Collisions Involving a Delivery Truck Are All Too Common, but Surprisingly, They Are Often Overlooked
Despite a company’s best efforts, delivery truck accidents are not uncommon. Delivery truck accidents, especially those involving FedEx trucks, are unique and complex as many different individuals and entities may be responsible for the crash.
FedEx truck drivers are usually under a lot of pressure to deliver packages as quickly as possible. The best intentions of a driver to simply get the job done quickly can result in careless and negligent actions which may ultimately cause a very serious accident.
A Bit of History About FedEx
FedEx began its operations several decades ago. FedEx was founded in April 1973 and has since then, has more than 140,000 employees working globally, spanning over 220 countries and territories, driving every day some 43,000 trucks over millions of miles on roads in the United States alone.
When driving on California’s Roads and Highways, you will usually be able to see many FedEx trucks on the road. Many customers throughout the country depend on FedEx deliveries to arrive on time, particularly those using the service for business.
FedEx drivers are to avoid any type of unsafe driving situation and are urged to adhere to certain safety rules and safety principles outlined by the company. However, they may still get into accidents. In a recent 2-year period, FedEx trucks were involved in 474 accidents, 147 of which resulted in an injury, and 13 of which resulted in fatalities.
If you were injured in a FedEx truck accident, you might be able to recover damages by suing both the driver and possibly the parent company.
FedEx Delivery Truck Accidents
What to Expect When You Sue FedEx For a Delivery Truck Accident
The toughest thing for plenty of people to accept after they have been injured in an accident caused by a trucking company, like FedEx, is that the company will not simply accept responsibility liability for the accident. As a society, we expect that when people make a mistake, they admit they messed up and take responsibility. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a FedEx truck, this will most likely never even happen, which can make people who have been injured by FedEx furious.
FedEx has a thousand reasons to never admit fault. Like other trucking companies, FedEx has $1,000,000 of insurance on each of its trucks, not counting any excess coverage or umbrella policies. Admitting fault opens them up to claims against that money. As a result, FedEx will most likely force you to prove every single claim, down to the last dollar.
This goes beyond showing repair and medical bills to an adjuster. Those adjusters know that without authentication, those documents will not be allowed into a courtroom. Having medical bills and getting those bills to court are two completely different things. Every single injured person has the former, very few are able to do the latter. That is, they won’t get into court without the service of an experienced attorney.
Common Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Delivery Truck accidents can be caused by driver errors, but sometimes they are caused by forces that may have been outside a driver’s control such as poor weather, bad roads, improperly secured cargo, or a mechanical malfunction. Some of the most common driver errors that result in delivery truck crashes include:
- Failing to set the trucks parking brakes when making a delivery
- Failure to yield when merging back into traffic after making a delivery
- Backing up the FedEx truck after missing the desired delivery address
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Inadequate training
- Operating a truck while intoxicated
- Fatigued drivers
- Failing to complete repairs or safety checks
There are huge differences between delivery trucks and passenger cars, such that the delivery driver may walk away unscathed after an accident. Given the size discrepancy between a delivery truck and the average passenger vehicle, these types of accidents usually result in major injuries and significant property damage.
Sometimes, outside forces can result in a serious delivery truck accident. These factors can include:
- Bad roads
- Adverse weather conditions
- Poorly or improperly secured cargo
- Vehicle equipment failure
If you are injured in a delivery truck accident, you may be able to recover damages by proving the driver’s negligence. You’ll need to show:
- The truck driver owed you a duty of care
- Breach of duty
- Actual or proximate causation
For example, if a FedEx driver missed a driveway and backed up quickly without checking to make sure there was nobody behind him and the result was an injury to you, the jury could find that there was negligence.
However, many defendant drivers are likely to argue that there was comparative negligence. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, the jury must review all the evidence and assign a percentage of fault to both parties. The plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by an amount equal to his degree of fault.
