New Jersey being one of the most densely populated states requires an enormous amount of goods and services delivered to warehouses, malls, shopping centers, stores, and homes. For the most part, deliveries are made by sellers, shippers, or truckers in various sized vehicles. The bad news is that because of the size of delivery trucks, they often cause more property damage and more injuries, but there is an upside as well. You need to know the following:
- Truck Companies are generally 100% responsible for their employee’s carelessness.
- Trucks are required to carry higher insurance, and established companies often carry millions of dollars of insurance to pay their losses.
- The Limitation of Lawsuit Threshold, also known as the Verbal Threshold that most drivers have DOES NOT APPLY with truck collisions. You can receive full compensation for all personal injuries whether permanent or not.
- The commercial carrier, shipper, or delivery company is responsible for their driver’s carelessness.
- Companies may be sued for hiring drivers with bad driving records if they should have known that a delivery truck accident was foreseeable.
- Companies like Amazon, UPS, DHL, FEDEX, and the US Postal Service encourage safety but put pressure on drivers to make deliveries on time causing drivers to rush, and skip needed breaks as required by law.
- Delivery Trucks often
- There are lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC. that are experts in suing delivery truck, drivers, owners, and shippers.
New Jersey, also being a corridor state, meaning that trucks regularly travel through the state on the New Jersey Turnpike, I-80, I-287, Routes, 4,9, 10, 17, 22, 23, etc. to get to New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Perhaps you’ve seen them zipping at break-neck speeds through your neighborhood. Not the newly licensed teenagers. It’s the delivery drivers buzzing across town to make a deadline. Your jaw drops as they’re scooting around parked cars, not quite pausing at the stop sign, screeching as they approach their appointed destination… You tell yourself it’s an isolated incident and, after all, these delivery drivers have a great deal of training and experience.
As America’s insatiable appetite increases to order everything out and get it delivered instantly, pressure mounts on delivery drivers to win the race. Retailers focus on speed – who can consistently get packages to their destination the fastest. For instance, Amazon requires its last-mile drivers to be on time in 999 out of 1,000 deliveries, according to a New York Times report delving into the company’s fast shipping promise while skirting its legal responsibility for accidents.
In the midst of COVID-19, the situation has only gotten worse. Shortages of everything from toilet tissue, yeast, ground beef, and hand sanitizer, place mounting pressure on delivery drivers. Pressure like this pushes retailers and delivery drivers to cut corners and take chances on the road. Most are hard-working, responsible individuals with a strong commitment to safety. Others, however, are so committed to beating the clock they fail to recognize the grave danger their vehicles can create – and they should be held accountable for their reckless behavior.
Hit By a Delivery Truck? Here is What to Do Next.
Being injured in a collision with a delivery truck can be devastating and have long-term consequences. You’ll need a well-versed New Jersey truck accident lawyer. Our firm, Davis Saperstein & Salomon, is a personal injury law firm of 28 attorneys serving New Jersey and New York. Check out our website and read a few of our verdicts and settlements. We have recovered over $740 million for our clients. You may find some that resonate with you at this pivotal point in your life.
Be aware that what you do, and don’t do, in the moments, weeks, and months after being injured in a delivery truck accident can be critical. In fact, it can impact your physical recovery as well as your legal recovery.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Get medical care. It should be your top priority. Not only does it impact your physical well-being, it also documents your injuries. If your doctor or hospital orders tests, therapies, or other care, follow their instructions. It can give you the best shot at regaining your health and improve the odds of a successful claim.
- Their Claims Representatives are not your Friends. Do not talk to their claims adjusters without getting advice from a skilled injury lawyer. Do not sign any releases or papers without having a lawyer look at it first. If you agree to accept payment for property damage, be sure to sign the release and settlement check as follows: “FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE ONLY.”
- Avoid using social media. Social media platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are ideal ways to stay in touch, but posting to them can harm your case. Ask your truck accident attorney to advise you on this matter. It may be best to deactivate your account while your case is being litigated.
- Keep a diary. Your days of recovery may blend together. You may forget some important details. Grab a notebook or start an online journal to document your life after the accident. Include notes about pain and suffering, how your injury has impacted your everyday routine or kept you from doing things you enjoy, and the time you’re missing from work. Also, write down your detailed account of the accident. Your journal can provide you and your truck accident attorney with valuable evidence to help your case long after your memories have faded.
Determining Liability in a Crash With a Delivery Driver
Determining liability in an accident involving a commercial delivery driver can be complex. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the individual driver or the employer of the driver – FedEx, Amazon, or UPS, for instance. However, if the company hires independent contractors to drive its vehicles, it may not be liable for the contractor’s actions. Although, simply calling someone an “independent contractor” doesn’t make them one. If the facts show that the driver was actually an employee in all but name, then the employer may nevertheless be liable.
Skilled legal counsel can guide you through these complexities, since determining fault can be difficult.
In recent years, some retailers have found ways to skip out on assuming liability for their drivers’ actions. Amazon is the largest and most notable, using independent contractors who agree to hold Amazon harmless in case of accidents. If the driver of the delivery truck is an independent contractor, he or she is self-employed and not a direct employee of the delivery company. In this situation, you can sue the driver, but your attorney will want to look at any other parties who may be involved, such as a truck leasing company.
There is a chance the company that hired the independent contractor could still be liable, depending on the details of the accident and how the driver’s contract was written. Some contracts use language stating that a company is not responsible for driving negligence, but the company does have a right to control certain driver actions. If this is the case, a jury may find a company responsible for the independent contractor’s negligence.
Federal laws and regulations govern almost every aspect of commercial truck driving. Your chance of proving negligence greatly increases when an investigation uncovers violations of these laws. An attorney who understands both federal and state laws is crucial to a case involving a commercial truck.
Delivery Truck Collision Statistics
The trucking industry is consistently on the rise. Truck transport is one of the most suitable ways to get goods across the United States. In fact, about 70% of all products reach their destination via truck.
Wrecks involving big rigs and delivery trucks are a serious and growing problem. It’s estimated that by 2030 it will become the fifth-largest cause of death in the U.S. Statistics from Policy Advice and the Centers for Disease Control highlight disturbing trends:
- A 52% increase in these accidents has been noted since 2009.
- 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle cases include a large truck.
- Tire defects account for around 30% of all truck-related accidents.
- Most of these accidents occur during the day — between noon and 3 p.m.
- 68% of all truck fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants.
- More than 1 in 3 long-haul truckers have experienced a severe truck crash in their career.
When to Contact a Delivery Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been hit by a delivery truck, commercial vehicle, tractor-trailer, or any other vehicle, act immediately before evidence is lost or covered up. Contact Davis Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. a law firm where we devote all our available resources to fight on behalf of injured people. It’s all we do.
With our aggressive, leading-edge approach, we’ll help you fight for your legal rights. It’s worked well for the more than 30,000 accident victims and their families we’ve represented since we opened our doors in 1981.
Be assured our team of attorneys will listen attentively, research meticulously, and guide you toward the just resolution of your case. You’ll be relieved to know you owe us nothing unless and until we recover funds on your behalf.
Get in touch now for a free claim review and discussion of your best legal options.
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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.