Delivery trucks are large, heavy vehicles that can cause catastrophic accidents. Victims may be left with significant medical bills, lost wages due to extended recovery times, and other damages. If negligence was to blame for the delivery truck crash, then the victim can seek compensation from the party or parties who caused it.
Determining liability if a delivery driver gets into a wreck takes skilled legal representation.
McCall Law represents truck accident victims in Florence, SC. Get a trusted legal ally if a delivery truck hits you by contacting our firm.
What Are LTL Trucks?
LTL stands for less than load and describes trucks that make multiple small deliveries and freight pickups in a given local area. Some examples of LTL companies are FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Amazon delivery.
Because these trucks make numerous stops per day, they have a greater risk of being involved in a wreck. The companies that hire these drivers should ensure that they are well-trained, but often, this doesn’t happen with larger corporations who simply overlook this step.
How Do Delivery Truck Accidents Happen?
Amazon, FedEx, and many local companies, such as furniture and appliance stores, make deliveries throughout the community every day. That means they constantly cross paths with motorists and pedestrians. Negligent acts or omissions by the driver can, therefore,f easily cause an accident.
Some examples of truck driver negligence include:
Delivery trucks are built to transport numerous items with substantial weight, including multiple packages, furniture, heavy equipment, and more. But they are only legally permitted to carry a certain amount of weight.
Trucking companies often overload trucks to maximize their profits by delivering more items at once. Doing so puts others at risk of injury or death.
All vehicles require regular inspection and maintenance, and this is especially true for large trucks. The weight, mileage, and general wear and tear put on trucks can render them unsafe.
If a truck is poorly maintained, one of several parties can share liability if a delivery driver gets into an accident.
Trucks can and sometimes are built with defective parts which impair their safe operation.
These components can be built into the truck during its manufacturing phase, or they may be added later by a negligent repair shop.
However, not all problems are noticed in enough time for an effective recall to be issued. When a part on a delivery truck fails, it risks a catastrophic accident.
Every driver is responsible for checking blind spots to ensure other motorists are not too close before changing lanes. Blind spots tend to be worse with large trucks, however. Delivery drivers who fail to take abundant precautions when driving can easily trigger a major accident.
Federal rules set limits on how long an individual can drive a truck before needing to take a rest.
More generally, a driver should never get behind the wheel if he or she is not sufficiently rested.
Drivers are often pressured by their employers to ignore this basic safety precaution.
There are more distractions than ever when it comes to driving. A distraction is anything that either takes the driver’s focus off the road or interferes with his or her safe operation of the truck. Common truck driver distractions include cell phone use, eating and drinking, and personal grooming.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and illegal. It doesn’t matter if a prescription medication is responsible for the impairment. Truck drivers must ensure that they can safely drive their vehicles before getting behind the wheel.
All drivers owe everyone else on the road a duty of care, which includes obeying traffic laws.
Speeding is an example of one traffic violation that can turn a truck into a deadly machine. So can any other illegal action like failing to yield.
Poor road conditions
Construction, potholes, unmarked lanes, and other road conditions are responsible for many truck accidents.
These often point to general contractor negligence, or they may indicate that a local governmental unit is responsible. You should be aware that if the government caused the unsafe road conditions, there are different rules for filing a lawsuit.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
One of the most important reasons for hiring an experienced injury attorney for delivery truck crashes is to determine who was responsible. Depending on how and why the accident occurred, several parties may be named as defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. They include but are not limited to:
This is the first and most obvious party to start with, especially if the driver was neglecting basic safety protocol or breaking the law. Thorough investigation of the accident can uncover evidence of negligent conduct that caused the crash. But drivers often lack the resources necessary to pay for a victim’s damages, so other parties should be named if possible.
If the driver was working for his or her employer at the time of the accident, that company could share liability if the delivery driver gets into an accident. Some companies try to evade this responsibility by classifying their drivers as independent contractors, but this doesn’t necessarily clear the company of liability.
Whether the driver was working in the scope of employment at the time of the accident is a key question.
Courts typically consider several factors in answering this question, such as:
- Whether the driver was on the clock
- Where the driver was going
- What the driver was doing and the nature of the work being performed
- Whether the driver did something that the employer should have reasonably anticipated
- Whether the driver acted maliciously or intentionally in causing the accident
Manufacturer or repair shop
If a truck defect, such as failed brakes or a tire blowout, caused the accident, this may indicate negligence on the part of a manufacturer or repair shop. Expert witness testimony may be necessary to reconstruct the accident and explain how the defect contributed to it. Our law firm has a reliable network of expert witnesses who can help with this step.
A Florence, SC Delivery Truck Accident Attorney Can Advocate for Your Rights
When a truck accident client retains McCall Law, our team immediately gets to work to learn how and why the wreck happened and who was at fault for it. If possible, a settlement could be reached with the defendant’s insurance company, but we can take your case to trial if necessary.
Were you injured in a delivery truck crash and want to learn more about your legal rights? Call us today.