Three men in Kansas City, Kansas were found guilty of conspiracy for stealing 17 trailers, five semi trucks and the cargo within the vehicles. According to reports, the owner of the trucking company would allegedly purchase stolen trailers and trucks for use in his own fleet, and he and his son allegedly scrapped several vehicles for parts and changed the Vehicle Identification Numbers on others so that he could use them to haul loads for his customers.
Owner Found Using Stolen Semi Trucks
According to reports, the authorities were not initially aware of the stolen semi trucks, but the company was ordered to pay more than $450,000 in out-of-service orders and fines. Officials have reason to believe that the owner did not properly maintain his vehicles, knowing that if one were to break, he could always buy another stolen vehicle for less than the cost of repairing the truck that had broken. In the several instances that the owner was shut down, he would obtain new operating authority by reopening his business under a new name.
The owner purchased the vehicles from a man who would allegedly sell the cargo from the stolen semi trucks to merchants. The merchants would then purchase the products such as Nike shoes, meat and beer for pennies on the dollar. Also convicted were four other men: one of which was responsible for removing identifying information such as logos and decals from the stolen semi trucks and three of which were merchants who had purchased the stolen goods. The charges range from 45 to 65 years in prison without parole and fines of $1.25 million and up to $1.75 million for additional crimes relating to the conspiracy.
Factors to Consider Besides Stolen Semi Trucks
The act of stealing trucks and marketing the products for profit is one instance that supports the notion that you never know what could be going on behind the scenes for trucking companies. In fact, because the owner never properly maintained his fleet, the semi trucks were at a higher risk of causing accidents, injuries and possibly deaths. While this and other instances are certainly not the case for all trucking companies, it is important to other drivers on the road to be aware of the possibilities behind irresponsible driving and even semi truck accidents.
Additionally, there could be other factors and unforeseen possibilities to consider besides stolen semi trucks. According to a recent study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, nearly 20 percent of all semi truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue. However, this does not include the effect that exhaustion can have on reaction times as well as the reported increased tendency that drivers may have to take unnecessary risks when driving while tired.
The FMCSA has also prohibited the use of mobile devices by semi truck drivers while they are operating commercial vehicles and recently released a list of penalties enforced for distracted driving. The employer may be liable for an $11,000 fine, and the driver operating the truck may be responsible for a maximum civil fine of $2,750. However, the ban on cell phones does not apply to devices used for dispatching vehicles, but these units are only acceptable if properly used as part of a fleet management system.
Other types of negligence may include speeding, aggressive driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or failing to follow state and federal regulations. If you have been injured due to negligence of another, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for the damages you sustained.
Injured? Contact the American Injury Attorney Group for More Information
All of these issues are very serious, and are just a portion of possible factors to consider in a semi truck accident. That is why if you are in an accident where a semi truck is at fault, it is important to seek legal counsel who can help you understand your legal rights and will help you seek compensation for damages you have had to suffer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a semi truck, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and recover damages for your condition. Contact the American Injury Attorney Group today to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation to determine whether you have a valid claim. We will connect you with an experienced attorney who can handle your case and work to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Visit our page on Trucking Accident Lawyers for more information