Delivery trucks are a common sight on the roads. As they move around completing their delivery routes, they transport all kinds of goods to consumers. The United Parcel Service (UPS) is just one of the many delivery services that operate in Orlando.
Businesses rely on these delivery trucks to transport products, and consumers count on them to receive goods on time. There are more than 125,000 UPS drivers and vehicles on the road, and with so many delivery trucks on route at any one time, this increases the likelihood of delivery truck accidents, either with a pedestrian or another motorist.
It doesn’t matter how many safety precautions there are in place. Even with the most frequent vehicle checks, driver training, and safety strategies, accidents can and do happen. A momentary lapse of judgment, eyes taken off the road for a split second, or even the failure of a vehicle component can cause an accident.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a UPS truck accident, The Law Place is here to help. Our lawyers have the skills and knowledge to work with accident victims just like you to file a claim and fight for your rights. Your injuries may have been serious, involving ongoing medical care and painful rehabilitation. Being in an accident can affect you in many ways, both on a physical and psychological level, so you need a good law firm on your side as you claim compensation.
With over 75 years of combined experience, The Law Place will review your case as a team and bring you all the benefits that this experience offers. We will match you with a lawyer whose knowledge is the right fit for your case and we will guide you through the process from start to finish.
To find out more about how our team could help with your personal injury claim, call us today at (941)-444-4444 for a free consultation and speak to a delivery truck accident lawyer.
UPS Truck Accidents
When delivery truck drivers are on the road for hours at a time, they can become complacent and desensitized to the dangers associated with driving. Accidents with delivery trucks can be challenging because of their size, and when accidents happen, the injuries sustained can be severe or even fatal in the worst cases.
It’s not just other motorists at risk, either. You may have been a pedestrian crossing the road. Accidents can happen anywhere at any time. Occupants of your vehicle may also be injured during a collision. There are many things to consider when it comes to investigating a truck accident, but your lawyer will take care of it all for you.
Florida law states that truck drivers have a duty of care to pedestrians and other road users. However, accidents can have many causes, from distractions to poor road conditions. While it’s not always the driver’s fault, most truck accidents are attributed to driver error.
Common Causes of UPS Truck Accidents
What springs to mind when you think of a UPS delivery truck? Often your first thought is of a small UPS truck filled with parcels for local delivery. However, the fleet also includes semi-truck vehicles that transport freight around Florida and across the country. Both of these truck types have the capacity to cause serious injuries if involved in a UPS truck accident. As with any auto accident, there are many reasons why a collision may occur. Some of the most common include:
Distractions can be dangerous for any driver, but the larger the vehicle, the bigger the risk. The consequences of a large truck accident can be catastrophic. Distracted driving is particularly reckless for drivers in control of a delivery truck. No amount of safety precautions or driver training can stop it. It’s all down to the behavior of the driver.
Distractions can come from many sources, including cell phones, GPS devices, reaching for food or drink, or just a lack of attention on the road. If your truck accident lawyer in Orlando can collect enough evidence to show that the driver was distracted and this caused your accident, you may be entitled to bring a claim for their negligence.
It’s no secret that delivery drivers are rushed. They are facing increasingly tight delivery schedules, with many drops to make every day. It’s easy to see how schedules can be delayed, and in an attempt to catch up, drivers may speed to get to the next destination. If a corner is taken too fast, the truck can topple over, affecting other road users and pedestrians.
Additionally, speeding can significantly increase stopping distances, and if there is a need to stop quickly, the driver may end up causing a rear-end collision. The risk of rollover accidents in a UPS truck as well as reduced reaction times significantly increases when a driver is traveling at speed.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
Being on a busy delivery route can mean that a driver could fail to stop at a red light (perhaps due to a distraction), they may miss a stop sign, or they could make a poor decision that causes them to overlook a right of way. All of these things can lead to a delivery truck accident. Failure to yield the right of way can often result in serious t-bone accidents because both vehicles are driving at speed when colliding.
There are some instances where vehicle failure can be the cause of an accident. Delivery trucks are on the road for many hours at a time every day. Wear and tear does happen, and even with the most rigorous safety schedules, components can deteriorate or fail. Some of the common vehicle failures include tire blowouts, failure of the brakes, steering problems, missing mud flaps, or broken lights.
Part defects are not always detected by the driver, even if they carry out daily checks. Component failure in a delivery vehicle can cause the driver to lose control, and if this happens in heavy traffic, it can cause a serious delivery truck accident.
UPS Truck Driver Fatigue
Delivery drivers work long hours with prolonged periods of time spent on the road. It’s only natural—perhaps toward the end of a lengthy delivery schedule—that drivers become fatigued. When this happens, concentration may lapse, or the driver may lose focus on the road.
Tired drivers can put other road users and pedestrians at risk because the chances of a crash increase significantly. Falling asleep at the wheel can cause drivers to stray into the wrong lane, mount a pedestrian area, or fail to see a pedestrian at a crosswalk.
