Many delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, and even USPS hire thousands of drivers across the country. Typically, the delivery trucks or vans that they drive are not much larger than regular SUVs, but are often laden with thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise people have ordered or shipped. These drivers are often in the news for failing to take proper care of peoples’ packages, so imagine the care that they might give other drivers and pedestrians.
Delivery Truck Dangers
Certainly, the dangers associated with any delivery truck are similar to those in any other truck accident. Though we usually think of delivery truck drivers as driving to and from sites for a few hours, their shifts are often full eight-hour shifts – or longer. This can lead to driver fatigue after long shifts. Further, in any company with a large fleet of vehicles and drivers, poor habits can fall through the cracks. Upkeep on delivery trucks and vans is an expensive process. These delivery companies may not focus as much attention and resources on these tasks as they should, allowing unsafe trucks back into service. Similarly, training and employing such a large workforce may lead to poor training and safety procedures for delivery drivers.
The habits surrounding these kinds of deliveries may also lead to unsafe practices. Often, delivery truck drivers have deadlines to meet. Shipping rates usually depend on the speed at which the package will arrive at its destination, and drivers who fail to meet deadlines may be reprimanded. This may lead to speeding to meet or exceed expectations for delivery speed, putting other drivers and pedestrians in danger. Longer hours attempting to fulfill delivery commitments lead to driver fatigue and other unsafe conditions.
Often, delivery drivers do not drive repetitive routes every day. This may mean driving through unknown territory, where drivers are unfamiliar with road layouts, one-way streets, and road hazards. Especially when deadlines are involved, this can lead drivers to make unsafe, panicked decisions. Parking their delivery trucks in unsafe locations can lead to accidents. Especially if a driver turns a corner without expecting a parked truck to block their lane, accidents may be unavoidable. When delivery drivers miss a turn or cannot find an address, they may make sudden, unsafe moves without signaling to correct their route errors, putting other drivers in danger.
Compensation for Delivery Truck Accidents
If the delivery truck was owned and maintained by a private company, you might have a case against the delivery driver as well as the delivery company. Companies like FedEx and UPS, despite the official-sounding names, are private companies. Their headquarters are in Memphis, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia, respectively. These companies perform business all over the world and are likely eligible to be sued wherever the accident occurs – not just in their home states.
The United States Postal Service offers package delivery and shipping to compete with these companies, and may also be sued for delivery truck accidents. Since this is a federal agency, the way in which you file your claims and the amount of money you are able to win may be different than with a private company. Lawyers experienced in the federal court system like the truck accident attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm can file your lawsuit for you and represent you on claims against a government entity.
There are many federal regulations for delivery truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules controlling all of the following areas:
- Mandatory rest breaks for drivers
- Total number of hours a driver may work
- Driver training requirements
- Truck safety requirements
State and local governments may also have rules for delivery drivers. For instance, most states require a commercial driver’s license for delivery drivers, which may require extra training. Further, some local laws might prohibit trucks on certain roads. Failing to follow any of these rules could put the delivery driver and their employer at fault for your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might be entitled to substantial compensation. This money may help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our Pennsylvania Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you were injured in an accident with a delivery truck or you lost a loved one to a truck accident, call our attorneys today. The Reiff Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys represent injured victims throughout the country to get them the compensation they need. Do not accept any settlement offers from delivery or insurance companies without consulting an attorney on your case. Contact us online or give us a call at (215) 709-6940 for a free consultation on your case.