Of the half-million for-hire shipping carriers in the United States, J.B. Hunt Transport is the fifth largest in annual mileage. This puts J.B. Hunt in the ranks of UPS, FedEx, Swift, Schneider, and other major shipping carriers. As of 2020, J.B. Hunt has over 18,000 vehicles in its fleet.
According to the J.B. Hunt website, safety is a top priority. They only hire the best drivers, provide training programs to strengthen drivers' skills, and facilitate an overall culture of safety. That being said, with over 20,000 drivers and over a billion miles a year on our roads, some serious truck accidents are bound to happen. FMCSA crash reporting data from 2020 shows that J.B. Hunt currently averages about 20 fatal accidents every year. JB Hunt drivers are involved in about 275 accidents a year that result in serious injury.
The large number of vehicles on the road isn't the only potential reason for J.B. Hunt tractor-trailer accidents. The company's employment reviews are mixed at best, with some drivers reporting falsified documents, poor pay, and ineffectual management. J.B. Hunt drivers typically make around $43,500 per year, well below the national salary average of $61,000. Let's not pretend that this does not have an impact on safety. Unhappy drivers are more likely to make mistakes which may result in accidents and injuries. The transportation industry is growing in the United States, with a projected shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations. With the high and growing demand for drivers, average trucker compensation has been increasing by an average of 8-12 percent per year. Though J.B. Hunt has committed to "hiring the industry's best drivers," let's be honest. It is not possible to retain suitable drivers and contractors when they aren't paying enough to attract the best candidates.
In spite of these shocking statistics and bad reviews, J.B. Hunt is not necessarily a bad company. It has a "Satisfactory" federal safety rating, actively recruits veterans, and provides drivers with good benefits and annual safety awards. But trucking is a tough industry, with stressful work schedules and a shrinking workforce. Despite J.B. Hunt's efforts to ensure safety on the road, if one of their drivers causes an injury or fatal accident, then J.B. Hunt is responsible for the resulting pain, harm, and loss.Why J.B. Hunt Accident Cases Have a Higher Settlement Value
In most car and truck accident cases, the settlement value of the injuries sustained is at the heart of the conflict, rather than a liability dispute. In an ideal world, this would mean that the identity of the defendant is irrelevant. The jury would instead concentrate on determining the suitable amount of money necessary to help the victim become healthy and whole again. Unfortunately, the reality is that the defendant does make a difference. A jury is more likely to feel sympathetic toward an individual driver, rather than a large company with deep pockets. We have talked to jurors after trials and often their biggest concern is whether the defendant driver has to pay the verdict themselves (jurors are not typically told the driver had car insurance in most jurisdictions). Therefore, the trial value of a personal injury claim is typically higher with J.B. Hunt, and a higher trial value leads to a greater settlement value.
In addition, J.B. Hunt big rigs are much bigger and heavier than the average vehicle on the road, and as such they capable of causing more damage. Because J.B. Hunt claim adjusters are used to dealing with the larger dollar amounts involved in tractor-trailer accidents, this could be a contributing factor to the higher settlement value of claims against J.B. Hunt.What Else is Different About a Claim Against J.B. Hunt?
A lawyer who specializes in car accident cases is not necessarily qualified to handle truck accident cases against J.B. Hunt. In tractor-trailer collisions, there are many tools that can be used to determine the cause of the accident which requires specific knowledge about tractor-trailer cases. Commercial transport vehicles carry modern electronic equipment that collects and stores information about the speed, airbag deployment, braking, and many other data points from the time of a crash. This data can help a jury decide whether or not J.B. Hunt was at fault for the crash. These tools, along with state and federal trucking regulations, offer a host of opportunities for helping victims of J.B. Hunt accidents, if you know where they are and how to use them.Sample Settlements and Verdicts Against J.B. Hunt
On our website, you can find a number of tools to help victims understand the potential settlement value for their claim. It is best to compare settlement values for types of injury, but it may also be helpful in some cases to look at the settlement values for different types of accidents. We provide statistics for the average trial or settlement value for many of these different variables. In very general and limited terms, looking at examples of settlements and verdicts involving J.B. Hunt may give you a sense of how the settlement value can change based on the jurisdiction, the severity of the injuries, and the economic loss caused by the injuries or death.
