Injuries from trucking accidents are almost always more severe than those from accidents involving passenger cars. A personal injury lawyer can tell you that the severity of a trucking accident can increase depending on the type of materials that a truck is hauling. Any trucking accident can result in multiple deaths. The danger only increases if the truck was carrying hazardous materials.
Old Dominion Freight Line has been responsible for multiple trucking accidents over the years. Many of those accidents have involved dangerous chemicals. If you have been injured in an Old Dominion Freight Line accident, Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help you.
Reasons Truck Accidents are So Dangerous
The average commercial semi-truck weighs over 10,000 lb. Their drivers travel at 55 mph or over. A large truck is harder to steer than other vehicles. It is also harder to judge things like the distances of cars on the road. A truck needs more time to stop which makes it harder to avoid a crash when another driver pulls out in front of it.
If a truck is improperly loaded, it can cause an accident as well. If a truck is carrying hazardous cargo, and the barrels of the cargo are not secured properly, the chemicals can spill causing a very dangerous situation.
About 11% of truck accidents are fatal. People in passenger vehicles are more likely to die than truck drivers. A total of 4,965 people lost their lives in large-truck crashes in the year 2020, according to the National Safety Council.
Although they may cause many deaths each year, trucking companies and the insurance companies they use are often unwilling to pay grieving families and injured people the money that they deserve.
The average settlement amount for a trucking accident is much higher than it would be for a regular passenger car accident. This is because the injuries are so much more severe. When a trucking accident results in a fatality, the trucking company is often sued for wrongful death. Wrongful death cases against large trucking companies will often result in very high settlements. Juries want to send a message to the trucking company to be safer.
Old Dominion Freight Line is a major trucking company. It has been involved in quite a few major trucking accidents.
Old Dominion Freight Line Facts
Old Dominion Freight Lines handles trucks that are filled with small packages. This is called “less than truckload shipping” meaning that the trucks are not at capacity. In business since 1934, the company started with a single truck. The company expanded during World War II and kept on growing from there. Today, it is one of the 10 largest trucking companies in America with a fleet of over 10,700 trucks. The company has 12,855 drivers.
Old Dominion Accidents
Old Dominion trucks were involved in 21 fatal accidents from 2018 to 2021. They had 750 accidents in two years. Plaintiffs in a personal injury case involving an Old Dominion truck were recently awarded $75 million in damages. The company has failed many inspections with The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The violations include failing sobriety tests, distracted driving, and speeding.
In April of 2018, one of Old Dominion’s semi’s swerved to avoid hitting a pickup truck in an intersection. The Old Dominion tractor-trailer was carrying 20,000 pounds of cargo. The truck was carrying flammable cargo but Old Dominion did not mention that when they called to report the accident. First responders at the scene did not know to protect themselves from the dangerous chemicals. The company violated the law because it had no warning placards on the vehicle. The first responders inhaled chemicals for many hours without knowing it. Old Dominion recently tried to have the amount of the judgment reduced.
If you watch the news, you know that there has been a recent shortage of truck drivers. Trucking companies are struggling to keep fully staffed. They have the same amount of deliveries to make as always if not more. The lack of drivers has contributed to the supply chain crisis in the country. Trucking companies are hiring less qualified drivers and many of those drivers are working long hours. Drowsy driving causes accidents. Supply chain consulting firms do not expect the problem to end soon. This may cause the percentage of trucks involved in accidents to go up.
What to do if You Are Involved in an Accident
A trucking accident can involve life-altering injuries. It is very important to collect evidence when you have been injured in an accident.
When you have an accident with a truck, the police will arrive at the accident scene and make a report. They will check on everyone to see if they are injured. If an ambulance arrives at the scene, you should let the EMTs treat you and take you to the hospital if they think it is necessary. Refusing medical treatment can affect your ability to get an insurance payout.
If you can, gather the names and phone numbers of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Take pictures if you can or have someone else do it.
Save a copy of all bills for medical expenses including those for physical therapy and alternative treatments. Save receipts for any medication you take whether it is prescription or non-prescription. Get your employer to write you a letter stating the number of hours you have missed from work, Save the receipts for any maid services that you need.
Getting Insurance to Compensate You
In the state of California, a person who causes an accident is responsible for paying their bills. In some cases, more than one person is responsible for an accident. It is a pure comparative fault state, which means that each person pays for the percentage of the accident for which they were responsible. For example, if you caused 10% of an accident and the other driver caused 90%, their insurance should pay 90% of your bills.
Determining fault is a little more complicated after a trucking accident. Truck drivers are supposed to have a greater duty of care than most drivers. They go through advanced training and they are often employees of a large freight company like Old Dominion.
You must talk to a personal injury lawyer when you are in an accident with a truck. Commercial truck accident attorneys will be thoroughly familiar with the rules of the FMCSA. They will know all the specific things that can go wrong when a person is driving a truck. Service violations are common with companies that have a lot of trucks and employees. They will be able to tell you if the accident was the fault of the driver alone or if a company can be held responsible for an accident.
Large trucks have Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in them that monitor every move a truck makes. Attorneys have the right to subpoena records in a court case. The ELD records can be used as a major piece of evidence in a trucking case.
Why You Need to Give Us a Call
Truck accident injuries are serious. They include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
The attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP specialize in Old Dominion Freight Line truck accident cases. We have a proven record of success with personal injury cases and we will work tirelessly to get you the money you deserve. Each truck accident attorney has handled many truck accident claim cases. However, we can also represent you in cases with other trucking companies.
What if my claim has been denied?
You should call us for a consultation. We will discuss if the denial was legitimate or worth suing over.
What is your success rate?
We have won millions of dollars for our personal injury clients. Our truck accident lawyers are trained negotiators and experienced litigators.
Will you have time to work on my case?
Yes. We are staffed with a team of legal researchers who will investigate your accident thoroughly.
When you call our office, we can make arrangements for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis so you don’t pay us unless we win money for you.