The Roadway Trucking Company was founded in Akron Ohio in 1930, providing local transported deliveries in the region. Just a few years earlier, the Yellow Cab Transit Company was founded in Oklahoma City, shortening the business name to Yellow Transit Co. after only two years. Decades later, both companies merged.
When it comes to the representation of people injured in crashes involving Roadway Express trucks, you can be assured that Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to your success. Our law firm is uniquely situated to prosecute trucking accidents involving severe injuries and fatalities as we have a team of accident investigators who can be deployed at any time. Contact our firm for a free case review with an experienced attorney.
From Humble Midwestern Beginnings to a North American Giant
The Ohio-based trucking company prospered from its humble beginnings. As part of an expansion in 1997, the Roadway Trucking Company acquired Reamer Express, which extended its service all across North America from Canada to Mexico. The company then changed its name to Roadway Express.
By 2003, Roadway Express merged with the Yellow Transit Co., changing its name to Yellow Roadway Corporation. Six years after merging, both companies changed their banner to YRC, Inc. Today, the company's rebranding maintains a strong focus on their core business, providing a wide array of shipping options including LTL (less than truckload) deliveries all across North America. They take a solid stance on saving the environment and providing safe transport of cargo goods.
SAFER Statistics Related to Roadway Express Crashes
Under the watchful eye of the U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains SAFER statistics on all trucking companies doing business in the United States. SAFER (Safety and Fitness Electronic Records) manages information regarding the number of employees and fleet vehicles operated by trucking companies.
According to federal statistics, Roadway Express, doing business as YRC, Inc. employs over 7,300 drivers and operates more than 4,900 large commercial trucks. These include large cargo vans, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, flatbeds, and semi-trucks. In addition to maintaining statistics, the Department of Transportation also performs routine inspections on vehicles and drivers.
In the 24 months leading up to February 2014, Roadway Express failed inspections on 878 of the 4,918 vehicles in their fleet. As a result, these trucks were removed from service. This number represents 17.9 percent of the company's entire truck fleet, just less than the 20.72 percent national average.
Also, the Department of Transportation inspectors took away driving privileges of 73 of the company's 7353 truckers for failing the inspections. This number represents one percent of the total number of drivers that work for Roadway Express (YRC, Inc.), which is substantially less than the 5.51 percent national average.
Reported Truck Crashes Involving Roadway Express
Roadway Express travels millions of miles every year, subjecting their drivers to hazardous road conditions and bad weather. Even with proper maintenance, many of their drivers have experienced a roadway express truck accident. In the years 2012 and 2013, Roadway Express drivers were involved in 525 crashes with 22 fatalities and 172 injuries.
Negligent Actions Contributing to Serious Truck Wrecks
Many accidents involving large commercial trucks are the result of careless action caused by the driver, management, truck company owners, mechanics, dispatchers and the manufacturer of truck parts. By law, a negligent action includes:
- Defective Truck Parts – Large commercial trucks can be involved in a serious and sometimes deadly accident driving with defective truck parts. These could consist of fractured axles due to excessive weight, worn braking pads, tire defects and other truck components.
- Reckless Driving Behavior – Inexperienced or fatigued drivers can cause significant and sometimes catastrophic accidents through irresponsible driving behavior. Changing lanes without signaling, swerving in and out of traffic, miscalculating distance for stopping and not following the rules of the road can substantially increase the potential of causing an accident.
- Impaired and Distracted Driving – Intoxicated drivers and those that are distracted by phone calls, texting or talking with passengers put themselves and other motorists on the road at risk for injuries caused by a devastating accident.
- Driving Too Fast – A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Operating the truck at an excess rate of speed often makes a heavy truck more challenging to maneuver and stop. Also, any minimal accident can become catastrophic if the commercial vehicle is moving at a high rate of speed.
Sample Settlements and Verdicts
$4,250,000 ILLINOIS AWARD.
This case started beautifully but ended tragically. A woman was driving along an Indiana road. She pulled over to pray. As she was doing this, a trucker hit her. His large trailer pinched her between his truck and the car. She died right away. The car caught on fire and led to a terrible scene. Most of the woman's family lived in Africa. She had emigrated long before but still kept in touch with them constantly. They were heartbroken over the death. They decided to work to bring a lawsuit. It targeted the driver and his employer, Roadway Express. The suit stated both were negligent and responsible for her passing. In legal terms, that's called wrongful death. It allows persons connected with the decedent to seek compensation for theirs and the victim's damages due to the passing. The plaintiffs suggested the truck driver was negligent. They stated he was driving too fast and not paying attention. The defendants returned that he couldn't do anything. There wasn't enough time to react. Her car was parked just beyond an underpass. Also, it wasn't totally off the road. It straddled the curb. Refusing to compromise, both sides took it to a jury. The men and women of the jury were left to decide. They found a compromise of sorts. They ruled for the family but also gave the victim some part of the blame. Thus, their recovery was reduced a bit (15%). The $5-million-dollar verdict came to $4,250,000 after that reduction. This was to be split among the decedent's surviving family members. She had nearly 10 at the time of the award. Also, both the driver and Roadway were tasked with paying a portion of that amount.
