Gordon Food Service is a food service distributor based in Wyoming and Michigan, serving stores across the U.S., including in Ohio. Forbes ranks Gordon Food Service as the 22nd-largest privately held company in the United States, whose biggest competitors are US Foods and Sysco. Perhaps you’ve been involved in an accident with a Gordon Food Service truck driver. While any auto accident can be difficult, an accident with a large truck can be even more complex. You are highly likely to have more severe injuries when you are hit by a large commercial truck, and there can be more than one liable party for your accident. This means that you must have highly experienced Gordon Food Service truck accident attorneys by your side who can help you through the process in the best way possible.
Even companies with otherwise terrific safety records may have a real problem with dangerous and careless drivers and other employees. When trucking operations and their negligent drivers fail to follow basic safety rules on the road, deadly collisions can happen. Here are a few things to consider if you are ever involved in Gordon Food Service truck accidents or with one of their drivers.
WHY FOOD SERVICE TRUCKS TEND TO PRESENT SAFETY HAZARDS TO THE PUBLIC
Obviously, any driver and any trucking company can be negligent at times. However, some companies and indeed some specific niche hauling services are riskier than others. Typically, as more miles are driven, the statistical chance of being involved in a crash increases as well. However, there are other factors to consider. For instance, coast-to-coast trucking outfits require drivers to sit for long periods of time without getting up to load or unload freight. Likewise, such drivers usually only need to back into a warehouse to be loaded or unloaded once or twice per shift. For local food service delivery companies like Gordon Food Service, drivers may need to navigate difficult maneuvers dozens of times each day. They may need to park in open roadways, park in tight parking lots, or unload from the street. All of these conditions create potential hazards for Gordon Food Service truck accidents.
Any time a truck driver is involved in an accident, the truck driver may not be the only liable party—or even a liable party. The truck driver could be liable for the accident if he or she was driving while impaired, overly fatigued, distracted, careless, or reckless. Truck drivers may drive long hours and, therefore may exist in a chronic state of fatigue. This can result in slower reflexes as well as falling asleep behind the wheel.
Distracted driving behaviors affect all drivers, including truck drivers. Talking on a cell phone, changing car controls, setting a GPS device, eating an entire meal, texting, reading a text, talking to a passenger, or simply daydreaming when you should be paying attention to the road is just as common in truck drivers as for any driver. Careless or reckless driving behaviors can result in an accident. These behaviors may include failure to yield, exceeding the speed limit, tailgating, changing lanes without properly looking, and running stop lights or stop signs.
The trucking company could be partially liable for the accident if it failed to perform a comprehensive background check on the driver, failed to ensure the driver was properly trained, or was aware the driver was exceeding his or her allowable driving hours. If the accident was the result of bad brakes or tires, the truck maintenance company could be responsible or if the accident was caused by shifting or falling cargo, the truck loading company could be partially liable.
If the accident was the result of a defective truck part, the manufacturer of that truck part could be partially liable. As you can see, truck accidents—including Gordon Food Service truck accidents—can be extremely complex, requiring a highly experienced attorney from Kruger & Hodges.
FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
When you are involved in a truck accident, there are five general things you should keep in mind.
Truck drivers may or may not be employees of the company on the side of the truck or trailer. Many companies rely on contractors and owner-operators to haul freight. Do not assume you have been hit by a Gordon Food Service driver. Always get a license, registration, company info, and insurance information.
Trucking companies may have investigators quickly responding to destroy or hide evidence. It may seem paranoid but believe it or not, some trucking companies have been known to send investigators and risk management personnel to the scene of a serious accident in order to “collect” evidence. This can turn into concealing evidence.
Just because you are hurt does not mean they will pay. Most people with good intentions tend to believe that large, multi-million-dollar corporations will do the right thing if they can just explain their situation. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. These companies got large and remain large not by paying out claims but by making large profits then avoiding any liability.
