When people think of major trucking companies, they usually do not think of the superstore giant, Walmart. But Walmart is indeed one of the largest transportation companies in the United States. In fact, Walmart is one of the better-paying and more desirable workplaces for many American truck drivers. With salaries that top over double the nearest competitor and benefits that are enviable in almost any sector, Walmart certainly takes good care of its drivers. Even with an experienced workforce, Walmart has its problems. While they tend to have pretty safe drivers, the company has other issues that can contribute to safety problems on the road. Attorneys who handle Walmart accidents tend to have a good idea why these wrecks happen and how to find the evidence that is needed to pursue compensation for victims.
Understanding Walmart Trucking Accidents
It is a mistake to think that Walmart truck drivers are store employees. They operate as Walmart Transportation, which has its own structure and management and culture. Walmart drivers are not part-timers or poorly paid low-level workers. Instead, they are highly compensated professionals who often make as much, and in some cases, more than operations managers at large supercenters.
While Walmart truck drivers are known for having solid safety ratings and rarely causing serious crashes, when they do occur, they can be tragic. Walmart operates distribution centers all over the country, and many of these centers use a combination of Walmart drivers and contracted drivers from other trucking companies to deliver freight. So, this means if you are ever on the premises of a distribution center, you are likely to see countless other companies’ trucks and trailers coming and going. Loaders and unloaders are Walmart employees in the warehouse. These workers sometimes overload, improperly load, or fail to secure loads. This can make it difficult to stop in time or steer to avoid a collision.
Were You Hurt by a Walmart Driver?
Perhaps one of the first questions people ask when they are in a crash with a Walmart truck is whether it was indeed a Walmart employee? This can be a little difficult to figure out unless you are trained to identify the differences. It makes a difference though. If the person who hit you is a subcontracted owner-operator hauling a Walmart trailer of goods, you may not have any option to seek compensation from Walmart, but rather, you may have to sue or file a claim with that different company. They may or may not have sufficient insurance to cover all of your losses.
Here are some clues to look for:
Is the tractor unit white and well-marked with Walmart insignia? The tractor controls who is driving, not the trailer.
Is the driver in uniform or not? Almost all Walmart drivers will be in a proper Walmart uniform, whereas a private contracted driver from another company may be wearing anything.
Do you see any other business names or trucking company names on the tractor or the trailer? If so, chances are it is a load being contractually hauled by a different company.
If you need help figuring out your rights after a crash with a Walmart truck, call Kruger & Hodges today. Our devoted trucking accident attorneys will help you better understand your rights and work to collect the compensation you deserve.