Key Concerns for Victims in Litigation Against TFI International
We often hear the expression "the bigger they are, the harder they fall." While that may be true in some contexts, when it comes to litigation against trucking companies after an 18-wheeler crash, larger companies definitely have the resources to protect themselves from any demands made against them.
Because the law places the burden on victims to prove their injuries were caused by the company's negligence, anything they can do to cast doubt on that theory is enough to put you at a severe disadvantage, and that's easier to do than you might think. To prevail, you'll need compelling evidence of what happened, and the ability to present it as the law requires.
Why do companies fight so hard against even the most legitimate claims? Because the severe injuries and death that often result from collisions involving tractor-trailers can lead to significant costs that, added together over multiple claims, can threaten their financial well-being. Given that many companies, including TFI International, have fairly thin profit margins, they have even more incentive to do everything in their power to avoid fairly compensating victims. Dallas semi-truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains how to hold the company accountable under the law.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is TFI International?
- How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
- Why do tight profit margins provide more incentive for companies to fight injury claims?
What is TFI International?
Based in Montreal, Quebec, and founded in 1957, TFI International is now the 9th largest trucking company operating in the U.S., with a fleet of around 15,000 trucks and 17,000 employees. In 2017, it accrued revenues of just under $4 billion and net income of $130 million. Its drivers traveled around 180 million miles that year.
According to federal government data, the company's semi-trucks have been involved in 47 crashes over the last two years, of which 13 have resulted in injuries and 1 led to at least one person's death. While these numbers alone can't tell us how many, it's highly likely that at least some percentage of the total were the result of a TFI driver's negligence.
How TFI International's Tight Profit Margins Could Affect Your Case
While TFI International certainly isn't struggling to survive, it's worth noting that its profit margin is still fairly low by the standards of commercial transportation, at around 3%. This means its management may consider it a high priority to minimize additional costs wherever it can. One way to do that is to fight claims from crashes caused by their drivers as aggressively as possible.
It might seem bizarre to think that a company making billions of dollars in annual revenue would be concerned about the comparatively modest amounts it's likely to be on the hook for even if a judgement goes against them. However, this doesn't consider just how much stake in any crash involving a commercial vehicle. When multiplied by the number of collisions, they can add up to more than might be expected.
To see why, let's consider the number of wrecks listed above that involved someone being injured or killed, which add up to 14. Depending on the medical bills and abilities of both sides' attorneys, the amounts the company might wind up paying on these claims are hard to predict, but to illustrate my point, assume each one settles for $1 million.
Even if you make the charitable assumption that only half of those crashes are the fault of a driver for TFI, if that did turn out to be the result, it would add up to $7 million, which is about 5% of TFI's net income. That might not seem like enough to matter, but as tight as the margins are for the company, having to pay out on every claim, if combined with a bad year, could easily leave them in the red. That situation is likely to lead to changes in the executive suite, and management knows it.
Given all of this, it makes sense that a trucking company would try to combat every claim against them with all of the resources they can muster. Among other things, that usually means putting forward a theory of what happened that shifts the blame to anyone or anything but the operator of their truck. Luckily, these outlandish theories of phantom drivers and sudden medical emergencies rarely stand up to the efforts of an attorney who knows how to rebut them, provided you have one on your side.
The best way to rebut these strategies is simply to present what actually happened, supported by enough evidence that your case is almost impossible to refute. But that evidence (the truck, hours of service logs, medical records, etc.) is the legal property of the trucking company, which isn't going to hand it over to you on request. That means the only way to obtain it for your use is with the help of an attorney, who can draft and submit the appropriate legal documents to do so.
How Grossman Law Offices Can Help Put Your Case Against TFI on Solid Ground
After reading all of this, you might be tempted to assume there's no point in pursuing a claim against a company with the resources and motivation to mount the strongest defense it can. But that isn't necessarily true, as long as you have experienced help to deal with all of the many complications likely to arise in the course of commercial vehicle accident litigation.
At Grossman Law Offices, we've been successfully litigating cases just like yours for almost thirty years, and we've never encountered a trucking company, big or small, that we couldn't hold accountable. With investigators and legal professionals who know exactly what evidence and arguments your case needs to succeed, we can put you in the best possible position to recover for all of the losses you've suffered.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a TFI International tractor-trailer, please call 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to hear your story.
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