It’s not hard to imagine why a collision between a passenger vehicle and a delivery truck can be a horrifying and hugely damaging incident. Even a relatively small truck is significantly larger and heavier than a passenger vehicle, which puts the members of the passenger vehicle in great risk if an accident does occur. In fact, data shows that in accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles, the driver and occupants of the truck are far less likely to be hurt; in 2017, for example, 68% of deaths in accidents between trucks and non commercial cars were occupants of the car. These staggering numbers represent the danger to all drivers sharing the road with a delivery truck.
We are so sorry if you or a loved one has experienced the trauma of a delivery truck accident. There’s no way to undo the pain you’ve experienced, but there is a way to seek both justice and compensation for your suffering. Munley Law is here to help you do just that. Our dedicated and experienced team of legal experts will fight tirelessly to protect your rights in the wake of your accident. Contact us today to set up your free initial consultation, and remember: at Munley Law, you don’t pay unless you win.
Going Up Against a Powerful Company After a Delivery Truck Accident
Car accidents are inherently complicated; between determining fault and navigating an overwhelming insurance system, it can feel like a lot to take on. But this process becomes far, far more complex when one of the vehicles involved is a delivery truck, particularly if it’s a delivery truck for a large company.
When your accident involves a company’s delivery truck, that means the company as a whole is involved as well. Large companies like Amazon have a seemingly infinite amount of money and resources that they can use to skirt payouts and avoid fault. Fedex, for example, has business automobile liability insurance with a $5 million combined single limit. Companies like this have powerful legal teams on their side who may even try to pressure you into admitting fault or accepting a settlement that’s far too low.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to receive a call from the company’s insurance carrier as soon as the day after the accident, or even the day of. They may try to take advantage of the fact that you’re shaken and vulnerable so soon after the incident. It’s important to involve a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so that all communication between you, the delivery company, and their insurer is mediated by your attorney.
Liability in a Delivery Truck Accident
What’s more, the question of fault becomes more complicated when a delivery truck is involved. For one, if the driver is an independent contractor (as some are) the company they’re driving for may try to claim they have no responsibility over the accident.
And beyond that, there are a far greater number of parties who may be liable in this kind of an accident. These include:
The individual driver. If they exhibited some form of negligence, like texting while driving or general recklessness, the accident may be the driver’s fault.
The company. Fault may belong to the delivery company as a whole. For instance, if the company failed to adequately train the driver, the company may be liable for the accident. The company is responsible for its drivers and their actions, so if they put an unprepared driver on the road or otherwise skirted their responsibilities, they could be at fault.
A third party. In some cases, fault belongs neither to the driver or the the company. For example, if the accident occurred because the truck was improperly loaded, the party who failed to do this work correctly may be responsible. If there was a mechanical failure that could have been foreseen, the last person who inspected the truck and wrongly gave it a passing grade could potentially be liable. It’s even possible that the manufacturer of the goods on the delivery truck is liable, if the goods themselves in some way caused or influenced the accident.
Whether the fault belongs to the individual driver, the company, or another party is a crucial piece of information in pursuing your case. For all of these reasons, it’s wise not to tackle a case like this without the aid of an experienced attorney. We have decades of experience taking on big companies via truck accidents, and we have the skills and proven track record to win this fight for you.
- Frequent and unexpected stops. Delivery trucks make frequent and consistent stops throughout the day, delivering packages and dropping off goods. These frequent stops may play a role in causing accidents, as it may mean the trucks stops at a time other drivers don’t expect. It may also mean the truck changes lanes more frequently than an average vehicle, which inherently increases the risk of accident.
- Larger blind spots. By nature of their design, delivery trucks have much larger blindspots than passenger vehicles. This combined with a frequent need to change lanes can lead to a crash. Improperly secured loads can also be problematic, as goods can slide off or out of the truck and into traffic.
- Mechanical failure. Mechanical failures can also contribute to or cause delivery truck accidents. This may include issues with the crucial components of the vehicle, such as the brakes or steering system.
- Driver error. Of course, in addition to this, delivery truck drivers are also subject to all the same risks and issues as regular drivers. This includes possible distractions like texting and driving, fatigue, reckless driving, and more.
