How Victims of Crashes Involving US Foods Vehicles Can Protect Their Interests
When we encounter an unfamiliar situation, our natural response is to attempt to understand it by comparing it with something less foreign to us. This often happens after crashes involving commercial vehicles, when victims assume that the process of resolving them works in similar fashion to collisions involving passenger cars.
However, there's one big difference between crashes involving personal vehicles and commercial trucks: the amounts of insurance involved. While it can be difficult enough to make an insurance company see the light if they're trying to avoid paying out on a typical commercial policy, it becomes even more so if the amount at stake goes into the millions, as in the case of US Foods. Award-winning Dallas semi-truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is US Foods?
- How many crashes leading to injury or death has the company been involved in?
- How could the company's substantial insurance amounts affect your case?
What is US Foods?
Founded in 1989, food-service distributor US Foods is the 6th-largest private trucking company in the U.S. by size of fleet, with 2017 revenues of more than $24 billion. Its nearly 7,000 trucks and almost 8,000 drivers traveled over 250 million miles that year.
Over the last two years, federal government data indicates that the company's vehicles have been involved in 301 crashes, of which 93 led to injuries and 12 resulted in fatalities. We should note that this data alone can't tell us how many of these wrecks were caused by a US Foods driver, although given the numbers, it's likely that at least some percentage were.
Another fact that stands out about US Foods is the amount of insurance on each vehicle, which is significantly more than many other fleets. While this means there's a larger pool of funds from which victims can collect, it also likely means they'll encounter more resistance as they try to do so.
How US Foods' Insurance Coverage Could Affect Your Case
While it doesn't excuse the carelessness of commercial drivers who cause crashes, or management that puts them in a dangerous position, there will always be some inherent risk in moving multi-ton vehicles down our roads and highways. That's why state and federal governments require all trucking companies to carry minimum amounts of insurance, which in Texas add up to a million dollars per vehicle.
However, if a company is transporting unusually hazardous freight, like oil or nuclear waste, its insurance requirements increase to $5 million per vehicle, due to the substantial additional risks to the public such cargo creates. For whatever reason, while they don't appear to be transporting anything that would present this sort of hazard, US Foods is also insured for the same amount.
While the trucking company itself may be less concerned in this situation, since it's unlikely they would wind up owing more then their policy limits, it still creates a much greater incentive for their insurer to mount the most aggressive defense it can, given how much is on the line. And our firm has litigated enough of these cases to know exactly what that can look like.
One strategy we often see from insurance companies is hiring private investigators to dig up whatever negative information they can to reduce your credibility or the value of your case. While this can be expensive, it can wind up being a small price to pay when losing a case would cost far more. For example, if you lost a loved one in the crash, they may try to get information from other family members suggesting that the two of you were less close than you actually were, making your loss seem less valuable to a jury.
Even if the efforts of investigators don't turn up anything that can be used against you, the actual trial provides its own opportunities to muddy the waters. While it may seem like it's obvious that the truck driver who caused the wreck screwed up, there's almost no fact pattern a savvy defense attorney can't attempt to shift in their favor.
For example, if you were driving along when the 18-wheeler turned onto the road right into your path, the defense might claim that you should have been paying closer attention or were traveling too fast, making the subsequent collision at least partially your fault. As ridiculous as it might seem, these defenses can be surprisingly effective if you don't have legal help able to refute them.
The one thing all of these efforts have in common is that an attorney with experience litigating semi-truck cases involving tractor-trailer crashes will be able to push back against them with convincing evidence and arguments, hopefully convincing a jury to hold the company properly accountable.
Grossman Law Offices Is Ready to Hold US Foods Accountable
The incentives created for defendants by a substantial insurance policy are just some of the many complications that any commercial vehicle accident claim is likely to involve. The only way to ensure that you can obtain fair compensation, despite these obstacles, is to get help from an attorney who knows how to overcome them.
At Grossman Law Offices, we have almost thirty years of experience successfully litigating against companies like US Foods and their insurers, so we're well-prepared for whatever they send our way. With evidence gathered by our veteran investigators and accident reconstructionists, we're able to present a compelling account of your crash that helps us reach a fair resolution, either a settlement or a trial judgment.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a US Foods commercial 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 advise you of your options.
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