What Crash Victims Should Know About Cases Against Transport Investments
After being involved in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, victims may expect that all they'll have to do is file a claim with the trucking company's insurance to receive a fair settlement for their losses. While that may be true for many collisions involving passenger vehicles, the fact that much larger sums of money are involved in semi-truck wrecks means that companies who may be on the hook will fight that much harder, and success is not a foregone conclusion.
One such company, Transport Investments, specializes in hauling over-sized loads. Few people know that crashes involving 18-wheelers hauling this type of freight are such a small subset of all crashes that the number of lawyers with the expertise to properly investigate and litigate wrecks caused by over-sized freight is equally small. Award-winning Dallas truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is Transport Investments?
- How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
- How does the company's specialization in over-sized freight affect claims against them?
What is Transport Investments?
Based in Pittsburgh, PA, and currently the 81st-largest trucking company in the U.S., Transport Investments is comprised of a host of operating units, including Jones Motor Company, Aetna Freight Lines, and American Transport, Inc. Most of them specialize in the transportation of over-size freight, such as wind turbines and utility poles.
Combining the assets of all of its divisions, the company's roughly 1,300 trucks and drivers traveled just over 100 million miles and generated around $340 million in revenue in 2017. Its driver base is primarily comprised of contractors.
Over the past two years, federal government data indicates the company's trucks have been involved in 95 collisions, of which 31 have resulted in injuries and 3 have led to fatalities. However high these numbers may seem, it's important to remember that they don't show that Transport Investments trucks were at fault for any of these wrecks. On the other hand, it would strain credulity to think that the company's vehicles were just in the wrong place at the wrong time for all of these crashes.
How the Unique Risks of Oversized Loads Could Affect Your Case
You may wonder: what makes transporting oversized loads so different from driving a minivan or even a typical 18-wheeler down the road? Most people will likely think of red flags, "oversize load" signs, escorts, and in extreme cases, even temporary road closures. What those unfamiliar with this kind of freight probably don't know is that commercial drivers who transport these loads also need special permits, licensing, and training before they're allowed to haul a 90-foot windmill turbine down the road, and that a host of regulations dictate how to safely transport it.
Each one of these requirements was put in place because our society recognizes the inherent danger of large, unwieldy cargo sharing the roads with other drivers. What's rarely considered is that failure to properly follow these rules also has the potential to cause death or serious injury.
To avoid these terrible outcomes, regulations specify how cargo must be secured on open semi-trucks. This includes specifying that the straps or other tiedowns used be in good working condition, and that drivers inspect them before beginning their trips and regularly as they travel. These requirements mean that if a poorly secured piece of cargo comes loose from an 18-wheeler and causes a wreck, the driver and their employer can both be held accountable for the harms that result.
Vehicles moving oversized loads are also required to travel with escort vehicles that can warn other motorists of the truck's actions and warn its driver of obstructions or work zones ahead. While this is a necessary procedure for public safety, if the escort vehicle works for another company, it also means there's someone else for a trucking company's defense team to shift blame to after a collision, even if their driver was actually at fault.
The fact that a trucking company might have violated one of these regulations and caused your crash doesn't do you much good by itself, though, because the law places the burden on victims to prove that a trucking company caused their injuries. This makes it your job to demonstrate, using the available evidence, exactly how that happened and why the company should be held accountable. Doing so successfully requires both general familiarity of the law related to semi-truck crashes and specific knowledge of the whole galaxy of rules that govern transporting over-sized cargo, in order to properly identify where a trucking company behaved carelessly.
Regardless of what mistakes caused your crash, the evidence required to prove the company's responsibility, like frayed ties or personnel records, is all the legal property of the trucking company. This means obtaining it will require a valid subpoena spelling out what's needed, which then has to be approved by a judge. Unless you have the help of an attorney who knows how to draft one and exactly what needs to be requested, you may be left without evidence vital to the success of your claim.
Grossman Law Offices Has the Experience to Litigate Your Claim
There are hundreds of things that can go wrong to cause any truck accident, and those involving over-sized loads are even more complex. Most people intuitively grasp that they lack the training and skill to perform their own surgery. Legal cases involving commercial truck accidents are every bit as complex as even the most difficult surgery, require just as much extensive training, and carry just as many catastrophic costs when not done correctly.
Just as no one would feel comfortable having a doctor operate on them who doesn't have a long history of successfully performing the surgery they need, most people wouldn't trust an attorney who just got their bar card to win the most important legal case of their lives.
At Grossman Law Offices, our nearly 30 years litigating commercial vehicle accident and wrongful death claims means nothing ever takes us by surprise. Over the decades, hundreds of people have relied on our attorneys to thoroughly investigate their crashes, aggressively defend their interests, and most importantly, get results.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a Transport Investments vehicle, 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 hear your story.
Related Articles for Further Reading: