Accidents on the roadway are always a cause for concern. When you are involved in an accident, you risk suffering a severe injury. Unfortunately, when an accident consists of a delivery truck, the injuries are likely to be more serious than if you were involved in an accident with another car.
Delivery vehicles are standard on our roadways. After all, a recent report shows that nearly 62 percent of consumers shop online every month. Someone has to be responsible for delivering those products to consumers, and often, that means a UPS truck.
While this is good news for UPS and the economy as a whole, it may mean that those of us who share the roads with these drivers are at greater risk of an accident with a UPS truck.
UPS Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 130,000 UPS vehicles are registered across the United States. They also report that more than 2,000 crashes involved a UPS truck, which means more drivers than ever need to know the process when a UPS truck is involved in an accident.
Steps to Take Immediately After a UPS Truck Accident
Safety must be a priority when involved in any roadway accident. If you can do so safely, move your vehicle to the side of the road so you are not risking additional damage to your vehicle and more severe injuries.
Once you have done this:
- Call emergency services – whether you dial 911 or your local law enforcement agency, make sure you notify them about the accident. Advise them if anyone is injured so they may dispatch a medical team.
- Exchange of information – you and any drivers involved in the accident should exchange contact information, license and registration numbers, and insurance information. Obtain contact information of any witnesses or bystanders as well.
- Photograph and document – if you are physically able to do so safely, photograph the scene of the accident. Ideally, you would collect photos or make notes of nearby traffic signals, road conditions, and damage to the involved vehicles.
- Addressing accidents with law enforcement – provide law enforcement with the basic information about the accident when they request it. However, make sure you use caution when discussing an accident. Avoid saying anything that indicates partial fault for the crash, including apologizing to the driver.
- Seek medical attention – this is very important. Some accident victims think they need not seek medical care because they cannot see any immediate signs of an injury. This is a serious mistake because some injuries may not immediately appear, such as traumatic brain injury, soft tissue injuries, and internal injuries.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer – once you have been treated and are in a safe location, contact a truck accident lawyer to find out your legal rights. This is an essential step because UPS accident claims can be complicated.
Whether you are a UPS driver, a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident with a UPS truck, or a driver of another vehicle, getting legal advice is necessary. The best thing to do is work with an attorney before filing an insurance claim.
UPS Truck Accidents and Liability
Before filing a UPS accident injury claim, you will have to determine which party or parties were liable for the injury you suffered. This requires an investigation of the accident. When you obtain a copy of a crash report, there is likely some indication of fault for the accident.
Liability can accrue to:
- UPS drivers – every driver is responsible for maintaining control of their vehicle. A UPS driver, like all drivers, assumes that responsibility when they get behind the wheel. If the accident is their fault, they are liable for the financial losses you face after an accident.
- UPS as a company – commercial vehicles must follow specific rules about working hours and maintenance. They must also use good judgment when hiring drivers. Any violation of these standards could mean the company is entirely or partially liable for your losses.
- Another driver – a UPS driver may not have been responsible for the accident. Drivers who are distracted, tailgating, or impaired may have forced the UPS driver to take defensive actions to protect themselves. In that case, that driver would be liable.
It is never a good idea to assume the UPS driver is at fault, even when you know you are not at fault. Other conditions, such as defective brakes, mechanical failure, or a tire defect, may contribute to the accident. When you have a consultation with a truck accident attorney, you can explain the accident from your perspective, but there will still have to be a thorough investigation.
Filing Insurance Claims After a UPS Truck Accident
Most of us believe that the insurance claim process would be simple if we were not at fault for an accident. You submit your claim; they pay the bill. This is not what happens with any accident claim. Every claim an insurance company pays means they lower their profit margins, and therefore, they have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible.
In the case of a UPS accident, the insurance company may deny liability, therefore denying your claim. In some cases, they do this expecting that you will miss a chance to appeal, meaning they do not have to pay anything.
This is why working with an attorney is a must after an accident with a UPS truck. Your lawyer will know which insurance company to contact. They will make it clear you are not going away without fair compensation and are willing to sue to recover the inevitable financial losses after a UPS truck accident.
An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
When you have suffered an injury in an accident involving a UPS truck, you need an experienced lawyer who can help you through the claims process. You want to work with someone who is not intimidated by a big-name company and the attorneys they keep on retainer to help them minimize their liability. You have legal rights, and you can protect those rights by scheduling a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer.