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Important Information for Victims of Crashes Involving Univar

If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a commercial vehicle, the company's financial well-being is probably the last thing on your mind. However, because a company struggling to maintain profitability is likely to push back that much harder to avoid compensating you fairly, it's important to make sure have experienced legal help on your side before taking them on. Dallas semi-truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains.


Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is Univar?
  • How many crashes involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
  • How could the company's recent financial difficulties affect its approach to litigation?

Crash statistics courtesy the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

What is Univar?

Founded in 1924 in Seattle, WA, chemical transportation company Univar has grown to become the 50th-largest private trucking company in the U.S. by fleet size, with 2017 revenues of more than $8 billion. Its roughly 800 semi-trucks, driven by around 600 drivers, traveled just over 28 million miles in 2018.

Over the past two years, federal government data indicates the company's vehicles have been involved in 31 crashes, of which 13 led to injuries and 1 resulted in at least one person's death. We should note that the agency investigating these collisions does not determine fault for any them. However, it's likely that a Univar driver's carelessness was responsible for at least some percentage of the total.

While public information may not allow us to determine who caused these wrecks, it does paint a concerning picture about Univar's financial prospects. According to this data, the company is substantially indebted and has a history of substantial losses in recent quarters. In our experience, the more financial difficulty a company is in, the more likely it is to aggressively fight back against any potential source of new costs, including claims from crashes caused by its drivers.

How Could Univar's Financial Challenges Affect Your Case?

When most people get into financial trouble, their options for generating more revenue are pretty limited, so they wind up cutting back wherever they can to stay afloat. Trucking companies tend to operate in much the same way. Unfortunately, when they try to "cut back," it doesn't come in the form of fewer movies or dinners out, but doing everything they can to reduce their costs. And one of the more appealing ways for them to do so is using any means available to defend against lawsuits for injuries or deaths caused by their drivers.

These incentives are relevant to victims of crashes involving Univar because obtaining fair compensation from the company will almost certainly require litigation, and its financial situation has been less than ideal for a while. The most current information places the company's profit margin at around 0.5%, compared to an average margin across the industry of around 5%, while it has incurred net losses in three of the last six fiscal years.

While we've never seen a trucking company that did the right thing for victims of their negligence without a fight, those in a difficult financial position are likely to feel even more threatened by the substantial costs required to compensate injured parties fairly. While it may be expensive for them to mount a significant defense, it can still save them plenty of money in the long run if they're able to avoid having to pay a six or seven figure judgment in multiple cases.

What all of these tactics have in common is that they're essentially desperation moves from a company that knows it can't win in a fair fight.

Trucking companies inclined to do so can attempt to undermine your case in a variety of ways. For example, they may attack the credibility of your treating physicians to undermine the validity of your injuries, or attempt to dig up arguments between you and your deceased loved one to make the jury believe that your relationship with them wasn't strong enough to warrant the damages you're requesting.

What all of these tactics have in common is that they're essentially desperation moves from a company that knows it can't win in a fair fight. That means putting things back on a level playing field with the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer will give you the best chance to prevail.

By gathering evidence from the scene, using subpoenas to obtain it from a trucking company that won't do so voluntarily, and incorporating it into a compelling argument, he can hold a trucking company accountable, whether it's good for their performance metrics or not. Ultimately, while the burden is on you to prove what happened, your side of the story will be much more compelling when it's backed up with concrete evidence.

How Grossman Law Offices Can Give Your Claim A Fighting Chance

The challenges of a case against a financially troubled trucking company are just some of the hundreds that could potentially arise in the course of litigating these complex matters. Regardless of the particular circumstances of your case, it's important to have someone on your side who's ready to deal with whatever issues may come up.

At Grossman Law Offices, our attorneys have been successfully litigating injury and wrongful death claims involving commercial vehicles for almost 30 years. That experience means we're well-prepared for whatever strategies a company like Univar might throw at us, and ready to obtain a fair resolution that makes you whole.

If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a Univar semi-truck, please call (855) 326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're here to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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