices a priority. While this may reduce their drivers' risk of causing crashes, it may also make it harder for jurors to view them objectively when one does occur. Dallas truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains why.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is Reyes Holdings?
  • How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
  • How could the company's use of safety equipment and training programs affect your case?

What is Reyes Holdings?

Founded in 1976 in Spartanburg, SC as a Schlitz beer distributor, Reyes Holdings has since incorporated a host of subsidiaries, including Great Lakes Coca Cola and the Martin-Brower Company, making it the second-largest private motor carrier in the U.S. by number of vehicles. Its combined fleet of almost 4,000 semi-trucks and 6,000 drivers traveled about 120 million miles in 2017, with the company accruing revenues of almost 28 billion dollars that year.

Federal government data indicates that the company's vehicles have been involved in 165 crashes over the last two years, of which 68 led to injuries and 4 resulted in fatalities. We should note that this data isn't able to show who was responsible for any of these wrecks, although given the sheer numbers involved, it's likely that at least some of them resulted from the negligence of Reyes employees.

While they may differ somewhat in the types of products they transport, Reyes Holdings' subsidiaries all appear to share a commitment to safety on the road. This is certainly admirable as far as it goes, but as you know all too well, such measures can never be 100% effective. What's worse, because of how they can affect a jury's perceptions, they may also make it harder to hold them accountable when a crash does occur.

How Could The Company's Safety Practices Affect Your Case?

We should be clear about one thing right up front: there's no such thing as a perfectly safe trucking company. It's simply not possible to completely prevent commercial drivers from behaving irresponsibly or keep the drivers of passenger vehicles from causing crashes involving semi-trucks. That being said, some companies definitely put more resources into improving their safety practices than others.

Because the Reyes Holdings family is a private company, the only source regarding their safety policies is what they choose to advertise on their website and in public statements by their senior leadership. Since obviously they're unlikely to advertise negative aspects of their operations, it's important to take information from these sources with a grain of salt. However, it seems reasonable to conclude that they're at least making meaningful efforts to encourage safe behaviors among their drivers.

There are lot of things that trucking companies can do to improve their safety record, two of which are installing safety technology and ensuring that their employees receive extra training in-house before being allowed behind the wheel. Reyes' version of the latter is a one-week course, called Reyes Academy, that includes instruction in most aspects of safe commercial vehicle operation, including the use of a virtual driving simulator.

In addition, the company has cameras installed that monitor both the road surface and the cab of their vehicles. Managers are able to review these videos, and, hopefully, correct any dangerous behavior they observe before it causes a collision. While there's no way of knowing how meticulous they are in doing so, they at least have the option.

When the average person is called to serve on a trial, their natural instinct will be to identify the bad guy in the situation and punish them on behalf of the good guy who's been harmed.

So far, so good. It's not my intent here to suggest that extra training or driver cameras are a bad thing by any means. Given how much danger careless operation of commercial vehicles creates, both for their drivers and other motorists, trucking companies deserve credit for any meaningful steps they take to combat negligent behaviors.

However, just because a company does its best to reduce the risk of crashes doesn't mean it shouldn't be held accountable when one does happen. Ideally, juries would be able to ignore a company's general efforts to encourage safety and focus on the specific negligence that caused the crash being litigated. In the real world, that often isn't the case.

When the average person is called to serve on a trial, their natural instinct will be to identify the "bad guy" in the situation and punish them on behalf of the "good guy" who's been harmed. If they see reason to believe a trucking company's narrative that it tries its best to be safe and had one driver who just "made a mistake," they'll likely be less inclined to make them pay a significant judgment than they would a company with little apparent regard for safety.

Getting help from an attorney with experience litigating semi-truck accident cases as soon as possible is the best way to counteract this effect. By following the proper legal processes to obtain and present evidence of what happened and why, he can refocus a jury's attention on what really matters: the negligence of the commercial driver who caused the wreck and their employer's shared responsibility.

Grossman Law Offices Will Help Get Your Case Over the Finish Line

Given the massive legal resources a multi-billion dollar company like Reyes Holdings has at its disposal, it's understandable to feel intimidated by the prospect of pursuing legal action against them. But you don't have to feel that way if you have the right legal help to balance the scales.

At Grossman Law Offices, we've been helping victims of commercial vehicle accidents hold trucking companies accountable for almost 30 years. From gathering all of the evidence your case needs as part of our initial investigation, to dedicated advocacy on your behalf at litigation and trial, you can count on us to have your back.

If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a Reyes Holdings 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 answer any questions you may have.

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