Who is responsible for an accident with a UPS/FedEx truck depends on who behaved negligently.
Who Is Responsible if the Truck Driver Caused the Accident with a UPS Truck?
In a typical car accident, the driver who caused the accident is the liable party. Truck accidents are a bit different. While you can hold the truck driver liable, FedEx and UPS are responsible for accidents their drivers cause while working. This is called “vicarious liability” and means you can sue both the driver and the company for your costs from the accident, so long as the driver caused the accident while acting within the scope of his employment.
This can be good news if you have injuries or damages, as employers usually have better insurance than the driver. Unfortunately, it also means dealing with a large trucking company and experienced insurance company. We will protect you against the trucking company and its insurer.
How Can I Prove UPS or FedEx Is Liable for the Accident?
First, we must prove the driver was negligent. This might involve establishing:
- The driver violated hours of service laws. Drivers can only drive a certain number of hours at a time. If the driver was fatigued when he caused the accident, we can obtain his logbooks to determine how long he had been behind the wheel.
- The driver was texting behind the wheel. It is illegal for truck drivers to text while driving. If the driver was texting or talking on the phone, we will subpoena the driver’s phone records to prove it.
- The driver was acting recklessly (e.g., speeding, swerving, etc.)
What if UPS or FedEx Claims the Driver is an Independent Contractor?
This is a common tactic UPS and FedEx use to absolve themselves of liability. The trucking company will claim that the driver was not an employee, but rather an independent contractor. As such, the driver himself, not the company, is responsible for the accident costs.
We will look into the driver’s personnel file and determine whether the driver is an employee or independent contractor.
What if Another Party is to Blame for the Accident with a FedEx Truck?
Depending on the factors of the accident, another party may have caused or contributed to the accident. These liable parties might include:
- Another driver: If another driver behaved negligently, we can prove that driver’s negligence and recover compensation from his insurance company.
- A manufacturer: If the accident resulted from a defective truck part, we can hold the manufacturer liable.
- A mechanic: If poor maintenance caused the accident, we might be able to hold the mechanic liable. UPS or FedEx might still be liable if the accident resulted from a lack of maintenance.
- A shipping company: If unsecured or poorly loaded cargo contributed to the accident, the shipper or cargo loader might be liable.
Proving who is at fault is hard and time-consuming. There are many things to handle and investigate when proving liability for the accident with a UPS or FedEx truck. You do not need to handle this on your own. A truck accident lawyer can help you. Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. to discuss your FedEx or UPS truck accident today: 404-474-0804.