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Old Dominion Freight Line Trucking Accidents

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Started as a family business with a single truck in Virginia in 1934, Old Dominion Freight Line is now a publicly-traded stock corporation that is a component of the S&P 500 index of stocks. The family that founded the company still retains a significant percentage of stock ownership in the company, which is now headquartered in North Carolina and has about $3 billion in annual revenues.

Old Dominion has become one of the major trucking companies in the United States, growing from a single vehicle in the 1930s to about 6,000 tractors and more than 20,000 trailers currently. The company expanded its services to other East Coast states by the 1950s and grew more rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s by acquiring other trucking companies. Old Dominion offered trucking services nationwide by the 1980s and diversifying into other services like warehousing and household moving services by the time it became a public company in 1991. Old Dominion now has more than 20,000 employees worldwide.

As with any trucking company as large as Old Dominion Freight Line, having lots of vehicles driven by lots of drivers putting in lots of miles on U.S. roads and highways inevitably means truck accidents, property damage, personal injuries, and even fatalities.

What is Different About Old Dominion Freight Line?

Many major trucking and delivery companies will try to develop and dominate particular types of services. Some are purely point-to-point services delivering full truckloads of goods for particular, individual customers. Other service providers have specialized in managing, leasing, and maintaining smaller fleets of trucks for multiple clients. On the other hand, companies like UPS, Amazon, and U.S. Postal Service – while operating full-size tractor-trailer rigs for long-distance shipping between their distribution centers – are primarily focused on smaller trucks and delivery vans providing parcel delivery services to millions of recipients.

Although Old Dominion Freight Lines has diversified services like logistics services, supply chain consulting, and container delivery, its core business is known as “less-than-truckload" or “LTL” delivery services. These services are someplace in between the point-to-point, full truckload services provided by many of the major trucking companies and the parcel-sized delivery services of companies like UPS and Amazon that focus on shipment and delivery of numerous packages of up to around a couple hundred pounds maximum weight. The LTL trucking companies like Old Dominion are more likely to be carrying pallets or even individual items for multiple customers on a single truck.

Old Dominion Freight Line Truck Accidents

While the most recent safety rating for Old Dominion from federal trucking regulators is “satisfactory,” that is not necessarily something to brag about, and the same regulator records more than 700 accidents in a recent two-year period for Old Dominion drivers, of which more than 200 resulted in serious injuries and 22 caused fatalities. Old Dominion – like most major trucking companies – is what’s known as a “common carrier.” Common carriers are companies in the business of mass transport with many vehicles on the roadways. They may include companies as diverse as bus lines, rideshare companies, taxi services, parcel delivery services, and trucking companies. Since these companies have so many vehicles putting in so many miles on our streets and highways, they have a higher level of obligation to ensure that their drivers and vehicles are operating safely.

Unfortunately, many factors work against safety for major trucking companies like Old Dominion Freight Lines. Nationwide, there is a shortage of experienced, well-trained truck drivers, so there is fairly high employee turnover for these companies. Not to mention that the job itself is a difficult one, with long hours, hard physical labor, and challenging conditions.

Do Injury Claims Against Old Dominion Freight Line Have a Higher Value?

Many factors go into determining a claim’s final settlement value or jury verdict in personal injury claims. The most significant of these factors is the severity of the injury that was suffered, with severe physical injuries with permanent symptoms and deaths having much higher claim values overall than relatively minor injuries from which the victim heals quickly. Accidents involving large tractor-trailer trucks such as those operated by Old Dominion tend to involve significantly worse injuries than accidents involving just passenger vehicles.

This is a matter of simple physics, with the size, weight, and momentum of a tractor-trailer – a loaded rig can weigh as much as 40 times what a typical passenger vehicle weighs – contributing to much greater physical damage to a passenger vehicle and its occupants when struck. One study has found that the average accident involving a full-size truck is about eight times as likely as an accident involving only passenger vehicles to cause serious injuries and as much as a hundred times as likely to cause a fatality.

In addition to injury severity impacting claim value, personal injury claims against truck companies like Old Dominion can also have higher value due to just who the defendant is – juries have a greater tendency to award large amounts against defendants who are major corporations as well as defendants who are expected to be “professionals” on the roadway due to the type of their business.

I’ve Just Been in an Accident with an Old Dominion Truck – What Should I Do?

There are some things we should do following any significant traffic accident, such as calling for police to investigate the incident and for fire and medical services to assist those people who may be injured. And, of course, it’s always crucial to remain calm and observant of safety at an accident site, particularly if there are still other vehicles passing by the accident scene.

It is best to leave the vehicles in the positions where they came to rest after the accident – so long as it is safe to do this – until police have had an opportunity to observe them and direct that they be moved. Getting photographs of the vehicles, their positions, and their damage is also helpful if it is possible and safe to do this.

Accidents involving trucks such as those operated by Old Dominion Freight Lines can often be large and complex. The size and momentum of the vehicles make them difficult to brake and maneuver when operating at highway speeds. As a result, accidents involving these trucks often include multiple other vehicles that may be struck. Make sure that the investigating police officer gets your statement about how the accident occurred.

If you or one of your family members has been involved in a truck accident involving Old Dominion Freight Line or any other major trucking company, be certain to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who has the skills, expertise, and resources to successfully pursue these unique and complicated personal injury claims. At the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith – AutoAccident.com -- we have been handling major personal injury claims for our clients, including truck accident cases with companies like Old Dominion since 1982.

Watch the YouTube video below to learn about the types of injuries suffered in truck accidents.

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident attorney in Sacramento, California. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a truck operated by Old Dominion Freight Line or any other trucking company, call me today for free advice at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400.

We are a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Our clients' reviews can be found on Google, and Yelp and examples of our past cases can be found on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay 

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