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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. Do you know what to do if you’re suddenly asking, “FedEx hit my car, now what do I do?”
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 now 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 see many FedEx trucks along side you. 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 two-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 may also be wondering “Can I sue for being hit by a semi truck?” The answer is yes, and you might be able to recover damages by suing both the driver and possibly the parent company.
What to Expect When You Sue FedEx or UPS 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 or UPS, 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 or UPS truck, this will most likely never even happen, which can make people who have been injured by FedEx furious.
These companies have a thousand reasons to never admit fault. For example, 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 is why it is imperative to speak with a delivery truck accident lawyer about your particular claim.
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, including 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. When you are sharing the road with large trucks, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings as they may not always be able to see you in a smaller vehicle.
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 and are now asking, “What do I do it UPS hit my car?” or “What do I do if FedEx hit my car?”, 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 and UPS 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 they do not perform a thorough background check and hires someone with multiple arrests for driving while impaired, they 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 or UPS can be liable if it did not properly train the driver. They should evaluate the driver’s job skills, determine what gaps exist and train the employee to fill in those gaps in skills. These practices keep vehicle crashes surging to a minimum.
If FedEx or UPS hires someone as a driver who has worked as a delivery driver for other companies but has no experience with FedEx or UPS delivery trucks, they must train the driver on the safe handling practices for their own trucks. The companies can be liable for any accidents the driver causes due to inexperience.
FedEx and UPS’s responsibilities do not end when it puts a prudently-hired, well-trained driver on the road. They must keep its finger on the pulse of its drivers at all times, to promptly detect problems that may arise. For instance, they should have a system in place to discover when its drivers get DUIs, speeding tickets or other moving violations, on or off the job. They should take action when its drivers get moving violations. Failure to identify and respond to problems can be negligence.
Large corporations like FedEx and UPS have policies in place to make sure that negligent hiring, training and supervision do not happen. Unfortunately, people do not always follow the rules, so 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, but these are some common compensable items in FedEx and UPS 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
Pain and suffering refers to intangible damages, like loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life. This is calculated 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 or UPS 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.
FedEx is North America’s second largest package delivery company and operates one of the biggest truck fleets in the world. Given the size of their operation and number of employees, FedEx truck accidents are nearly unavoidable.
Understanding FedEx Truck Accidents
FedEx serves a valuable and necessary service. However, their trucks are no stranger to major accidents. Some of these accidents result in serious injuries and even loss of life. If you are the victim of a FedEx truck accident, you need skilled legal counsel on your side. As a massive corporation, FedEx has extensive resources and high powered attorneys.
Why FedEx Truck Accidents Happen
- FedEx has more than 90,000 motorized vehicles and delivers over six million packages a day.
- Over the past two years, they have been involved in 405 crashes, 147 of which resulted in an injury and 13 of which resulted in fatalities.
Some of the most common reasons for these accidents stem from the immense pressure on delivery drivers. These include:
- Driver Error: Delivery trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times more than the cars they share the road with. As such, they take longer to stop.
- Fatigue: Driver fatigue decreases response times and negatively affects decision-making. While drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours consecutively before taking a break, per federal regulations, some operators do not follow these guidelines.
- Pressure to Deliver: FedEx drivers are under a lot of pressure to get packages delivered. Consequently, drivers sometimes speed, fail to yield to traffic or do not obey other traffic laws.
What to Expect When Suing FedEx
They will put the onus on your to prove every claim. FedEx will not simply accept liability for an accident because admitting fault makes them vulnerable to claims against them for significant sums of money.
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 find yourself asking “FedEx hit my car – who do I call?”, Avrek Law is here to help you assess your claim. 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.
Avrek Law has more than 50 years combined experience representing cases in several states and are experts in helping people who have been injured by FedEx and UPS truck accidents. The consultation is free and you’ll get advice from a law firm with more than $1 billion recovered in more than 25,000 cases. To begin exploring your options, we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation on your claim!