Schneider & Onofry Proudly announces the opening of its office in Yuma, Arizona
Schneider & Onofry, PC, is a group of 13 trial attorneys representing businesses, insurance companies, and municipalities in sophisticated commercial and personal injury litigated matters. With its main office in Phoenix, Schneider & Onofry proudly announces that it has now opened a branch office in Yuma, Arizona, to expand service of existing clients and to assist local Yuma businesses in litigated matters.
Transportation and Motor Carrier Litigation: Schneider & Onofry is proud to have represented trucking companies, their drivers, and insurers in truck-related accidents since its inception in 1999. Despite the invaluable role motor carriers play in our country's economy, the unfortunate reality is that trucking companies and their drivers are favorite targets of lawsuits by trial lawyers whenever a commercial motor vehicle is involved in an accident. That trend is not likely to end anytime soon. Because of the potential high exposure in these cases and the extensive amount of regulation involved with commercial motor vehicles, the defense of these companies requires a large degree of sophistication. Schneider & Onofry has gained that experience through its lead partners who have upwards of 20 years of experience in litigating and trying matters involving commercial motor vehicles. Chuck Onofry is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association ("TIDA"), which is a national organization comprised of trucking companies, their risk managers, insurance companies, and defense attorneys throughout the country which is dedicated to the defense of trucking companies in litigated matters.
Can Commercial Motor Carriers Get a Fair Trial Before a Jury?
Despite being big targets, juries do not always look beyond the facts in search of finding a trucking company and its driver liable for an accident. This is especially true in some of the outlying counties in Arizona. For instance, Schneider & Onofry recently tried a case in Mohave County (Lake Havasu, Arizona) where the jury found in favor of the trucking company and its driver. Holder v. Jonathan Swift Transportation. In that case, the truck driver and several other vehicles were westbound on Interstate 40 near Kingman. There were icy conditions. One of the vehicles ahead of the truck lost control and slid off the roadway. Plaintiffs' vehicle, which also was in front of the truck driver, abruptly slowed down to avoid the out-of-control vehicle in front of it. The truck then rear‑ended plaintiffs' vehicle. One would think that the plaintiff had an easy case since this was a simple "rear-ender." Undoubtedly, plaintiff was likely more certain of a favorable ruling when the truck driver failed to appear on his own behalf at trial, leaving the trucking company to fend for itself and the jury heard that the truck driver fled the accident scene. However, the jury found no liability mostly because plaintiff failed to present evidence that there was anything the truck driver could do to avoid the accident. Plaintiffs' entire case was really based on their own testimony, but they never saw the truck that rear-ended them and, therefore, could not say what the truck did wrong. Undoubtedly, the jury took this fact into consideration as well as the fact that there were icy road conditions.
What is the lesson to be learned from a seemingly easy claim against a truck company? It could be something as simple as juries will not completely overlook the facts when a truck company is involved. Maybe more important, however, is that the venue is important. In outlying counties in Arizona like Lake Havasu and Kingman, both in Mohave County, trucks are simply a more accepted part of people's lives. Small towns off the interstate rely heavily on truck companies and their drivers for a significant part of their business. As such, they may simply be more accepting of trucking companies and their drivers as an integral part of our society and economy.
With the opening of its office in Yuma, Arizona, Schneider & Onofry hopes to continue representing trucking companies in these litigated matters, and other business transactions. With an office in Yuma, Schneider & Onofry will be in close proximity to other outlying counties like LaPaz County (encompassing the towns of Parker and Quartzsite) and Mohave County (encompassing the cities of Kingman, Bullhead City, and Lake Havasu City). This geographic proximity, in conjunction with Schneider & Onofry's paperless system, will allow it to service these outlying counties, which are still transportation hubs and affected by the trucking industry.