Texas Badge

What Victims and Their Families Should Know Before Filing Suit Against R & L Carriers

When an accident takes place, and someone is hurt or loses a loved one through no fault of their own, they may reasonably expect the employer of the driver who injured them to do the right thing and pay for the damages they've suffered. Unfortunately, outside of a couple of rare exceptions, commercial trucking companies rarely step up to the plate and take care of those hurt by their driver's carelessness.

This leaves victims and their families with a stark, unpleasant choice: accepting the pittance the trucking company is willing to offer them, or fighting the company through the civil justice system to hold them fully accountable for their driver's negligence. Experienced truck accident attorney Michael Grossman discusses some of the challenges those harmed by these crashes can expect as they attempt to do so.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is R & L Carriers?
  • How many crashes has the company been involved in over the last 2 years?
  • What motivates companies like R & L Carriers to play hardball with accident victims?

R and L Carriers Quick Facts
Crash statistics per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

What is R & L Carriers?

R & L Carriers, based in Wilmington, OH, is the 22nd largest trucking company in the United States, focusing on less-than-truckload shipping, where freight from multiple shippers is combined on one semi truck. Including its regional subsidiaries Gator Freightways, Greenwood Motor Lines, and Paramount Transportation, the company owns 5,632 trucks and employs 5,799 drivers, who together drove around 386 million miles in 2017. Their revenues for the same period were about $1.5 billion.

Over the last two years, vehicles in the R & L Carriers fleet were involved in 461 crashes, with 137 resulting in injury and 12 involving deaths. That's about 1 accident every other day. While it's important to note that this data alone can't speak to how many of those crashes were the fault of one of the company's drivers, it seems equally unlikely that all of the drivers involved just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on almost 500 separate occasions.

One thing that stands out from all this data is R & L Carriers' impressive revenues, which might lead victims to assume that, because the company seems to be doing well, it will be relatively easy to get them to take responsibility for a crash and compensate those their drivers have injured fairly. However, there are a host of large trucking companies with similar or even larger revenue numbers, and we've found that most still do everything they can to avoid adding settlements and judgments to their costs.

Why Companies Like R&L Carriers Fight Injury and Wrongful Death Claims So Vigorously

Our firm represents victims and loved ones of those who've lost their lives in commercial truck accident litigation. This means our attorneys and staff see up close how devastating commercial truck accidents can be to someone's life and livelihood, as well as their potential to upend a family. In short, we understand what's at stake for our clients.

However, over the years, we've come to realize that, while meeting our client's needs is important, it's only half the equation. The other half is understanding the mindset of the trucking company, because they're the ones who should be paying for the damages suffered by our clients, even as they do their level best to avoid doing so. It would be easy for us to just chalk this up to them being selfish monsters who don't care about victims, but the truth is a little more complicated.

In order to better understand why trucking companies behave as they do, it helps to think, not of the company as a whole, but of its senior management. Imagine you've spent your whole life building something. While your friends were on vacation, you stayed at the office, building your business. You probably didn't spend as much time with your family as other people, and your reward for all that effort was a growing, successful company. You'd feel pretty invested in that company, wouldn't you?

Now imagine that one of your employees goes out, does something stupid, and ends up killing a member of the public while doing their job. While everyone will certainly feel sympathy for the person who died, if you're someone who's sacrificed most of the waking hours of your life to your business, it's all too human to wonder how the costs of this incident are going to affect what you've built.

It's at this point that, feeling as though a vital extension of themselves is under attack, the vast majority of people in this kind of position will begin to rationalize what happened in their favor. Certainly it's sad anytime someone loses their life, they'll think to themselves, but I don't know that person, while I do know the people I'll have to fire if the costs of resolving this situation get out of hand.

In short, but for a few honorable exceptions, the lion's share of people or businesses will come up with whatever explanation they need to for why the terrible thing that happened wasn't their fault. And, if you're the victim of an accident caused by this company's driver, you couldn't care less about any of this.

After all, you're the one who's suffering, you're the one who did nothing wrong, and you're the one who is left to deal with the consequences of someone else's carelessness. When you understand both sides of the situation, you can also probably understand why so many commercial truck accident cases wind up needing to be settled in court.

Grossman Law Offices Has The Team You Need to Level the Playing Field

The powerful motivations of trucking companies to defend their interests make it that much more important to have knowledgeable advocates who are equally committed to looking after yours.

With almost thirty years of experience handling truck accident cases, Dallas truck accident attorney Michael Grossman and his team have the legal know-how and investigative resources to handle every stage and aspect of your case, from gathering evidence to presenting it at trial.

To find out how Grossman Law Offices can help you level the playing field, call us anytime, day or night, at (855) 326-2000.

Related Articles for Further Reading: