Formerly a subsidiary of Motor Cargo, Overnite Transportation was purchased by UPS freight in August 2005. As an LTL (less than truckload) solution, the company name was changed to UPS Ground Freight, Inc. Since its founding in 1935, the company expanded throughout the 1950s to 1970s, operating along the eastern U.S. seaboard and into Tennessee. By the late 70s, it expanded its routes as far westward as Indiana and Missouri.
The acquisition of Overnite Transportation through a buyout was in response to the FedEx Corporation purchasing the west coast LTL giant Viking Freight, and East Coast giant American Freightways.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC appreciates the dangers motorists face when sharing the roads with trucks operated by Overnite Transportation. If you or a loved one was injured in a collision with an Overnite Transport truck, contact our office for a free case review and an assessment of your legal options with an experienced attorney.
Company Vehicle Safety Statistics for Overnite Transportation
In the years since its buyout and name change to UPS Ground Freight, Inc., the company has grown to nearly 6200 drivers, operating more than 4200 vehicles across North America. With the millions of miles driven across Canada and the US every year, many drivers have been involved in an Overnite Transportation truck accident. Statistics managed by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) indicate that the company has been involved in 487 crashes with 167 injuries and 13 fatalities, over the course of two years before February 2014.
Also, the U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation) routinely inspects all vehicles and drivers traveling the highways of America. In the previous 24 months before February 2014, 519 of the 4221 heavy commercial trucks operated by Overnite Transportation (UPS) were taken out of service due to inspection failure. That represents 12.3 percent of the total fleet, which is still significantly lower than the national average of 20.72 percent.
In addition to the vehicle inspections, the Department of Transportation pulled 90 of the 6198 UPS Ground Freight drivers off the road due to failing inspection checks. This number is 1.5 percent of the total number of truckers operating UPS Ground vehicles, significantly less than the national average of 5.51 percent.
Situations Involving Overnite Transportation Trucks
The massive size and weight of a fully loaded parcel truck make it a dangerous moving object when on side roads, city streets, and freeways of North America. Even a small collision with a passenger vehicle can cause an Overnite Transportation truck accident. There are varieties of factors that are the leading causes of many of the catastrophic truck accidents that happen every year. Some of these include:
- Truck Driver Performance – Often, long-distance truckers become fatigued from the pushing demands of time constraints and deadlines. Through carelessness, a drowsy driver can make poor driving decisions including swerving in traffic, erratically changing a lane, or not having the ability to stop on time.
- Driving Environments – Bad road conditions, poor weather and uneven roads tend to increase the chance of being involved in a serious accident with injuries.
- Lack of Vehicle Maintenance – Poorly maintained commercial trucks often experience tire blowouts, failing brakes, damaged axles, and breakdowns, all of which can lead to an increased potential of causing serious accidents.
- Cargo Loading – Improperly loading vans, semi-trucks, flatbeds, and 18-wheelers can cause the cargo to shift, or make it nearly impossible to maneuver the truck safely in challenging situations on the road.
- Training and Experience – Inexperienced or untrained truckers behind the wheels of large commercial trucks can be a recipe for catastrophic disaster. When trucking companies are negligent in providing the proper training, they can be held legally accountable for their in action.
Legal Options for People Involved in Accidents With Overnite Transportation Vehicles
Individuals it been injured in a truck accident often have enormous ongoing expenses as a direct result of their severe injuries. Many of these include:
- Extensive medical bills for surgery, rehabilitation, and physical therapies
- Pain-and-suffering from injuries, disfigurement, and disability resulting from the accident
- Lost wages due to missed work
- Diminished capacity to earn a living in the future
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Serious injuries leading to wrongful death
Sample Settlements and Verdicts
$22,520,000 ILLINOIS AWARD.