2019 - Texas, $24,400 Settlement: The plaintiff was rear-ended by a JB Hunt truck as he slowed down to merge onto highway traffic. Plaintiff suffered minor soft-tissue injuries to his neck and shoulder and the case was settled for $24,400.
2019 - Pennsylvania $15,570,000 Verdict: The plaintiff, a male in his mid 50s, was on the shoulder of a highway changing a tire when he was struck by the defendant JB Hunt driver. Defendant was intoxicated at the time and was hired by JB Hunt despite a history of DUIs and failed drug tests. Plaintiff suffered massive injuries leaving him confined to wheelchair. Jury awarded $15.5 million.
2017 - New Jersey $2,000,000 Settlement: In this wronful death the decedent was in the basket of a boom arm truck repairing a traffic light when defendnat JB Hunt driver stuck that truck. As a result plaintiff fell out of the basket and under the JB Hunt truck. JB Hunt claimed that the boom arm was negligently positioned in the intersection, but eventually settled the case for $2 million.
- 2016 - Missouri $6,520 Settlement: Plaintiff was struck by JB Hunt truck at intersection in St. Louis. She sustained minor injuries to her neck and back and settled her claim with JB Hunt for $6,520.
2015 - California $20,011,788 Verdict. The 47-year-old female plaintiff was legally entering an intersection when she was hit by a tractor-trailer driven by a J.B Hunt employee who had entered the intersection on a red light. The J.B. Hunt tractor-trailer hit the driver's side of the plaintiff's car, destroying the left side of her vehicle and pushing it through the intersection with such force that it left the roadway and slammed into a pole. The driver's door had to be removed by fire personnel to extract the plaintiff from the wreck. The J.B. Hunt driver fled the scene of the accident. The plaintiff was diagnosed with subarachnoid hemorrhage, concussion, and retrograde amnesia, and continued to suffer from serious cognitive impairments, chronic physical pain, depression, and other conditions as a result of her injuries. She has been unable to work since the accident and was required to move in with her cousin who helps care for her financially and physically.
2015 - Indiana, $32,500,000 Verdict. The 31-year-old female plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that struck an unlit J.B. Hunt semi-truck and trailer that had crashed into the median after losing control on a patch of ice. The J.B. Hunt truck driver had failed to follow state safety rules when he failed to turn on his truck and trailer flashers and failed to set out his reflective triangles as a warning of the existing accident scene. Due to the crash, the plaintiff suffered permanent brain damage and a month-long coma, resulting in her needing 24-hour care for her most basic needs, significant memory loss, and causing her to be wheelchair-bound. The jury awarded the plaintiff $32,500,000 in damages and apportioned 30 percent fault to J.B. Hunt, 30 percent fault to the J.B. Hunt truck driver, and 40 percent fault to the plaintiff's driver.
2014 - Illinois $753,000 Verdict. A J.B. Hunt semi-truck crossed the center line while driving, colliding with the plaintiffs' vehicle. The plaintiffs, spouses, sued on behalf of their four children who sustained unspecified personal injuries. The jury awarded the plaintiffs with $550,000 and $128,000,000 for damages respectively, as well as $42,000, $11,000, $11,000, and $11,000 in damages on behalf of each of their four children.
Our law firm is based in Maryland. Most of the truck collision cases we handle are in the Baltimore-Washington area, but we handle significant injury cases throughout the entire country. If you have been harmed in an accident with a J.B. Hunt truck and want to consider a lawsuit or a claim for an out-of-court settlement, call one of our lawyers at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free no obligation Internet consultation.