US Xpress Truck Accident Lawsuits
U.S. Xpress (often misspelled as “US Express”) is a national commercial trucking and transportation company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. US Xpress was started in the 1980s as a small regional trucking company with less than 50 trucks. Since then, US Xpress has been one of the fastest-growing companies in the commercial trucking industry. US Xpress now has a fleet of 7,000 trucks, 15,000 trailers, and 3,500 professional drivers.
With this many trucks and drivers transporting cargo all over the U.S., US Xpress truck accidents are a regular occurrence. According to FMSCA data, from 2019 through 2020 US Xpress truck drivers were involved in 474 reported accidents. During this 24-month period, 211 of those accidents involved serious injuries and 13 resulted in fatalities. This works out to an average of about 100 serious accidents and 6 fatalities per year, which is very similar to other large trucking companies.
Unlike other big trucking companies that hire new, inexperienced drivers at the low end of the pay scale, US Xpress seems to focus on hiring more established drivers and offering better pay and benefits. US Xpress appears to offer drivers more home time and better benefits compared to other commercial trucking companies. US Xpress uses both company employee drivers as well as “owner-operator” drivers who function as independent contractors. Based on the size of their trailer fleet compared to the number of company drivers, US Xpress appears to use more owner-operators than company drivers.
US Xpress Truck Accident Cases Have a Higher Settlement Value
A truck accident case against US Xpress (or any large commercial truck company) is going to have a much higher potential settlement value compared to a normal auto accident claim. There are several reasons why US Xpress truck accident cases have a high settlement value. First, if you get in an accident with a US Xpress truck there will likely be more damage and more serious injuries involved simply because of the size and weight of the trucks.
The second reason US Xpress truck accident cases have a high potential settlement value is because big truck companies and their drivers are covered by large insurance policies. US Xpress drivers are covered by auto liability insurance policies with limits of $1 million per claim. This is 10 times the liability limit on a typical personal auto insurance policy. Moreover, if the accident is very serious and damages exceed the $1 million limit, US Xpress is a big company with deep pockets to pay for any excess amount.
The other reason US Xpress accident cases have such a high settlement value is because big corporations and commercial truck companies do not get the benefit of jury sympathy when a case goes to trial. When the defendant is an individual driver, jurors tend to be much more sympathetic and far less likely to award big damages. Companies like US Xpress get zero sympathy and juries tend to come down very hard on them with excessively large verdicts. This makes going to trial in a truck accident case a huge risk for companies like US Xpress and it forces them to pay more in order to settle cases.
Verdicts & Settlements in US Xpress Accident Cases
Below are a few jury verdicts and publicly reported settlements from truck accident cases involving US Xpress or one of their subsidiaries.
- 2017, Georgia $15,000,000 Verdict: US Xpress company driver fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended a car in front at 70 miles per hour. Several passengers in the car were killed. The plaintiff survived but with very serious brain injuries. She sued U.S. Express alleging, among other things, negligent entrustment because the driver had previously been fired from his last job for falling asleep at the wheel. A jury awarded $15 million in damages.
- 2016, Kentucky $92,800 Verdict: A woman was struck by a US Xpress truck and suffered severe injuries. She brought a negligence claim as the driver (an independent contractor) and also made a vicarious liability claim against US Xpress. A federal jury awarded her $92,800.
- 2013 Illinois $350,000 Verdict: A man was struck by a US Xpress truck. He suffered several injuries, including a herniated disc. He brought a vicarious liability claim against US Xpress and a federal jury awarded $350,000.
- 2010 Ohio $1,014,456 Verdict: 67-year-old man was struck and killed by a US Xpress truck with a company driver. His family sued for wrongful death. US Xpress alleged contributory negligence. Jury found the decedent was only 40% at fault and awarded $1 million in damages.
FAQs: US Xpress Truck Accident Cases
What is the Average Settlement in Truck Accident Cases Against US Xpress?
The average settlement value range for a serious truck accident case against US Xpress is between $65,000 and $120,000. The average jury verdict in truck accident cases against big companies like US Xpress is around $500,000. The potential value of a case against US Xpress will depend largely on how serious the plaintiff’s injuries are.
Do US Xpress Truck Drivers Have a Bad Accident Record?
No. US Xpress truck drivers have a slightly lower rate of accidents per mile compared to other trucking companies of similar size. US Xpress drivers average only 100 serious injury accidents and 6 fatalities per year.
Does US Xpress Use Contract Drivers?
Yes. US Xpress has about 3,500 company drivers (meaning the driver is an actual employee of US Xpress). However, they have a fleet of 7,000 trucks and twice as many trailers so if you see a US Xpress truck or trailer on the road there is more than a 60% chance the driver is a contractor. Contractors have their own separate insurance policies, although US Xpress may still have some direct liability.