Driving Under the Influence
While most sensible delivery drivers will not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, sometimes it can happen. Florida law states that DUI is a criminal offense. For truck drivers, an alcohol level of 0.04 percent or higher will result in a year’s ban from commercial driving. When under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, judgment is impaired, and reaction times are much slower, which may lead to reckless driving and risky behavior.
Delivery trucks often contain a lot of cargo, particularly at the start of the delivery route. If vehicles are not properly loaded, it can cause the vehicle to become unstable. Cargo shifts in the truck can lead to an accident. Therefore, drivers should be familiar with the importance of the following:
- Correct weight distribution in the delivery truck.
- The center of gravity and distribution.
- The correct method of bracing the cargo.
- Ensuring that cargo is secured in transit.
- Checking that the cargo is properly covered.
- Securing truck doors between drops. If the doors are not properly secured after a delivery, cargo can spill out onto the roadway, causing an obstruction.
Poorly maintained roads, such as those filled with potholes, uneven surfaces, or little to no signage, can lead to an accident. Sometimes, the weather can also play a part too. Low visibility, such as during a storm, can result in missed dangers or signs obscured.
Depending on the nature of the accident, liability for this may rest with a government agency, either in part or fully. Your personal injury attorney will be able to determine who is at fault for the accident and advise accordingly.
Delivery truck drivers should be at a certain standard when it comes to operating a UPS vehicle. Comprehensive training is needed to ensure delivery drivers know how to handle their vehicles and make wise safety decisions in challenging situations. They should also be able to anticipate other driver actions to reduce the crash risk. Medical certificates and a clean driving record, as well as holding a commercial driver’s license, are basic requirements.
When drivers do not receive the correct level of training, it can lead to poor driving practices such as improper lane changes, incorrect braking, speeding, overloaded trucks, incorrect maneuvering techniques, or making poor judgments on the road.
Injuries After a UPS Truck Accident
An auto accident with UPS trucks can cause severe injuries, even if the accident takes place at a low speed. This is often because of the size of the vehicle. Some of the injuries associated with a truck accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
When the head collides with something at force, impact with a steering column, window, or seat for example, can cause significant injuries. Brain injuries are serious because they have the potential to affect many aspects of your life, from coordination and speech to memory and behavior.
If you sustain any injuries to the head in the crash, it is crucial that you seek medical attention immediately after the accident occurs and to make sure your serious injuries are officially documented.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spine affects many movements. As with a traumatic brain injury, damage to the spine can result from the force of the crash. Spinal cord injuries can include complete or partial paralysis, which can profoundly impact your life. Symptoms of a spinal injury include loss of sensation in the legs or body, difficulty walking, and numbness.
Neck and Back Injuries
Even if the spinal cord is not affected, the bones in the back and neck may be injured. These areas are particularly susceptible to injury. Whiplash is a common injury of the neck. Back injuries may take longer to heal and even require attendance at physio. You may also experience ongoing pain and discomfort as your injuries heal.
Even a low-impact collision can cause broken bones if the crash involves a delivery truck. The force of impact can cause the bones to collide against the internal fixtures and fittings of the vehicle, causing them to break. Where the breaks are severe, it may take many months for the full range of motion to return, if it ever does. The recovery process can cause extreme pain, limited movement, and lengthy rehabilitation.
Trucks are heavy vehicles, and the force of a collision may cause bruising, ruptures, or tears to internal organs. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening. Damage can be caused to the lungs, liver or spleen. Organs can rupture, leading to complications that can cause danger to life. The time taken to recover from a commercial vehicle crash can require prolonged periods away from work leading to lost income and financial difficulties.
While the physical injuries associated with a truck accident can be severe enough, you may also encounter psychological injuries. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the more common psychological issues that you may suffer from when accidents occur. Your life may be severely affected by PTSD, and symptoms can range from flashbacks and nightmares to anxiety or behavior changes. To alleviate these issues, ongoing counseling and support may be needed to address issues such as long-term depression and anxiety.
Liability for UPS Truck Accidents
An experienced truck accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into a delivery truck accident to determine who is at fault. This is important because you must bring a claim against the relevant people. Once your lawyer identifies the at-fault party (there could be one or multiple), they can start the process of making a claim.
Some of the people who may be at fault in a UPS delivery truck accident include:
The UPS Delivery Driver
Usually, the person at fault for truck accidents is the UPS driver. This will be the first person the law firm will investigate. The action or inaction of the driver may have resulted in the crash. All truck drivers are legally required to hold an insurance policy to cover the cost of damages if they are involved in an accident. The level of coverage provided by this policy is often significantly higher than traditional driver policies.
Your accident lawyers will work with the insurer of the delivery companies to negotiate on many different aspects of the claim, such as the type and extent of your injuries, wages you lost due to time off work, and pain and suffering. All of these things will be factored into the personal injury claim.
