Although Werner Enterprises, based on its annual mileage, does not crack the top five trucking companies, like UPS, FedEx, Swift, Schneider, or J.B. Hunt, Werner drivers do cover many more miles per year than the drivers employed by other trucking companies. As of 2020, FMCSA data shows that Werner's 10,817 drivers cover an average of 97,239 miles per driver - at least 10,000 miles more than drivers for the top-five trucking companies. By comparison, UPS only average around 28,187 miles per driver, nearly 70,000 miles less than Werner.
Sure, with so many vehicles on the road, every trucking company is responsible for its share of accidents. At a certain point, tractor-trailer crashes may result from the large quantity of rigs in use, rather than the quality of the drivers. But Werner's truck accidents may also be the result of more aggressive driving practices. Between April 2018 and April 2020 Werner truck drivers were involved in 25 fatal accidents and 291 accidents that resulted in serious injury.
In truth, despite its extreme statistics, Werner is not necessarily a bad company. Like any trucking organization, Werner is bound to hire a bad driver from time to time. And Werner is responsible for the pain, harms, and losses from the accidents caused by any driver under their employment. But Werner drivers, like the truck drivers working for any other company, are stressed by a larger transportation and system that demands fast deliveries, which can cause distraction and excess speeds. Consumers are pushing for more goods to be delivered both to their homes and to brick-and-mortar retail locations, and increasing demand consequently pushes trucking companies to put more drivers on the road. But regardless of the reason, if a Werner employee is at fault for a crash, Werner is liable for the resulting injuries and fatalities.Why Werner Accident Cases Have a Higher Settlement Value
Because Werner trucks are bigger and heavier than passenger cars, they are capable of causing more damage. Werner claims adjusters, being used to handling the larger dollar amounts involved in tractor-trailer accident claims, can have a productive impact on settlement value.
The jury's lack of personal sympathies toward a big company like Werner can also help to raise settlement value. Although vehicle accident cases usually result in conflict over the precise settlement value of the injuries rather than a liability dispute, the defendant should be of no consequence to the jury's decision. But in reality, the identity of the defendant does make a difference. When a defendant is an individual person, such as a kind-looking grandmother, the jury is more likely to feel empathetic toward her and unconsciously decide on a smaller award. Conversely, a jury is unlikely to feel empathetic toward a large company like Werner, even if they have a positive perception of the company or its services. Therefore, the trial value of a personal injury claim is typically higher against Werner, and this higher trial value leads to a greater settlement value.What Else is Different About a Claim Against Werner?
Even a lawyer who is accustomed to handling car accident cases may not necessarily be qualified to handle a tractor-trailer accident case against Werner. Trucking accidents involve many more variables, like state and federal regulations or data collection instruments, than the average car accident case. Commercial vehicles are equipped with modern electronic instruments that are designed to collect information about the rig's speed, airbag deployment, braking, and a variety of other data points at the time of a crash. This data can help ascertain whether Werner was at fault for the crash, as long as the attorney knows where to look and how to incorporate the data into the trial.Sample Settlements and Verdicts Against Werner
Our website is home to a number of helpful tools used to aid victims in understanding the potential ranges of the settlement value of their claim. The settlement value for similar types of injuries, or to a certain extent, similar types of accidents, can be a useful metric. We include statistics for the average trial or settlement value for many of these different variables.
Additionally, examples of settlements and verdicts against Werner are listed below. Although these cases are more limited in their usefulness to new claims against Werner, they can give you a feel for how the settlement value of a case can change depending on jurisdiction, the severity of injuries, and economic loss caused by those injuries or death.
2019 New Mexico, $12,500,000 Verdict: In this wrongful death case, Werner's driver had just completed driver training school when he crossed 4 lanes of traffic and a paved median and collided head on with the decedent vehicle. The driver was shown to be unqualified and plaintiffs alleged that Werner's policy of putting unqualified drivers behind the wheel without proper training and supervision resulted in the decedent's death. A jury awarded $12.4 million in damages.
2018, Texas, $89,700,000 Verdict. A family is traveling eastbound on 1-20, in a Ford pickup truck. The driver loses control of the vehicle and slid across the grassy median into the westbound lanes and directly into the path of an oncoming Werner tractor-trailer. Wait? What? It was a student driver who was not even give a CB who was driving way too fast on icy conditions. So the case was that the accident could have easily been avoided. And the family was destroyed. A seven-year-old boy was killed and his sister suffered catastrophic brain injuries. The mother and another brother were badly hurt. In 2019, Werner filed an appeal contending the plaintffs' lawyers employed a "try the company, not the driver strategy to prejudice the jury with irrelevant evidence."
2016, California, $10,770.598 Verdict. The 55-year-old male plaintiff, along with his 56-year-old wife and 17-year-old son, was injured when a Werner tractor-trailer pulled out from the shoulder of the road and collided with their vehicle, forcing them off the road. The plaintiff suffered traumatic injuries to his cervical spine and underwent cervical disc replacement surgery and a subsequent cervical fusion surgery. He suffers residual pain and loss of range of motion.
2012, Florida, $920,000 Verdict. The plaintiff, an adult male motorist, suffered lumbar disc damage at levels L4-L5 and L5-S1 resulting in permanent injuries after his motor vehicle was struck by a Werner tractor-trailer. The plaintiff's spouse made a claim for lost consortium but received no award.
2010, Georgia, $248,000 Verdict. The 48-year-old female plaintiff, having been rear-ended by another vehicle after it was rear-ended by a Werner tractor-trailer, suffered lumbar facet joint inflammation and a lumbar strain.
2009, Connecticut, $450,000 Verdict. A Werner tractor-trailer moved from to the center lane into the right lane and collided with the plaintiff's vehicle. As a result, the plaintiff suffered C5-6 disc herniation with compression of the spinal cord, cervical myelopathy, cervical facet syndrome, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy, lumbar and cervical strain/sprain, and injuries to her right wrist, right thumb, forearm, and chest.
2009, Florida, $2,950,000 Verdict. A Werner driver stopped his tractor-trailer in such a way that it was blocking two lanes of traffic. Another vehicle, unable to stop in time or maneuver out of the way, collided with the tractor-trailer. The vehicle driver suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash.
2008, Virginia, $7,953,827 Verdict. The plaintiff, as a result of a three-vehicle collision, sustained a rib injury and a traumatic brain injury that reportedly limited her cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning. Halfway into changing lanes, a Werner tractor-trailer was struck in the front bumper by another vehicle. The vehicle spun and collided with the plaintiff's vehicle, causing it to flip three times before it came to rest on its side.
2007, Oklahoma, $3,200,000 Verdict. A Werner tractor-trailer trainee driver and her instructor were attempting a U-turn on a highway, blocking traffic in a manner so that the semi did not reflect the plaintiff's headlights and a collision ensued. As a result of the crash, the plaintiff sustained a comminuted, compound, displaced fracture and deformity of the lower right leg, right biceps tear, right jaw lacerations, facial abrasions, bruises to neck, back, lower back, chest, left knee, left arm and hand, and tear in medical meniscus of right knee. The jury found the defendants 75 percent negligent and the plaintiff 25 percent negligent.
Our law firm is based in Maryland. Our lawyers handle a lot of serious injury and wrongful death truck accident cases. Most of the Werner truck collision cases we see are in Maryland 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 Werner 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.