Delivery Truck Accident
Delivery trucks help you get the goods that you ordered or those that you need to buy in the store. However, these ever-present trucks also present dangers to other drivers on the road.
The truck drivers can make mistakes that injure you and your loved ones. If that happens, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more, contact thetruck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers
The Dangers of Delivery Trucks
Delivery trucks are everywhere on the road these days. More Americans are shopping online, and it means that the companies that they order from are scrambling to get the deliveries to the customer's door in time.
Delivery trucks can be those blue Amazon vans, the big UPS trucks or any kind of box truck on the road. Either way, these trucks are far bigger than the passenger you are driving, meaning that you are the one who will be injured when you are in an accident with these box trucks.
These crashes are only made worse by the fact that companies like Federal Express are searching in vain for drivers and are employing people with far less experience.
The combination of large vehicles being driven by people with less experience behind the wheel means more danger for you.
Legal Considerations for Delivery Truck Accident Lawsuits
One of the major questions is who the delivery truck driver was working for at the time of the accident. Usually, there are two possibilities:
- The delivery truck driver was an independent contractor, working for themselves and making deliveries
- Truck drivers can be providing delivery services for a company at the time of the accident
In accidents involving delivery trucks, there are different rules about who you can recover from depending on the legal status of the driver.
When Delivery Truck Drivers Are Liable
In any accident with delivery trucks, your lawsuit is based on a finding that the driver was negligent.
All the evidence must show that the driver of the vehicle involved acted unreasonably in their failure to exercise due care, and it caused your injuries.
This is a test that is based on the proof and details of the crash that your personal injury lawyer can gather.
In general, there is a four-part test to determine negligence in accidents involving delivery trucks:
Common Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Here are some of the reasons for delivery truck accidents:
- Distracted driving- delivery truck drivers do not always know where they are going. They spend the day in unfamiliar neighborhoods and on new roads. They may be paying too much attention to looking at a navigation device to see where they are going, as opposed to watching the road.
- Inexperience- companies have a huge need for new drivers, as older ones retire or their business expands. Driving large box trucks takes experience, especially when the driver must also navigate a busy delivery schedule. Not all drivers have this experience.
- Speeding- drivers are under time pressure to make deliveries, especially because companies like Amazon are known for working drivers ambitiously hard. Some drivers may cut corners to try to make all of their deliveries in their required timeframe.
Suing a Company for Delivery Truck Accidents
When delivery truck drivers are working for companies, their employer can be legally responsible for an accident caused by their driver.
The delivery company is responsible for delivery truck crashes when their driver was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the crash.
Any delivery driver is an agent of their employer. Their actions become those of their employer because a corporation exists through its workers. Theoretically, you could sue both the driver and the trucking company, but the business is the one that has the deep pockets to pay for your damages.
How Major Delivery Companies Work
When you see a Federal Express delivery truck, the driver is not an employee of the company. FedEx does not hire drivers. Instead, it contracts out for its routes to owner-operators. Therefore, the driver of a FedEx truck is not an employee of the company.
The same thing goes when you see an Amazon delivery truck. Amazon works with "delivery service partners," in part to reduce its own costs and shield itself from liability for what its delivery drivers do.
However, other companies such as UPS employ their own drivers, finding benefits of keeping its driver on staff. In this case, you can sue UPS for delivery truck accidents.
Suing a Trucking Company for Improper Training
Companies that employ independent contractors are not off the hook for the damages that they cause. There are still grounds to sue a company when they work with an independent contractor to deliver packages.
Trucking companies must take steps to properly screen the "partners" with which they do business. They cannot simply just hire anyone they want and pawn the risk off on you.
In addition to negligence hiring, companies can also be liable for inadequate training, even if the driver was an independent contractor.
Grounds for Lawsuits After Accidents With Delivery Trucks
In addition to driver error, there are other reasons why you can receive financial compensation after a delivery truck accident. Here are some other grounds for liability:
- Improperly secured cargo- cargo that is improperly loaded could either come loose during delivery or cause a truck to roll over
- Not properly maintaining the truck- delivery trucks required quite a bit of maintenance because they are on the road every day in difficult conditions. Improper maintenance can result in an accident caused by mechanical failure.
- The truck was defective- the truck, or a part on the truck, can not work when needed
Some of these lawsuits can be against a third party that is not the trucking company. You have the legal ability to sue any party who is responsible, even if it means that you have multiple defendants.
Take the Following Steps After a Delivery Truck Accident
There are two major steps that accident victims must take in the immediate aftermath of delivery truck accidents:
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible- not only is your health at stake, but you also need a written diagnosis of your accident injuries when you file a claim with the insurance company. Unseen truck accident damages can get worse over time if they are not treated.
- Contact a personal injury law firm- when you are dealing with any insurance company, they like to assert control when they know that claimants are either uninformed or desperate. When you hire an experienced attorney, large corporations and their insurance companies lose the ability to push you around
Damages in a Delivery Truck Accident
You may be entitled to the following damages if you have been injured in a crash with a delivery truck:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death damages if your loved one was killed in the accident
Even if you are dealing with an independent contractor, you still have the legal right to be paid for all of your damages. Both trucking companies and independent contractors will have insurance coverage (although large companies may have more coverage to pay for your damages).
Dealing with an insurance company can be difficult. They will likely make you a very low settlement offer that will not even come close to paying you for your injuries.
Your personal injury lawyer will know how much your claim is worth and when to reject an inadequate offer. You have the ability to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit, whichever works best for your situation. In a delivery truck accident lawsuit, the legal rights are yours.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you have been injured in a delivery truck accident, you have the legal ability to seek financial compensation.
Our personal injury lawyers can help explain your legal options and work to make sure that the responsible party is held liable if you were injured in a collision caused by their negligence.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer is the most important decision that you will make after a delivery truck accident.
Call the law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 or reach out to us online to schedule your free consultation.