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Who Pays When Delivery Trucks Cause Injuries?

January 17, 2019

Who Pays When Delivery Trucks Cause Injuries in Alabama?

As home delivery services like Amazon and Shipt increase in popularity, our roads are becoming more congested with delivery trucks. Often, the drivers of these trucks work under tight deadlines and intense pressure from their employers. These factors inevitably lead to aggressive driving, distraction, and crashes. And while most delivery trucks aren’t quite as heavy as an 18-wheeled semi-truck, they’re still massive vehicles that can cause devastating injuries in a collision.

If you’ve been injured by a delivery truck in Alabama, you’re probably wondering what your legal options are and who will pay for the medical bills and other costs you’re facing. In this article, we’ll talk about who pays for delivery truck injuries and explain what you can do if you’ve been hurt.

Common Factors That Lead to Delivery Truck Crashes Include Speeding and Fatigued Driving

Delivery truck wrecks are often the result of negligent driver behavior. Because of the increased demand for drivers in recent years, many delivery companies are hiring increasingly inexperienced drivers who don’t know how to operate a delivery truck safely. And even experienced drivers can cause wrecks when they drive aggressively due to pressure from their employer to meet unreasonable deadlines.

Driver behaviors that commonly tend to cause delivery truck crashes include:

  • Speeding
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Failing to yield
  • Double parking
  • Passing an address and trying to back up or pull a U-turn instead of going around the block
  • Driving the wrong way down one-way streets
  • Backing up unsafely
  • Failing to engage the parking brake or put the vehicle into park while making a delivery
  • Drinking or using drugs on the job
  • Driving while dangerously fatigued

Delivery truck crashes can also happen because of factors outside the driver’s control — like defective truck parts or poor truck maintenance practices.

Is the Delivery Company Liable for My Injuries?

The law says that the companies who employ delivery truck drivers are generally responsible for traffic crashes caused by their employees, provided the driver’s negligent behavior was unintentional and occurred within the scope of the driver’s employment.

“Within the scope of employment” can be a tricky thing to establish in court, however. Delivery services and the companies that insure them know this, and they sometimes try to defend themselves against liability by arguing that the driver wasn’t acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the wreck.

Whether it’s possible for the insurance company to successfully argue that the driver wasn’t acting within the scope of their employment depends on factors that are unique to each delivery truck crash case. Some of the factors that courts often look at to determine whether a driver was acting within the scope of their employment include:

  • The driver’s intent
  • The time and place of the wreck
  • The amount of freedom the driver had to perform their duties as they saw fit

The delivery company and their insurer may also try to argue the driver was an independent contractor, which would mean the company isn’t liable for their actions. Again, whether this defense is viable depends on factors unique to the case, including the driver’s control over their work schedule and methods.

In general, though, if the delivery driver who hit and injured you was driving a company-owned truck and making deliveries at the time of the crash, it’s very likely that you and your attorney can hold the delivery company liable for your injuries. The delivery company is also probably liable for your injuries if the crash occurred because of the company’s own negligence — for example, if the truck’s brakes failed because the company cut corners on inspections and maintenance.

However, you can expect that the insurance company representing the delivery driver and their employer will try to defend themselves in any way possible. And delivery truck claims are often complex and may involve third parties. For example, if it turns out the truck’s brakes failed because they contained a manufacturing defect and the truck company had no idea, you may have a claim against the auto parts manufacturer who made the brakes.

Figuring out who is liable and how to create the strongest claim after a delivery truck crash requires experience, resources, and plenty of painstaking investigation. That’s why you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away if you’ve been injured in a wreck with a commercial vehicle.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Injured Victims of Negligence in Alabama

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a collision with a delivery truck in Alabama, the team at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys is here to help. To schedule your free consultation and get advice from an experienced attorney at any of our conveniently located offices, please call 251-888-8888 or complete our quick and easy online contact form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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