For example, if the damages are $100,000 and the plaintiff is 25% at fault, and the defendant is 75% at fault, the plaintiff may be able to recover $75,000 from the defendant. It may be possible to hold FedEx vicariously liable for a driver’s negligence if the driver is an employee and not an independent contractor.
What Is Vicarious Liability?
This legal theory holds an employer liable for its employees’ negligent actions, so long as the employees acted within the scope of their employment.
Consider the following: A FedEx driver completing a package run was texting and ran a red light, striking you as you passed through the intersection. In this case, FedEx is liable because the employee was acting within the scope of his employment when he committed the action that caused your accident.
What Is Negligent Hiring, Training, or Supervising of a FedEx Driver?
FedEx has a duty to ensure its drivers behave safely behind the wheel. Companies can breach this duty in the following ways:
FedEx must evaluate its driver applicants carefully by performing a background check, which should include pulling the driver’s record and doing a criminal record check.
If FedEx does not perform a thorough background check and hires someone with multiple arrests for driving while impaired, FedEx can be responsible if this person drives the delivery truck while impaired and injures someone.
Even if the driver has a clean driving record and no criminal convictions, FedEx can be liable if it did not properly train the driver. FedEx should evaluate the driver’s job skills, determine what gaps exist, and train the employee to fill in those gaps in skills.
If FedEx hires someone as a driver who has worked as a delivery driver for other companies but has no experience with FedEx’s delivery trucks, FedEx must train the driver on the safe handling practices for FedEx’s trucks. FedEx can be liable for any accidents the driver causes due to inexperience.
FedEx’s responsibilities do not end when it puts a prudently-hired, well-trained driver on the road. FedEx must keep its finger on the pulse of its drivers at all times, to promptly detect problems that may arise. For instance, FedEx should have a system in place to discover when its drivers get DUIs, speeding tickets, or other moving violations, on or off the job. FedEx should take action when its drivers get moving violations. Failure to identify and respond to problems can be negligence.
Large corporations like FedEx have policies in place to make sure that negligent hiring, training, and supervision do not happen. Unfortunately, people do not always follow the rules at work. When employees get lazy or cut corners, the employer can be liable for the resulting damage.
Damages in a delivery truck accident suit may include economic and noneconomic items of loss. Economic items of loss include wage loss, medical costs, replacement services, and out-of-pocket costs. Noneconomic items of loss can include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
These are subjective losses that can vary dramatically depending on the presentation of the attorney who represents you and jury members’ sense of what kind of intangible harms might naturally arise from the types of injuries you have and how they should be quantified.
The damages in every case are unique, so we cannot speculate without talking with you about your case and learning your facts, but these are some common compensable items in FedEx truck crashes:
For your initial evaluation and treatment, therapy, and ongoing medical care. This category can include anticipated future medical expenses. We prove this amount by gathering your medical bills and any other related receipts.
For the time you missed work due to the wreck and recuperation, plus time lost for treatments and therapy. This category can include anticipated future lost wages, decreased earning potential, and disability. We prove this loss through your employment records and, when necessary, testimony from vocational experts.
Pain and suffering
And other intangible damages, like loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life. We calculate this item based in part on the amount of your other damages.
Send a message to the employer when there has been outrageous conduct. For example, if FedEx knew its driver had received three citations for reckless driving but continued to let the driver get behind the wheel of one of its trucks, the employer might get hit with a demand for punitive damages.
These help to repair or replace your vehicle and any contents damaged or destroyed in the wreck. We prove this through the repair estimates or total loss reports.
Attorneys Serving California’s Victims of a Delivery Truck Accident
No one ever expects to be involved in a truck accident. It only takes a second for a FedEx truck accident to occur, but the aftermath of a crash, especially when a victim has sustained serious injuries, can last a lifetime. Instead of focusing on recovering from their injuries, many accident victims are worried about how they will be able to afford the expenses they are rapidly accumulating as a result of the crash.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in an accident involving a FedEx truck accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for any damages from the accident, including current and future medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, and emotional anguish.
To begin exploring your options, we encourage you to contact our attorneys today!