What Victims Need to Know About Litigation Against USA Truck
Suffering injuries or the loss of a loved one in a semi-truck crash is often a profoundly traumatic experience, which makes it that much more shocking when victims attempt to obtain fair compensation from the trucking company responsible for their pain, only to find that it refuses to take any responsibility for their driver's negligence.
When the company in question is in financial difficulty, as may be the case with USA Truck, it's likely they'll resist that assumption of responsibility with even more vigor, believing that any judgement will threaten their viability. Proving their liability with evidence and argument is the only way to ensure that a trucking company's misfortunes don't become a problem for those harmed by their carelessness. Dallas truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains how victims can accomplish this challenging task.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- What is USA Truck?
- How many accidents involving injury or death has the company been involved in?
- How does the company's financial situation affect litigation against them?
What is USA Truck?
Founded in 1986, Van Buren, AR-based USA Truck is the 69th largest commercial transport company in the U.S., with 2017 revenues of around $450 million and net income of roughly $7 million, resulting in a net profit margin of just under 3 percent. Its 2,500 drivers and tractor-trailers traveled just under 200 million miles that year.
Over the last two years, federal government data indicates the company's vehicles have been involved in 222 wrecks, of which 138 have resulted in injuries and 4 have led to fatalities. We should note that this information can't tell us who was at fault for any of these collisions. However, given the sheer numbers, it's highly likely that at least some percentage of them were caused by the negligence of a USA Truck driver.
One less obvious issue worth noting is the wealth of evidence suggesting that the company's general financial prospects are far from ideal. This means that at least in the near term, USA Truck's management is likely to view paying out on claims for collisions caused by its drivers as a threat to the company's financial viability, and mount their defense accordingly.
How Could USA Truck's Financial Position Affect Your Case?
We're all anxious to protect what belongs to us when it's threatened, and that's just as true of trucking companies. In our firm's experience, even companies that are doing well fight zealously to minimize what they have to pay in compensation for the injuries or deaths their drivers cause. When things aren't so rosy, that desperation is likely to become even more intense.
While USA Truck's new management can rightfully boast about pulling the company back into the black, its net profit margin for 2017 still remains fairly low at just 2.9%. While admittedly these margins are typically modest across the trucking industry compared to other sectors, the average for Top 100 trucking companies is still around 6%. By contrast, USA Truck's margins have ranged from -4% to 2% over the past decade, a track record suggesting that their profitability is likely to remain fragile in the near term.
More recent reports regarding the company's performance are even more discouraging, as it reported a net profit of just $1,000 in the second quarter of 2018. Admittedly, this hasn't been a great period for trucking companies across the board, with many of them closing their doors, but that doesn't change the fact that USA Truck seems to have its back up against the financial wall.
You may wonder why all of this matters to you as the victim of a crash involving a USA Truck vehicle. After all, the company's financial situation may be a vexing problem for their senior leadership, but it shouldn't have anything to do with their willingness to pay for the costs of crashes where their driver seems clearly at fault.
Unfortunately, trucking companies generally view payments made to victims of crashes, not as a moral obligation, but as just one more expense on their balance sheet, and one that doesn't even advance their interests. While no company's management will give victims what they deserve without a fight, the more precarious their financial situation, the more aggressively they're likely to resist paying fair compensation. This can manifest in tactics like challenging the validity of your injuries and putting the blame on a conveniently inaccessible mystery driver.
By obtaining the help of an attorney with experience litigating commercial vehicle accident cases, you can keep a trucking company's financial difficulties from becoming your problem as well. They can obtain the evidence needed to prove the defendant's liability, like engine control modules and driver cell phone records, and use it to hold them accountable at trial.
However, all of this evidence is the legal property of the trucking company, and they probably won't be inclined to hand it over simply because you ask. Only an attorney able to draft the proper legal documents (subpoenas and letters of spoliation) can compel them to preserve and turn over the documents needed to prove your case.
How Grossman Law Offices Keeps USA Truck's Problems From Becoming Yours
The unique challenges involved in taking on a struggling trucking company are just some of the many you're likely to face in the course of litigating your commercial vehicle accident claim. Without experienced help, you're likely to find yourself overwhelmed by all of the legal resources available to large businesses like USA Truck.
Hopefully what I've discussed so far has made it clear how important it is to have the help of an attorney when pursuing claims involving commercial vehicles. But it's also important to make a wise decision when choosing who to hire. At Grossman Law Offices, our almost thirty years of experience successfully litigating semi-truck accident injury and wrongful death cases means we're ready for anything a trucking company can throw at us.
If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a USA Truck 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 and answer your questions.
Related Articles for Further Reading: