Every day, delivery drivers make hundreds of stops around Portland. While most commercial drivers are well trained and vigilant, others are not as careful. Negligent drivers and delivery companies can cause serious collisions, injuring other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
If you are injured in a collision with a delivery driver, Tillmann Law can help. Our Portland delivery truck accident attorney will help you hold the driver and his or her employer accountable for your injuries, fighting for your right to maximum compensation.
Delivery trucks are usually smaller than larger semi-trucks, which can weigh tens of thousands of pounds and carry multiple types of cargo. Accidents involving larger trucks are more likely to result in catastrophic damage, but delivery truck collisions also result in serious injuries and devastating fatalities.
Companies tend to use larger trucks for interstate travel, while delivery vehicles have shorter routes within a geographic region. Delivery drivers who operate within Oregon are not always subject to the same rules and regulations as truck drivers who cross state lines. However, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Commerce and Compliance Division enforces many rules that these drivers must follow, which include laws set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
If you are injured by a delivery truck, you may wonder how these differences could impact your case. At Tillmann Law, our attorney understands the laws that affect delivery drivers and can inform you of your rights following an accident.
When you are involved in a Portland car accident, the claims process is relatively straightforward. Oregon follows a fault car insurance system, meaning that drivers who cause accidents are financially responsible for any damages that occur. Oregon law requires all drivers hold liability insurance to pay for their victims’ losses, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and vehicle damage.
If you are involved in an accident with a regular driver, you can file an insurance claim against his or her policy. You could also pursue a personal injury lawsuit against him or her in civil court.
A delivery truck driver is performing a service for a company at the time of the collision, which changes the nature of the collision. Several factors can complicate your case.
Delivery truck accidents happen for several reasons. Poor visibility, dangerous weather conditions, and road hazards like potholes or fallen branches can sometimes contribute to a collision. In other cases, accidents are caused by negligence on behalf of the truck driver, his or her employer, or even a truck or auto part manufacturer.
Some of the most common causes of delivery truck accidents include the following.
All truckers, including delivery drivers, must follow strict rules for operating and maintaining their vehicles. Unfortunately, not all drivers uphold these regulations, committing dangerous acts of negligence that lead to serious accidents. There are a few rules that truck drivers commonly violate, including hours-of-service rules, poor training, and damaged vehicles.
Many delivery drivers and delivery companies must comply with state and federal trucking guidelines. According to the FMCSA, many drivers must follow hours-of-service regulations, which set limits on driving times. If a delivery driver operates his or her vehicle for more hours than allowed, he or she can become fatigued and distracted. As a result, the driver can make a critical error while driving, leading to an accident.
Delivery drivers and their employers have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition. If a vehicle is poorly maintained or defective, the driver can lose control of the vehicle and injure others on the road. Unfortunately, negligent drivers and companies fail to take care of delivery trucks and allow these vehicles to fall into disrepair.
To drive a delivery vehicle safely, drivers need to have the right licensing and training. However, not all drivers are properly trained or have the proper credentials. A poorly trained or inexperienced driver is more likely to make a serious mistake while on the road, causing dangerous accidents.
Delivery trucks can be very large and heavy. Collisions between a delivery vehicle and a passenger car, cyclist, or pedestrian can be catastrophic, resulting in potentially life-threatening injuries. In many cases, victims of delivery truck accidents require extensive medical care and weeks of recovery time.
Some of the most common injuries in Portland delivery truck accidents include the following.
If you are involved in a delivery truck accident, you may wonder what to do next. These collisions can be scary and painful. To protect yourself and your right to compensation, take the following steps after the accident and seek the help that you need.
Oregon is a fault accident state, meaning that negligent drivers are financially responsible for any collisions that they cause. If your accident was caused by the negligence of the delivery driver, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her.
Under the theory of vicarious liability, employers are liable for accidents that their employees cause while on the job. If the delivery driver is an employee of UPS, FedEx, Amazon, or another company, you could file a claim against the company as well. Many of these employers offer insurance that covers employees in the event of these accidents.
Not all delivery drivers are employees. If the driver is an independent contractor, the company is not liable for his or her actions on the job. However, if the company’s negligence caused the accident, such as hiring an unlicensed or untrained contractor or failing to maintain vehicles supplied to the contractor, you could name the company in your claim.
Determining liability can be complex in a delivery truck accident. Under certain circumstances, government agencies and manufacturers of defective parts may be liable as well. Your attorney from Tillmann Law can conduct a full investigation into the collision and help you identify who is responsible for your losses.
In many cases, delivery drivers’ actions are responsible for collisions. However, companies that employ these drivers can be negligent as well. Companies like Amazon, UPS, and FedEx have committed dangerous acts in the past, putting their drivers and people along their routes at risk.
Amazon has been known setting tight schedules for its drivers. As a result, Amazon drivers can feel pressured to drive recklessly on their routes, causing serious collisions that have injured and killed innocent people. An investigation by ProPublica found that Amazon drivers were involved in more than 60 accidents between June 2015 and September 2019, resulting in 10 deaths.
Like Amazon, UPS requires tight schedules for its delivery drivers. In many situations, delivery drivers can feel pressured to meet their deliveries, leading to excessive speed and fatigue. This system can be very stressful for drivers and lead to serious collisions.
FedEx drivers are also under pressure to deliver large amounts of packages in short periods of time, leading to serious stress and recklessness. In December 2021, one driver was so overwhelmed by holiday delivery demand that he dumped hundreds of packages into an Alabama ravine. This pressure can cause drivers to lack caution on the road, heightening the risk of an accident.
To file a delivery truck accident claim, you will first need to identify who is responsible for your accident. The at-fault party will inform your next steps. For example, if the driver caused your accident and he or she is an employee, you could pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver and the delivery company. You will likely first file an insurance claim and escalate your case to a lawsuit if your claim is unsuccessful.
After identifying the liable party, you will need to collect evidence that negligence caused your accident. You may need to conduct a full investigation into the collision and access important pieces of evidence, such as traffic footage and driver logs, to prove your case. Once you officially filing your claim, you may need to attend negotiations, mediations, court dates, and depositions.
Navigating a delivery truck accident case can be difficult without a Portland personal injury lawyer on your side. At Tillmann Law, our attorney will help guide you through the filing process and will handle all aspects of your case on your behalf, gathering evidence and crafting a compelling case for your right to compensation.
If you were injured by a delivery driver, you may be eligible for legal action. In these situations, the Portland delivery truck accident lawyer at Tillmann Law can help you secure the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and identify your optimal path to maximum recovery.