Steps to Take After a Delivery Truck Accident
In 2019, there were 37.9 million trucks registered and used for business purposes in the United States. With so many trucks on the road, including delivery trucks, it’s important to know what to do in the event of an accident with one of these vehicles.
- Seek medical care. If you are injured in any way, or if you think you may be, seeking medical care should be your first priority. Remember that sometimes the adrenaline rush of an accident can mask serious injuries, so check yourself over thoroughly. You should also keep an eye out in the comines days and weeks for any discomfort that sets in, such as whiplash.
- Call the police. It’s important to call the police after an accident, even (and especially) if the other party involved tries to convince you not to. Someone who causes an accident in a work vehicle may be scared of potential repercussions and may encourage you to settle the matter without calling law enforcement, but this is not a good idea. Calling the police to the scene ensures there will be an official record of what happened. This will be a crucial piece of evidence for you and your lawyer as you go about pursuing a settlement.
- Document the scene. Every piece of evidence you gather at the scene can be helpful as you make your case later on. This includes the position of the vehicles, the damage to the vehicles, any visible injuries, and more. Even if you see that the police are documenting the scene themselves, you should take your own photos and notes as well.
- Exchange information with the other party or parties. You should talk to the delivery truck driver and exchange information. This includes name, number, email address, insurance company information, and insurance policy number. Remember that you’ll want to limit contact to this exchange of information. Things you say at the seen can potentially later be taken out of context and twisted by the other party’s legal team, so keep it short and to the point.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. It’s extremely important to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. The details of how your insurance company will be involved depends on the state — for example, Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means that your own insurance covers your medical care. In an at-fault state, the party that caused the accident pays for the other party’s medical care. But in all states, letting your insurance company know an accident has occurred — and that the other party is a delivery driver for a specific company — is crucial. If you wait too long, they may deny coverage.
- Call your Munley Law attorney. It’s important to get your attorney involved as soon as possible. Even in a no-fault state like Pennsylvania, you may need to file a personal injury suit against the other party if your injuries are severe. Especially in a case like this, time is of the essence. Reach out to a Munley Law attorney as soon as possible to make sure you’re getting fairly compensated, whether through insurance or a personal injury suit if needed.
Compensation in a Delivery Truck Accident
When you work with a Munley law attorney, you can rest assured that he or she will examine every last detail of your case to make sure you receive fair and adequate compensation. You should not lose a dime because of something as horrible as an accident happening to you. That said, the compensation you receive depends heavily on the specifics of your case — the extent of your injuries, your lost wages, and more — so it can be difficult to give a general estimate. However, there are certain areas that will most likely be covered via compensation. These are divided into economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are those that have a specific calculable value. These include:
- Your medical bills
- The damage to your vehicle
- The cost of physical or psychological therapy
- Lost wages
- A lowered future earning capacity
As you can tell, these areas have a specific numeric value attached to them: for instance, you and your attorney can simply add up how much you lost in wages while you couldn’t work, or how much your medical bills cost. However, there are also non-economic losses that are not so simply calculated. An accident can cause a great deal of general pain and suffering, which, while not as simply calculated, absolutely deserves compensation. These types of losses include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
An attorney that has handled cases like this will know how to put a fair and satisfactory number to something like your pain and suffering, which both adequately meets your needs and is attainable in the context of a settlement.
Why Work with a Munley Law Truck Accident Attorney
Experiencing an accident of any kind is traumatic and overwhelming. There is simply no way around that. But here at Munley Law, it is our goal to bear a bit of your struggle for you. We aim to do this by providing you with excellent legal counsel and a team that will support you every step of the way. What’s more, our firm has particularly extensive experience handling — and winning — truck accident cases. Visit our client victories page to see the many, many satisfactory settlements we have secured for truck accident victims.
The best thing you can do for yourself in the wake of an accident is to surround yourself with the best team you possibly can. This means doctors that will give you the medical care you need, friends, family members, and loved ones that can help you through your recovery, and of course a stellar legal team that will make sure justice is served. Allow us to take on the work of fighting for your rightful compensation so that you can focus on getting your life back.
Our team of lawyers and legal support staff is waiting to hear from you, and remember, you don’t pay a cent unless you win. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and take the first step down your path to justice.