Like every kind of vehicle, delivery trucks have their share of accidents. If you or someone in your family was hurt in a delivery truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Claiming your much-needed compensation, however, is rarely easy because certain trucking industry practices make it complicated to determine who is liable to pay. To help you pursue an effective Orange County truck accident claim, reach out to Barrios & Machado, a trusted personal injury firm. Call us at (714) 515-9696.
Who Pays for Injuries in a Delivery Truck Accident?
In a ‘regular’ car collision in California, the driver who caused the accident is liable to pay for resulting injuries and property damage. But in a delivery truck accident, liability isn’t as straightforward. Under the legal concept of respondeat superior or vicarious liability, an employer is responsible for the conduct of their employee while at work. This would normally mean that if a delivery driver causes a crash, the company they work for is liable for damages.
Major corporations, however, have found a way to shield themselves from this responsibility by using drivers as “independent contractors,” not as direct employees. When a delivery driver gets in an accident, the company can deny liability by saying the driver is not their employee. Some companies that contract independent drivers are Amazon, DHL, FedEx, and WalMart.
Because of this contracting arrangement, there have been cases throughout the years where delivery accident victims were denied their claims. Some have tried to seek compensation from the contracted business or from the at-fault driver’s personal insurance policy. Often, these also present complications that leave claimants unsure about where or how to get their deserved compensation.
This is why having an experienced truck accident lawyer can be indispensable when facing a commercial carrier. A competent lawyer can help you pinpoint the liable party (or parties) and assert your right to be compensated. We at Barrios & Machado are day-to-day familiar with truck accident laws and trucking practices, and we can navigate this complex legal landscape to find your best pathways to compensation.
FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and Other Truck Accident Statistics
Hundreds of truck accidents occur each year in California, many of them resulting in catastrophic injuries and deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020 alone, California had 384 large trucks involved in fatal crashes, killing 398 people. This makes California the state with the second-highest number of truck accident fatalities, second only to Texas.
Across the US, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the safety of freight companies. Through its SAFER system, the agency keeps track of how often each carrier gets involved in crashes. Here are some familiar companies and the number of accidents they’ve had in the past year alone (as of January 17, 2023):
- UPS (United Parcel Service, Inc.) – 1,043 injury crashes, 67 fatal crashes
- FedEx Ground – 912 injury crashes, 78 fatal crashes
- FedEx Express – 131 injury crashes, 10 fatal crashes
- Amazon Logistics, Inc. – 89 injury crashes
- Walmart, Inc. – 9 injury crashes.
The FMCSA also enforces industry-specific rules to help ensure safety around large trucks. To name a few, commercial carriers are required to regularly inspect and maintain their fleet, and their truckers must follow hours-of-service limits to avoid driver fatigue. Sadly, some companies are able to skirt the rules – for example, by allowing their drivers to get overworked as they race against quotas and delivery deadlines.
Violating FMCSA rules is a form of negligence, and this is one of the things we look out for at Barrios & Machado when we handle a truck accident claim. We look into company safety data, inspection records, driver records, work logs, and truck “black box” data, among others, to compile evidence and build a strong case for our client.
How Much Can I Get for My Delivery Truck Accident Injury?
We occasionally see headlines of commercial carrier accidents leading to million-dollar settlements and verdicts. For instance, a Nevada jury in 2022 awarded an accident victim $8 million after a FedEx truck crash, and a UPS delivery truck accident in New Jersey settled for $2 million in 2019. These are notable examples, but claims outcomes vary widely depending on the many factors surrounding each case.
In general, delivery truck accident compensation may cover economic and non-economic losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Therapy/Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term expenses (such as prosthetics and at-home care)
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced capacity to earn
- Reduced enjoyment of life
- Lost consortium or companionship (if you lost a loved one in the crash)
- Lost care and guidance (if a minor loses a parent in a crash).
Truck collisions are often devastating, with a far-reaching impact on the victim’s life. You may be entitled to more compensation than you initially think. To learn the full value of your claim, it’s best to consult with an attorney with experience in truck accident cases.
Our attorneys at Barrios & Machado thoroughly investigate each case we handle to maximize all avenues for compensation. We examine not just your monetary losses but also the less tangible effects of the accident, including your emotional wellness and outlook for the future. Consult with us for free if you were injured or have lost a loved one in a crash involving:
- Amazon delivery trucks
- DHL delivery vehicles
- FedEx box trucks
- UPS delivery trucks
- USPS mail trucks
- Swift Transportation vehicles
- Walmart delivery trucks
- XPO freight trucks
- Other delivery vehicles in California.
Contact a Trusted Delivery Truck Accident Lawyer in Orange County
Based in Orange, CA, the law firm of Barrios & Machado has earned the trust of Californians for truck accident injuries and wrongful death claims. Our firm has 25 years of combined experience helping people get fair compensation, even when faced with well-resourced transport companies.
Talk to us in a free and confidential consultation. Call Barrios & Machado at (714) 515-9696 today.