Injured in an Accident With a Stevens Transport 18-Wheeler Truck?
Dallas-based Stevens Transport is the 49th-largest trucking company in the United States. Don't be fooled by the modest ranking, Stevens transport still operates a fleet of commercial vehicles that numbers in the thousands.
A sad reality of the trucking industry is that if you spend enough times on the road, crashes are going to occur. While it's not fair to blame a trucking company for every accident they're involved in, those same companies aren't rushing to accept responsibility even for accidents that are clearly their drivers' fault.
This is why so many truck accidents end up resolved in litigation, and why victims who've been injured or lost a loved one need to understand what they're up against when they take on a company like Stevens Transport.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- How many wrecks has Stevens Transport been involved in in the last two years?
- How does Stevens Tranport's lease-to-own model impact an accident injury claim?
- What should I do if I've been injured in a collision with a Stevens Transport 18-wheeler?
What is Stevens Transport?
Stevens Transport's company headquarters is in Dallas, Texas and they are the largest refrigerated trucking company in the state. As of 2016, Stevens Transport had revenues of $662.4 million and profits of almost $80 million, which are quite healthy by trucking industry standards.
Stevens' fleet consists of 1,936 trucks and the company employs 2,613 drivers. In addition, the company is affiliated with an additional quantity of independently operated lease-to-own tractors, which aren't included in those numbers. Its drivers cover a bit over 200,000,000 miles in any given year.
From 2016-2018, federal data indicates that Stevens Transport trucks were involved in 6 fatal collisions, 43 that left someone injured, and a total of 193 crashes.
Those numbers may not sound like a lot, but for comparison's sake, UPS drivers were involved in 9 and half times as many fatal truck accidents. At the same time, UPS operates 60 times as many trucks.
This isn't to say that Stevens Transport is a more dangerous company, only that, when looking at truck accident figures, company size and context matter.
It's also important to note that these numbers indicate only the number of crashes that occurred and how many of them involved death or injury, not whether a company driver was at fault in any given incident. While it's unlikely that the driver of the commercial truck should be considered responsible for all of these accidents, it's equally implausible to think that they aren't implicated in some percentage of them.
Lease-to-Own Companies Present Special Problems for Victims
There's no such thing a simple truck crash injury case. Trucking companies have the right to defend themselves and take full advantage of that. This means they have lawyers working on their behalf to minimize the amount they have to pay you.
Things get even more complicated when the trucking company operates a lease-to-own program. The reason this can increase a case's level of complexity is that lease-to-own programs allow a company to argue that the driver isn't really an employee, but an independent contractor.
Trucking companies share responsibility for the actions of their employees. They make money when their employees perform well, but by the same token, they're on the hook when an employee kills or injures someone on the job. in the eyes of the law, independent contractors operate their own distinct companies, and are therefore solely liable for their own actions.
The law doesn't clearly spell out the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, but courts make a case-by-case decision based upon the degree of control the company exerts over how a person does their job. If a company exercises enough control, through such actions as dictating schedules and routes, then it doesn't matter if they think an employee is an independent contractor; in the eyes of the law, they're an employee.
Courts have come down hard in recent years on lease-to-own programs where companies dictate every aspect of the lease, repayment, and work required for an employee to own their own truck. This isn't to say that Stevens Transport necessarily runs their program in an irresponsible or illegal manner, as there's no publicly available evidence one way or or another, only that lease-to-own vehicles are a huge red flag for truck accident litigation.
If all of this has your head spinning, remember that it's just a small part of how truck accident cases work. Luckily, you don't have to take the legal maneuverings of trucking company defense attorneys lying down.
How Can I Get Grossman Law Offices on My Side?
For nearly 3 decades, Grossman Law Offices has been helping people hold trucking companies responsible for the injuries that they cause. While many lawyers may see 1 or 2 commercial truck accident cases in their entire career, our attorneys have successfully litigated hundreds.
This experience means that Michael Grossman and his attorneys have seen just about everything the trucking industry can throw at a victim. If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a Stevens Transport truck, our attorneys would be more than happy to discuss your options with you. Call us, anytime day or night, at (855) 326-0000 for a free consultation.
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