This was a wrongful death lawsuit. The victim was a young man working on an Illinois road. He was just shy of 30. He had to work on the surface to repave or paint it. The details weren't exactly clear. We know at the time of the accident he was out on the street working. While he was doing that, an Overnite truck rammed into a transportation truck right behind him. The force of that collision sent the transportation truck flying into him. He died from his injuries. He had a wife that survived him. She was pregnant at the time of his death. The woman worked with counsel to bring a lawsuit. The suit alleged negligence and wrongful death. The former just means the defendant acted unreasonably and caused damages. The latter suggests the defendant's acts caused someone's death. They often go hand in hand. The defendant quickly pointed the finger at the transportation company. It said that company was negligent too and should share in the blame. Note, this isn't an attempt to critique what the plaintiffs are seeking in court. It just implies someone else should pay for the damages. Legally, in that case, plaintiffs are allowed to go after whatever wrongful party they want. The jury ended up giving the family a large award. It could then seek all of that from Overnite. Overnite could then seek fair reimbursement from other wrongful parties. Obviously, this was of little concern to the family.
$165,000,000 NEW MEXICO AWARD.
A family here was patiently waiting in its truck. It didn't know it then, but its entire world would change in a matter of seconds. That's when a truck contracted by Overnite (known as UPS after the merger) slammed into its rear. At the time of the crash, the contractor was going 65 miles per hour. The little truck had a mother and two children in it. One of the kids was an infant girl. She died from the event. The other child was a male toddler. He survived but was badly injured. He would need lifelong medical help. Also, he would have to go on without his mom. She passed away after the crash too. Of course, the amount the family got in the subsequent suit dwarfed other awards. It was for a wrongful death case. The damages were largely for economic and non-economic harms. They didn't get that much for economic damages. Most of the award was for non-economic damages. That included losses like consortium, suffering, and other intangible injuries. While hotly contested, this shows the almost unlimited means to recovery that some state courts grant victims. Many opponents have tried to cap non-economic damages. With some case types, like medical malpractice, they've been successful. However, with truck accidents, they have had no such luck!
$5,000,000 FLORIDA AWARD.
This case just happened a few years ago. The defendant was the successor company to Overnite, UPS. The plaintiff was a man in his late twenties. He was just a few years shy of 30. He was waiting at a light to proceed. It had not quite turned to green and he started to press the pedal. Before he could get anywhere, a UPS truck ran into him headlong. What happened was, the truck was trying turn left into the lane adjacent his. But it cut it too tight. It smashed him right in the front. The damage was dire. His health was in critical conditions. Emergency personnel rushed him to the hospital. Once he got there, he needed several surgeries. He herniated his disc. He tore his shoulder. He even sustained severe head trauma. Doctors bemoaned that the brain damage would persist for years to come. Simply put, he wouldn't be the same again. He brought suit against the company for damages. His complaint listed future lost wages and enormous medical bills among other things. Plus, it estimated all of the care he would need and at what great cost. A jury returned a verdict of $5,000,000. That was largely for compensatory damages. That fact highlighted the extraordinary financial toll this truck accident placed on him.
$3,900,000 CONNECTICUT AWARD.
This lawsuit was brought against Overnite (UPS after merger). The victim passed away from injuries he sustained in the crash. The jury determined it arose through no fault of his own. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to bring a case on his behalf. The managers of his estate did do that. They sued the driver and the company. Many times, large truck companies contract drivers. This is different from employing them. The latter creates a lot more risk for the business. However, the former does not remove all of it. Normally, the contractor must act exceedingly outrageous in order to extricate liability from the company. Here that wasn't the case. Therefore, the plaintiffs could sue both. This is helpful because it opens up more pockets for recovery. If one defendant can't afford your damages, the other can be required to pay them. Obviously, a large trucking company is in a better position to reimburse plaintiffs than a struggling, contracted driver. That's why the estate targeted it in its suit. They also felt it acted negligently and was partially to blame. All in all, it had to carry most of the bill. The family received this award for compensatory and other damages from the death.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC handle serious truck accident claims and provide legal representation against large trucking corporations for victims suffering injuries. The skilled team of seasoned attorneys gathers evidence, speak to witnesses, and formulate effective strategies to obtain restitution for their clients. The law firm takes Overnite truck accident cases on contingency, meaning their services are paid only through an award at trial, or from an out-of-court settlement. Call the law offices at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment for a no-obligation assessment of a claim. Contact us today!