What Victims of Crashes Involving Superior Carriers Tankers Should Expect
Most people aren't naturally inclined to expect the worst of others. It would be exhausting to go through life trying to be constantly prepared for everyone you encounter to take advantage of you. However, there are some circumstances where it's important to be on your guard for just that, and the period after a collision with a tractor-trailer is one such situation.
While every crash involving a commercial vehicle tends to become a pitched legal battle, when tanker trucks transporting hazardous freight are involved, like those owned by Superior Carriers, the increased insurance requirements that transporting this cargo requires can motivate the company to resist claims even more aggressively. Dallas semi-truck accident attorney and Texas Super Lawyer™ Michael Grossman explains.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is Superior Carriers?
- How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
- How could the increased insurance requirements of tanker trucks affect litigation against the company?
What is Superior Carriers?
Superior Carriers is the largest operating subsidiary of parent company Superior Bulk Logistics, which is the 98th-largest commercial transport company in the U.S., with 2017 revenues of a bit over $250 million and net revenue that year of around $14 million. It specializes in tanker transport of diesel fuel and natural gas.
The company's approximately 1,200 tanker trucks and 1,000 drivers traveled around 75 million miles in 2017. Over the last two years, federal government data indicates its trucks have been involved in a total of 80 crashes, of which 26 have led to injuries and 3 have resulted in fatalities.
It's important to note that this data only tells us that a Superior Carriers vehicle was involved, not who was at fault for any of these wrecks. However, given the numbers and the law of averages, there's a strong likelihood that the negligence of a driver for Superior Carriers caused at least some portion of them.
The federal government's increased insurance requirements for commercial vehicles moving hazardous freight are one thing that sets them apart. While this means there are more funds available to compensate victims, it also means that insurers for companies engaged in moving this kind of cargo will be that much more motivated to aggressively defend against any claims.
How Superior Carriers' Insurance Requirements Could Affect Your Case
Liability insurance has a few different purposes, but what all of them have in common is protection. For trucking companies, insurance policies protect the company's financial interests against the otherwise substantial costs associated with crashes. In addition, they protect those harmed by the negligence of a company's drivers from unfairly bearing the costs of medical coverage, missed work and other expenses associated with their injuries.
Because those costs can be substantial, government regulations require all companies engaged in interstate transport to have at least $750,000 of insurance coverage on each vehicle in their fleet. In the state of Texas, where our firm is based, companies are required to have an additional $250,000, for a total of $1 million.
However, these requirements only apply when the company is transporting non-hazardous, stable freight. If their vehicles are carrying hazardous materials, as Superior Carriers does, the required minimum amount rises to $5 million, because of the increased risk that a crash involving these substances creates.
An insurance company will inevitably fight to pay out as little as possible on claims, but when losing in court means the company may have to pay the entire cost of a judgement, it's likely to fight even harder than it would when its client is picking up the excess. That makes it more likely that victims will wind up contending with the full range of strategies a company has at its disposal to avoid or reduce their costs.
We've seen a host of cases in which this process got started shortly after the crash, when an employee of the insurance company contacted our client while he was still in the hospital. They offered to pay for his property damage and arrange to pay his medical bills at a later date, all in return for his signature on an agreement.
What the injured man didn't know was that this document actually released the company and its client from any responsibility to pay for costs he incurred as a result of the crash. While we were ultimately able to convince a judge that the waiver was invalid because it was signed under misleading terms, if he had been trying to handle his own legal fight, our client might well have ended up settle for substantially less than what he lost.
A highly motivated insurance company may also try to undermine your claim by suggesting that you were partially or wholly responsible for the collision, often by misrepresenting what took place and hoping you won't be able to prove them wrong. This could be accomplished by saying you were going too fast to avoid the wreck, even when the 18-wheeler was blocking the entire road, or inventing a phantom vehicle that side-swiped the semi-truck before suddenly disappearing into the night.
Obtaining the help of an attorney with experience handling cases involving commercial vehicles means you'll have someone to effectively counter whatever strategies the insurance company attempts. You'll also have access to investigators who can obtain the evidence needed to prove what really happened in the wreck and hold the trucking company accountable.
Grossman Law Offices Has What It Takes to Help Your Claim Succeed
The effects of the larger insurance coverage required for energy tankers are just one of the hundreds of issues that may arise in the course of litigating a collision involving a commercial vehicle. If you try to deal with all of this without the right help, you're likely to end up with far less than you deserve in compensation.
By obtaining the help of an attorney familiar with every facet of the law these cases involve, you can make sure that yours and your family's interests are protected. At Grossman Law Offices, we've been successfully litigating truck accident injury and wrongful death cases for almost 30 years, giving us knowledge and resources that few can match.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a Superior Carriers vehicle, please call us today at 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help. We're ready to tell you about your options, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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