Delivery trucks have become more and more common on our roads as the rise of online shopping has led to more deliveries. All these new delivery trucks on the roads have led to more accidents and more injuries.
Delivery trucks and other large commercial vehicles can cause serious injuries to passenger car occupants when an accident occurs. These delivery vehicles, such as FedEx trucks, Amazon Prime trucks, UPS trucks, and even food delivery trucks, are often much larger than regular cars. Because of this, delivery trucks exert a greater force when colliding with passenger cars that can leave drivers and passengers with severe injuries.
Large truck crashes can cause injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, back injuries, and more. These injuries are often expensive, and many require surgery, physical therapy, or other costly treatments. Contacting a truck accident attorney after your injury is crucial, as your attorney can help to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Why Are Delivery Trucks Becoming More Common
Online sales have risen 43% between 2019 and 2020. One of the major reasons for this rise in delivery vehicles is the coronavirus pandemic, since many people were quarantined. This means more people are ordering goods online and having them delivered by companies like FedEx, UPS, and Amazon Prime.
While these services are convenient, they also pack the roads with more delivery vehicles, as more vehicles are needed to keep up with the increased demand.
Types of Delivery Trucks on Road
FedEx, Amazon Prime, UPS, and even USPS are growing in numbers in 2020. It seems like you can’t run to Starbucks without seeing a dozen of them. Each of these companies either hire their employees directly or outsource the hiring to another company that hires drivers as contract or freelance workers.
FedEx, Amazon Prime, and UPS most often deliver their packages with large vans. These vans have huge blind spots and require extensive skill to maneuver, which inexperienced drivers may lack. For some companies, like Amazon, you aren’t required to have a commercial driver’s license to deliver packages, even though they use large vehicles for their routes.
What Causes Delivery Truck Accidents?
Delivery truck accidents are caused by many different circumstances. These drivers are often hired quickly to meet the rising demand for deliveries, which means they may not be trained properly. Inexperienced drivers can lead to more mistakes and more accidents.
Large delivery trucks are also much harder to bring to a sudden stop. If a car comes to a halt quickly in front of them, they may rear-end the car if they were following too closely or couldn’t stop in time.
Many of these drivers are required to use their phones for work purposes while they’re driving. This can cause the driver to be distracted, causing an accident. Other common distractions for delivery drivers include texting while driving and eating while driving.
It’s also possible for an accident to occur because of a driver’s negligence. This can include speeding, driving recklessly, acting aggressively, or just failing to pay proper attention.
Finally, because drivers are in high demand right now, many drivers are overworked. Overworked drivers can be exhausted or fatigued, leading them to dose off behind the wheel.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measure System, FedEx was cited with 991 citations in the past 24 months, 245 of which were for unsafe driving. Of those citations, 30 of the drivers were driving over the federal hours of service laws. These laws specify how long a driver is allowed to be on the road before it becomes unsafe. Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of truck accidents so these reports are indicative of an unsafe practice among delivery truck drivers.
Who is Responsible for a Delivery Truck Accident?
Determining liability for an accident involving a delivery truck can be difficult to determine, since there are many parties that could potentially be liable for your accident. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to determine who exactly was liable and how their negligence caused your accident.
In most cases, the accident was probably the fault of the delivery truck driver. They may be driving too fast, driving while distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving aggressively.
It could also be the fault of the company who hired and trained the truck driver. If the driver’s inexperience led to the accident, the hiring party could be liable. The company could also be liable for an accident that occurred because the driver was distracted by company mandated software (like tracking software), or if the company overscheduled the driver, leading to exhaustion. The company will also be liable under an agency theory if it is their employee that is the cause of a crash.
The owner of the truck (this could be a third party or the truck company themselves) could also be liable if the accident was caused by some type of truck malfunction. This is true if the malfunction could have been avoided with proper maintenance. If the malfunction was caused by a defective part, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the part may be liable.
Some Challenges in Filing a Claim Against a Delivery Company
Filing a lawsuit against a delivery truck driver or company can be complex and challenging, since it can be hard to tell exactly who to pursue. While an employee may have on a shirt with a FedEx logo on it, it’s possible that that driver works for another company or is an independent contractor that FedEx outsources their deliveries too. This makes things a bit tricky. While FedEx’s name is involved, you may actually end up suing an entirely different party as well.
Another challenge with delivery truck accident cases is the multiple parties that could be liable for your accident. Suing more than one party always makes a case more complex.
Because these cases are more complex in nature, hiring an attorney is crucial in the success of your case.
Contact a Chicago Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a delivery truck accident, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Abels & Annes. We can explain your rights, go over the facts of your case, and discuss your options. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online, by using our chat feature below, or call us at 855-529-2442.