What Victims of Old Dominion Semi-Truck Crashes Need to Know
When people find their lives upended by a serious commercial truck crash, the last thing they usually think about is the legal ramifications of their situation. Most people's belief, which trucking companies do their best to confirm, is that the company that caused their crash will take care of them. In almost every case, the reality is quite different.
For multi-billion dollar companies like Old Dominion, payouts to victims injured or killed by their drivers are just another expense for management to control. I realize some people may be skeptical of this claim, but you don't have to take my word for it: it's a disclosed business risk in the quarterly reports that the company issues to investors, right next to increased costs for employee health coverage.
If a business lists payouts from personal injury claims as an unpredictable expense, isn't it likely they'll do everything they can to control that expense? To the extent that they succeed in doing so, the people that the company has killed or injured will lose out. Dallas truck accident Attorney Michael Grossman has a problem with that, which is why he fights for the victims of trucking company negligence.
Questions Answered On This Page:
- What is Old Dominion Freight Line?
- How many serious crashes has Old Dominion been involved in over the last two years?
- How can I hold Old Dominion accountable for the injuries or deaths caused by their drivers?
An Overview of Old Dominion Freight Line
With revenue that exceeded $3.3 billion in 2017, Thomasville, N.C.-based Old Dominion Freight Line is the 11th largest trucking company in the United States. The company focuses on less than truckload (LTL), truckload dedicated, and intermodal transportation. To accomplish these tasks, the company uses a fleet of more than 8,300 trucks and 32,890 trailers, driven by around 10,000 drivers. Collectively, the fleet transported goods more than 715 million miles in 2017.
With so many trucks, traveling so many miles, accidents are a likely consequence. Over the last 2 years, Old Dominion trucks collided with other vehicles badly enough to require towing from the scene 675 times. According to the federal government, 202 of those crashes resulted in at least a single injury, while 22 proved fatal. For a bit of perspective, that's a just under one wreck every single day.
In the interest of transparency, I should mention that these statistics don't consider fault for crashes. If an Old Dominion truck was part of the crash, it's included in the numbers and it's safe to say that Old Dominion isn't responsible for all of these collisions. However, it's equally unlikely that they aren't responsible for any of them.
From this information, we can reasonably infer that Old Dominion is a company that has plenty of experience looking out for their interests in the aftermath of a crash and significant resources available to protect those interests.
Companies Like Old Dominion View Truck Accident Injury Settlements as an Expense, Not an Obligation
As I mentioned before, one of the biggest misconceptions that people injured in commercial truck crashes have is that companies are generally inclined to do the right thing to help victims. Certainly, some folks might think that I'm a bit biased, since I sue trucking companies for a living, which is why I don't expect you to take my word for it.
Large publicly traded companies issue quarterly earnings statements in which the firm's management discusses its overall financial condition. These documents usually come with a brief statement that highlights certain aspects of the business and indicates what management expects the company's future prospects to be.
Part of this statement contains a list of potential roadblocks to management achieving the level of prosperity they envision. In the trucking industry, this includes things like fluctuations in the price of diesel or an overall slow-down in the economy at large, likely reducing demand for shipping. Presumably, well-led companies have plans in place to ensure that the company's fortunes are affected as little as possible by any of these factors.
Old Dominion's most recent statement lists 34 of these potential scenarios that could lead to different outcomes than what management foresees. Potential harbinger of disaster Number 9 is of particular interest to anyone injured by a trucking company:
(9) our exposure to claims related to cargo loss and damage, property damage, personal injury, workers' compensation, group health and group dental, including increased premiums, adverse loss development, increased self-insured retention levels and claims in excess of insured coverage levels; (emphasis added)
It's fair to point out that the items on this list are things that in the short-term are beyond a company's control. However, it would be naive to think that if health care costs, for example, grew too quickly, that the company wouldn't explore opportunities to reduce those costs. What each of these items, including payouts for personal injury, have in common is that the company would like to pay as little as possible to resolve them.
Unlike the largely uncontrollable vagaries of the health insurance market, companies have legal tools available to reduce the amount they have to pay out in personal injury expenses. The most powerful of these is the presumption of innocence. Most injured people are unaware that, if they intend to use the courts to compel a trucking company to pay fair compensation for their injuries or the loss of a loved one, they have the burden of proving to a jury that the trucking company was at fault.
This means gathering evidence, deposing witnesses, and subpoenaing company records. In short, from the moment a serious commercial truck crash occurs, the focus has to be on proving to a jury that the trucking company is responsible. Otherwise, those who are injured or lose a loved one in such an accident risk footing the bill for a calamity that wasn't even their fault.
Grossman Law Offices Sues Negligent Trucking Companies
While trucking companies may look at personal injury payouts as an expense to be minimized, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices know that behind the medical bills, lost wages, and uncertain future is a person struggling to put their life back together. While nothing can completely undo the damage of a serious 18-wheeler collision, we believe that trucking companies have a duty to help victims of their negligence get their lives as close to normal as possible.
Enforcing that duty means forcing trucking companies to pay for the necessary and expensive medical care that accompanies a serious trauma. It means replacing the income lost when a mother or father can no longer provide for their children. It means bearing the full cost of a devastating mistake. Does that sound to you like an expense to be minimized, or is paying it just doing the right thing?
For nearly 3 decades, the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have made it our mission to help the injured and those who've lost a loved one due to trucking company negligence. While most of us are taught from a young age that when you make a mistake, you have an obligation to make things right, that's a lesson that many trucking companies don't seem to understand. That's why we've taught them that lesson over and over again, in hundreds of semi-truck accident cases.
If Grossman Law Offices sounds like the firm that you want fighting for you, then please give us a call for a free consultation at (855) 326-0000. We're ready to talk anytime, day or night.
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