Truck drivers are under the influence more often than you probably know. According to a Reuters report, as many as 8% of truck drivers sampled tested positive for amphetamines. About 3-4% tested positive for alcohol use. Reuters also reports that in one American study, 12.5% of drivers tested came up positive for alcohol. The study also revealed that many truck drivers tested positive for things like ephedrine, while as many as 20% of the drivers sampled actually self-reported that they used marijuana and 3% admitted using cocaine. Of course, these numbers do not even include the myriad of prescription medications, including opioids and sleep medications that truck drivers may use.
Types of Losses from Semi-Truck Accidents
There are many different types of losses or damages you may have suffered from your Gordon Food Service truck accident. Typical damages include:
Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and future lost wages. These are considered economic damages because a specific number can be attached to each expense. Medical expenses cover current and future medical expenses related to your injuries stemming from the truck accident. The cost of an ambulance, hospital expenses, surgical costs, the costs for all your doctors, prescription drug costs, and rehabilitative therapy expenses all fall under medical expenses. If your injuries have prevented you from returning to work for days, weeks, or a couple of months, you will be entitled to reimbursement for lost wages. If your injuries are so severe that you may not be able to return to work for many months, years, or ever, your attorney will ask for lost future wages. Your lost future wages will be calculated by taking your age, your job, your education, your current position, and the likelihood of advancement all into consideration.
Pain and suffering damages encompass actual physical pain as well as emotional pain and trauma. Often, a severe accident can leave victims with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Some victims of auto accidents are unable to return to their normal lives because of emotional and mental trauma related to the accident. Pain and suffering cover all these damages as well as loss of enjoyment of life.
Commercial Trucking Accident Claim Process
Once you have an attorney on board, he or she will begin the process. First, your accident will be thoroughly investigated, with all evidence relating to the accident gathered and assessed. Witnesses will be talked to, video of the accident (if available) will be obtained, the police report looked at, and any photos you took will factor into the investigation. The goal is to definitively prove liability. Once liability is clear, your attorney will carefully calculate your damages by speaking to you, your doctors, your family members, and expert witnesses like a vocational expert. When damages have been calculated, your attorney will file a demand letter with the insurance company or companies of the liable parties. Negotiations will ensue, but if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the insurance companies and litigate the matter in court.
How to Choose the Best Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer for My Claim
Selecting the right attorney is paramount following a Gordon Food truck accident. Your decision carries significant weight, as adept legal representation is highly regarded by insurance companies.
When seeking a suitable personal injury lawyer for your Gordon Food truck accident case, take these essential factors into account:
Expertise: Opt for an attorney with a solid track record of handling cases related to semi-truck accidents. Their specialized knowledge can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Reputation & Recommendations: Thoroughly explore online reviews and gather referrals from trusted sources. A lawyer’s reputation in the legal community and positive recommendations from others can provide valuable insights.
Clear Communication: Choose a lawyer who values transparent communication and remains approachable for discussions. Effective communication ensures you are well-informed at every step of your legal journey.
Resourcefulness: Verify that the attorney possesses the essential resources to navigate the complexities of your case effectively. Access to a network of professionals can strengthen your case.
Accessibility: Assess the lawyer’s responsiveness and adaptability in addressing your specific needs. An attorney who is readily available can provide reassurance during a challenging time.
Financial Arrangements: Inquire about the attorney’s fee structure and any potential supplementary expenses. Understanding the financial aspects upfront allows you to make informed decisions.
While we have all the resources of very large law firms, we are personable, compassionate, and client-centered. Our legal team cares about you and your family, your health, and your financial future. Some of our attorneys once worked for large insurance companies, so we understand how they work, how they think, and the tactics they are likely to use to deny, delay, and devalue your claim. Our extensive courtroom experience sets us apart from many other firms, but in the end, we take the trust you place in our legal team very seriously and our commitment to you will be exhaustive.
Your injury deserves compensation. For some, they believe that there is no way to make a trucking company pay. If the company says no, they think that is the end of the matter. Quite the contrary, at Kruger & Hodges, our attorneys understand that it is actually up to a jury to decide whether the trucking company is at fault and if so, whether and how much they should pay. It is not the company’s decision. Naturally, we are always willing to work with insurance adjusters to reach a fair and reasonable resolution, but our truck accident attorneys also realize that sometimes litigation is necessary in order to protect our clients.