The growth of online shopping over the last decade from companies like Amazon, Shipt, and Grubhub has fueled a greater need for delivery services. Moreover, services like Amazon Prime have trained consumers to expect shorter shipping times, placing even more pressure on companies to deliver packages as fast as possible. The growth in the need for delivery services has left many delivery companies struggling to keep up.
As a result, drivers may be overworked or pressured to complete routes faster. Furthermore, certain delivery companies may fail to give new drivers the proper training they need as they hire to keep up with demand. During holiday seasons, delivery trucks are out in full force, which increases the risk of delivery truck accidents. Step vans may not be as dangerous as large commercial trucks, but accidents with a delivery truck can lead to serious and even fatal injuries.
Delivery Truck Accidents
When a delivery truck hits a pedestrian or collides with a smaller vehicle, it’s highly likely that serious – if not catastrophic – injuries will result. Sometimes it’s the sheer size and weight of the truck that causes such injuries. In other cases, if the truck is loaded beyond capacity, this may just make matters worse. In any event, it’s a traumatic experience for all involved: one that can result in massive medical bills and financial losses.
Causes of delivery truck accidents
It’s scary to think that the business of driving a delivery truck would cause a driver to be negligent, but unfortunately, that’s often the case. Many truck drivers are on the road for several hours at a time without getting adequate rest. As a result, they may become fatigued, which can lead to shorter reaction times and increased driving errors.
While delivering parcels to homes and businesses, truck drivers may be forced to park precariously, which can lead to accidents with vehicles trying to pull out of a driveway or veer around the delivery truck.
Delivery truck accidents also occur because the drivers are frequently under pressure to deliver pizza, flowers, furniture, groceries, packages, documents or other products within a company-dictated deadline, which can lead them to speed or drive carelessly.
Other causes of delivery truck accidents in Massachusetts include:
- Drowsy, drugged, or drunk driving
- Making an illegal turn to get to their destination faster
- Stopping unexpectedly to make a delivery
- Failing to yield to traffic
- Forgetting to put on their indicator or check their blind spot when changing lanes
- Lack of adequate training in how to handle the vehicle
- Improperly securing cargo
- Poor hiring and training policies
- Driver distraction due to texting or operating handheld package tracking devices
- Overloaded cargo (which can cause the truck to stop too slowly or roll)
- Driver negligence (failure to obey the speed limit, stop, yield, etc.)
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- A defective vehicle part
- Improper warning lights
Injuries arising from delivery truck accidents might include whiplash, broken or fractured bones, spinal injuries, crushing injuries, burns, paralysis and even death. The medical expenses, missed days at work, and other financial losses arising from these injuries can be financially devastating.
Delivery Companies That Could Be Involved In The Accident
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, a lawsuit may be filed against the delivery company that employed the delivery driver involved. There are a number of delivery companies operating around the Worcester area. Some of the most popular delivery companies include:
- United Parcel Service (UPS)
- United States Postal Service (USPS)
Large delivery companies will fight hard to defend against a lawsuit. Companies employ large, high profile lawyers to keep settlements as low as possible. Thus, it’s important to work with an experienced car accident attorney if you’ve been injured in a delivery truck accident.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For A Delivery Truck Accident?
Victims often believe they can only earn restitution through the truck driver, but that is not the case. There are a number of parties that may be held liable for a delivery truck accident. Who can be held liable will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident, but liability may fall on:
- The delivery truck driver
- The delivery truck company
- The service company for the delivery truck
- The truck manufacturer
- The company that loaded the cargo
Your attorney can help you investigate the accident to determine the parties who should be held responsible for your compensation.
Accidents With a US Postal Service Truck Differ Other Delivery Truck Accidents
Unlike other delivery companies, the US Postal Service is operated by the federal government. Thus, instead of seeking compensation through an insurance company, you will be seeking restitution from the federal government because government vehicles are not insured. Claims against the federal government need to be pursued through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
The Federal Tort Claims Act allows individuals to file certain types of lawsuits against federal employees acting within the scope of their employment. The limitations for pursuing an FTCA claim are too numerous to be defined within this post alone. Some of the most significant limitations are as follows:
- An FTCA claim must be based on the laws of the state where the accident took place and permitted by that state.
- Negligence committed by the federal employee must have been committed within the scope of employment.
- Accident victims are only allowed to sue federal employees through the FTCA. Accidents caused by the driver of a sub-contracted vehicle will need to pursue a traditional lawsuit.
Cases against the federal government are extremely complex. There are a number of hoops that claimants will need to jump through and the lawsuits are often subject to lengthy and sometimes confusing limitations. If you’ve been injured by a USPS delivery truck, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before pursuing any sort of litigation.
Massachusetts delivery truck accident lawyers can help you receive full and fair compensation
It’s the unfortunate truth that neither the delivery truck driver’s insurance company nor your own insurance company has your well-being in mind in after an accident. Insurance companies are mainly concerned with resolving the matter as cost-effectively as possible. More often than not, their representatives will offer you a minimal award or one that fails to take into account your long-term needs.
If you don’t have legal representation to fight for your rights, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive the full amount of compensation to which you’re entitled. An experienced Massachusetts delivery truck accident lawyer can help you obtain full compensation for both your current and long-term needs by:
- Fully investigating the accident to determine all of the parties who are at-fault
- Reviewing all relevant insurance policies to identify your rights and benefits
- Designing a powerful legal strategy intended to bring you maximum compensation
- Negotiating with the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company to ensure that you receive the full compensation you need and deserve
Delivery truck companies will have representatives vigorously fighting for their interests. So should you.
Peter Ventura is a truck accident lawyer committed to helping people in Massachusetts who have been injured in delivery truck accidents obtain compensation for their injuries. Call today for a free consultation at 508-755-7535.