United Parcel Service – the Delivery Company
As well as there being grounds for claiming against the driver, damages will be largely sought against the delivery company. Again, your lawyer will be able to determine whether the company has any liability and advise as necessary. Sometimes, a company may be liable for gross negligence, which directly impacted the events that led to the accident.
An experienced lawyer is essential in navigating the complexities of pursuing a claim against a large company. UPS has many resources available, including skilled lawyers to defend the claim. You, therefore, need a suitably skilled lawyer to fight your case, applying personal injury law and using the right approach applicable to UPS accidents.
Manufacturer for Trucking Companies
Fault for the accident may not rest with the driver or UPS but with the vehicle or parts manufacturer. Component faults occur all the time. Even with the right maintenance schedule and checks, drivers or maintenance teams may not notice a defective vehicle part. In this instance, the manufacturer of the faulty part will be liable.
As you can see, identifying who is liable for your accident is complex. Failure to identify the right party can lead to financial implications and lots of wasted time. This is why you need a lawyer from The Law Place to manage your case.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
The success or otherwise of your claim may depend on the actions you take after the accident. Every accident is very different, but there are steps you can take that will help your case if you decide to claim compensation.
The Accident Scene
At the scene of the accident, the first priority is the safety of you and the occupants of your vehicle. If you can move away from the vehicle to a place of safety, do so. You may have been trapped in the vehicle and needed rescue from the emergency services.
The UPS Truck Driver
If you can, collect information from the other driver. This is important because you will need it to make a claim. Gather their name, telephone number, and details of the insurance provider from the UPS company. Also, note down their policy number and contact details for the insurer.
Evidence of Serious Injury
Where possible, document the scene. This can include images and video footage. Images and videos can help prove the extent of any damage and provide evidence to support your case. Take photos of both vehicles involved (more if there were multiple vehicles in the accident), the license plate of the delivery truck, and property damage.
Witnesses of the Florida Truck Accident
Collect details from witnesses, including their names and contact telephone number. Witnesses may also have video footage or images you can collect at a later date you can pass to your lawyer as evidence.
Always seek medical attention. Even if you believe your injuries are minor. After a truck accident, you should get checked by a doctor. Make sure that your injuries are properly documented, along with the medical bills you had to pay and any medical appointments you attended, both in the immediate aftermath and during the period of recovery.
Personal Injury Law and an Experienced Attorney
Call The Law Place for a free initial consultation. You only have a limited time to pursue a claim against the driver or other at-fault party. Your experienced attorney will need sufficient time to build a claim, so always contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Your legal team will explore whether more than one person contributed to the crash and provide comprehensive legal services and legal representation against those responsible. An initial consultation with experienced attorneys at our law firm will help you gather the facts of the case and determine whether you have a claim to make.
Statute of Limitations
Personal injury claims can become time-barred. The statute of limitations is a term used to describe how long you have to pursue a claim. In Florida, this timescale is four years from the accident for most personal injury claims.
This deadline is particularly strict, and any claim made after this time will result in the claim being dismissed. Your lawyer will take time to build your case and present the facts to the other side, so the more time you can give them, the better. In addition, not all cases will be resolved with the insurer, and it could take longer if they proceed to trial.
Truck Safety Rules and Regulations
UPS delivery drivers travel millions of miles every year. Therefore, it’s no surprise that accidents happen from time to time. While most drivers operate their vehicles safely, negligence, poor driving practices, or issues with the vehicle can result in a collision with another road user. A delivery truck from UPS typically weighs between 16,000 and 24,000 pounds. This means that the force from the accident can have devastating consequences when involved in a crash.
To address some of the dangers associated with delivery trucks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) defined some guidelines and regulations that relate to the safety of tractor-trailers and commercial vehicles.
Requirements include the levels of training that drivers should complete, the standards of truck repair and maintenance, hours of service, and preventative programs for drug and alcohol-use with drivers.
Drivers should be familiar with these regulations and ensure they follow best practices when operating their delivery trucks. Your lawyer will explore these areas to determine if the driver failed to meet the relevant regulations and safety standards.
The Importance of Working With a Lawyer
The experience of being involved in a delivery truck accident can be scary and stressful. This is made even worse if a large trucking company such as UPS is involved. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of your rights. The insurance company will throw everything they can think of at you to defend the claim. This is why it is so important you work with truck accident lawyers.
Our lawyers at The Law Place can work directly with the insurance company, participate in negotiations and collect evidence in support of your claim. We will gather witness evidence, video footage, and images of the accident as a minimum, explore the costs you incurred, such as lost income and medical bills and consider the emotional distress you experienced. All of these factors will be considered and used in evidence to support and strengthen your claim.
Our process is comprehensive, and we will work with you every step of the way. We will determine liability and negotiate a fair settlement. If the negotiations with the insurance company don’t achieve a settlement, take your case to court if necessary.
The process starts with a free legal consultation with a truck accident attorney. During this consultation, we will discuss your case and advise you on the next steps.
So don’t delay. Call The Law Place today at (941)-444-4444 and speak to a truck accident lawyer to get started with your personal injury claim.