$1,200,000 FLORIDA AWARD.
This case was intriguing because it didn't start off that controversially. The defendant admitted guilt at the onset. At least, the company that hired the trucker, YRC (formerly known as Roadway Express), did not contest fault. What happened wasn't that out of the ordinary. A bunch of cars were lined up at a red light. They were eagerly awaiting their turn to proceed. The intersection was near Gainsville, Florida. A trucker that worked for YRC fell asleep. Other reports suggest he lost consciousness. Either way, he slammed into the line of cars waiting to go. Many people were injured in the multiple-car crash. In fact, one man even died. He was survived by several relatives. His mother brought a wrongful death case on his behalf. It didn't take long for YRC to admit guilt and dismiss the issue of fault. This seemed to open the door for the plaintiffs. Yet, just as soon it opened, the trucking company tried to slam it shut. They argued that evidence proving fault must be prohibited. In essence, they wanted to bar the plaintiffs from explaining how the crash happened. Since they admitted fault, they figured the estate shouldn't be allowed to tell the jury what went wrong. Obviously, they were doing this to try and limit their damages. They didn't want the jury to know how egregious the conduct was. Thankfully, the plaintiffs were allowed to tell their story. Otherwise, the amount of compensation available might have decreased by a lot.
$15,500,000 GEORGIA AWARD.
This case was shaped as much by what happened before the crash as during or after it. The truck driver worked for YRC (formerly known as Roadway Express). Previously, he was involved in 9 crashes. These all happened while he worked for Roadway. No, Roadway didn't take action or limit his work for them in any way. Flash forward, the same driver crossed the median and slammed into the plaintiff. She sustained serious and long-term injuries. They required immediate and substantial care. Just prior to the crash, she had started a career as a teacher. Now, that was all put in doubt. She couldn't even take care of herself without help. A jury was tasked with deciding blame. It found in favor of the woman. It gave her $15,500,000 in damages. $500,000 was for compensatory damages. $15,000,000 was for punitive damages. Compensatory damages award victims when they have suffered damages. Damages can be tangible or intangible in nature. For instance, they might compensate you for medical bills or for physical pain. Punitive damages punish defendants for outrageous conduct. They try to stop others from doing the same thing. Clearly, this didn't work here. The truck driver had already racked up several offenses before hurting this victim. However, the jury awarded a large sum to try and warn others. It also left a severe imprint on the trucking company itself.
$2,500,000 NEW YORK SETTLEMENT.
This case involved a lot of people. Six folks jammed into a car on a late New York night. They were headed home to New Jersey after a fun day of partying. Three were in front. Three were in back. The driver was a little intoxicated. He tried to sober up before leaving. He didn't completely dry out. As they headed into a tunnel, the road turned into a bend. When they came out, they slammed right into a Roadway truck. There wasn't time to divert. Also, the plaintiffs stated later the truck driver didn't put up cones or turn his lights on. They claimed too that he could have driven to a shoulder. Although, this was disputed. What wasn't in dispute was the harm. One of the passengers fractured her skull. This brain damage led to seizure disorder. For the indefinite future, she'd need a chest tube to breath and wheelchair to walk. She joined the group of plaintiffs suing Roadway and the driver. They alleged the defendants were negligent and caused the injuries. The defendants shot back that the plaintiffs' driver was drunk. Admitting this, the claimants responded that he was still alert enough to drive and almost averted the crash. Thus, they thought the defendants' negligent overrode his and was the proximate cause of the accident. In other words, they believed it was the contributing factor. Despite protestations, the defendants eventually settled. The woman received $2,500,000. Another plaintiff recovered $1,400,000 too. He was a passenger in the same car. His injuries were not as severe.
Legal Representation for People Injured in an Accident With a Roadway Express Truck
Victims of a Roadway Express truck accident often hire the skills of seasoned personal injury lawyers who specialize in catastrophic crashes. Through experience in negotiating and litigating accident claims, our attorneys can obtain adequate compensation for the damages, pain, suffering, and injuries endured by the victim.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provide years of experience in handling cases involving large vehicle accidents. The attorneys work on contingency and do not require upfront fees from the victim. Call (888) 424-5757 or fill out our online contact form for a no-obligation assessment of the case.