If you or a family member has been involved in an accident with a UPS truck, you should carefully consider your next steps. Road accidents can cause significant injury and even death, but claiming damages against UPS, one of the biggest companies in the world, is complicated.
Powerful companies hire powerful lawyers whose job is to minimize financial and other damage. Without legal advice from a company with experience in UPS truck accidents, it can be difficult to secure the compensation you need to cover things like medical expenses and lost wages.
Here is what you need to know before making a personal injury claim against the United Parcel Service.
UPS Trucks Are Involved in Many Accidents
There are huge numbers of United States Postal Service and UPS trucks on the road, so it makes sense that they are involved in a significant number of accidents. When a truck collides with a person or a vehicle, its size and weight mean it is likely to cause serious injuries or even fatalities.
UPS truck drivers can also suffer injuries and often have to sue to initiate legal action to gain fair compensation depending on the circumstances.
Common Causes of Accidents Involving UPS Trucks
The number of hours a commercial vehicle spends on the road raises the chances of its involvement in an accident. Here are some additional reasons for UPS truck collisions:
- Speed: UPS prides itself on speedy delivery, but drivers sometimes have to rush to get packages to their destinations.
- Running stop signs: Complete stop sign stops are important for road safety. When drivers rush to make deliveries, careless driving like rolling through intersections into oncoming traffic is a real issue.
- Backing up: Overshooting addresses is common when making deliveries, but backing up a big truck is dangerous.
- Distractions: UPS drivers have to drive to many different destinations in a working day. This often means relying on maps and navigation systems as they negotiate unfamiliar streets and highway systems.
- Fatigue: UPS drivers work long shifts and overtime to get the last packages of the day delivered. Anyone who has driven long hours knows that driving tired is a problem.
- Poorly balanced load: At the start of the day, a truck is heavy with packages. These must be properly distributed for the truck to be well balanced. As packages are removed, the balance of the load can shift, making for a truck that doesn’t hold the road as it should.
- Poorly maintained truck: As with any motor vehicle, trucks must be regularly serviced and well maintained to work properly. Faulty brakes, steering issues, and a multitude of other problems can cause accidents.
Proving UPS Drivers Are Negligent
UPS drivers must be proven negligent for successful financial compensation claims, and the plaintiff must prove their damages.
Here are the four points claims must satisfy:
- Injury: The plaintiff must provide evidence of physical and material injury.
- Causation: The UPS driver must be the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Duty of care: The UPS driver must be proven not to have followed their duty to operate their vehicle with appropriate care.
- Breach of duty: The UPS driver has breached their duty as a driver by disobeying the rules of the road, for example, speeding, distracted driving, or making an illegal stop or turn.
How Claims for Damages Work
The claims process begins when the plaintiff or their lawyer, having met the four criteria detailed above, files a letter demanding that the insurance pays for the damages the accident causes.
UPS carries up to $1 million in insurance for each accident. If a plaintiff’s claim is for a lower sum than this, they need to go no further than the insurance company to settle.
UPS contracts with Liberty Mutual for its insurance. Liberty Mutual is famously difficult in terms of settling claims, routinely offering settlements that are significantly lower than the plaintiff expects. Receiving a fair settlement is very difficult without a seasoned attorney who anticipates Liberty Mutual’s arguments and who isn’t afraid to take the insurance giant to court.
Filing a Lawsuit
Should gaining fair settlement from the insurance company prove impossible, injured parties or their representatives in a UPS truck accident case have the option of filing a civil court lawsuit. Reasons for taking this action include:
- When the insurance company denies the UPS driver’s responsibility for the accident.
- When reaching a settlement sufficient to compensate for physical and material injuries proves impossible.
- The damages suffered exceed the $1 million insurance policy maximum.
Understanding Who to Sue
UPS employs its drivers rather than using them as independent contractors. The law states that employers are responsible for their employees, provided the employee isn’t running personal errands and doesn’t cause intentional harm.
So, if a UPS employee is involved in a work-related accident, the injured parties can hold the employee and their employer, in this case, UPS, responsible and sue them in a civil lawsuit.
This is important because, although UPS carries significant insurance on all its drivers, often the amount of pain and suffering an accident causes exceeds this, especially if the accident leads to years of lost earnings, physical rehabilitation, and medical bills.
Many people ask, “Do UPS lawsuits have a higher settlement value?” The answer is that they don’t.
However, UPS makes enormous profits from its services and can afford to pay more in claim settlements than its drivers. If, for example, the accident leads to a wrongful death lawsuit, even if it involved a negligent driver, the settlement value of a claim against UPS will far exceed one against company employees.
The Difference a Truck Accident Attorney Can Make
As an enormous business concern, it isn’t surprising that UPS has a massive team of defense lawyers on its side. Among their responsibilities is minimizing the financial impact of accidents involving UPS vehicles, even if the accident happened because of negligent driving by a company employee.
Fighting the legal power UPS has at its fingertips as an individual is extremely difficult, so hiring a law firm with personal injury attorneys who have experience in truck accidents is important. An accident involving a truck is different from a car accident and requires a legal team with vast knowledge.
A UPS truck accident lawyer will work hard to gain adequate compensation, often not receiving payment for work conducted on your behalf until after gaining a settlement.
What To Do in the Event of an Accident
The steps you take immediately after an accident can make a big difference in personal injury cases. After calling 911 and ensuring everyone has received the medical attention they need, it’s important to:
- Write everything down: Time quickly erases or alters memories, so writing down everything you remember about the crash in as much detail as possible is important.
- File an accident report: The police will require an account of what happened, and the more detailed it is, the better.
- Keep detailed records of expenses: The costs of UPS accidents add up in unexpected ways. Holding on to quotations and receipts is important for future calculations of expenses.
- Hire a professional: It is tough to know what to do when something as traumatic as a road accident occurs. A responsive lawyer can guide you through the process, leaving you time to heal from your physical injuries.
A truck accident is different from a car accident, and gaining the compensation you need for personal injuries from a big company like UPS can be challenging. The team at Georgia Auto Law is highly experienced in UPS accident claims. Whether you are a truck driver, a front-seat passenger, or a pedestrian, we can help you claim an appropriate settlement value for your trauma.
We are standing by to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call today at 404-662-4949 to learn more about our services.