What Do You Need to Know about Delivery Driver Accidents?
Accidents with a delivery driver can quickly become complicated. Does the driver’s company share liability with the driver? Can the fact that a driver on the clock caused your accident increase the compensation you may receive for your injuries? If you suffered injuries in an accident with a delivery driver, an attorney can help you get a better idea of the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Delivery Driver Accidents
Delivery drivers often spend a lot of time on the road each day. Increasingly, with more restaurants and stores offering delivery options, more delivery drivers fill the roads, and they may have longer shifts and greater distractions. Delivery drivers may cause accidents for a variety of reasons.
Distraction while looking for the delivery location.
Many delivery drivers use GPS devices to help them navigate unfamiliar roads, especially in private neighborhoods. Unfortunately, those drivers may take their attention off of the road to consult a GPS device. Worse, even with the GPS on, drivers may have trouble finding the location they need, causing them to drive erratically, making a last-minute turn, and more.
Long hours on the road can substantially increase the risk of serious accidents. Unfortunately, delivery drivers often find themselves pressured to keep driving even when tired, including working late in an effort to get through all the business’s deliveries for the day.
Aggressive driving behaviors.
Often, delivery drivers face tight deadlines, either because they need to make it to the delivery location before a specified time or because they need to complete a high number of deliveries in a limited period of time. Unfortunately, this can lead to a range of aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding or cutting off other drivers, which may increase accident risk.
Determining Liability in an Accident Involving a Delivery Driver
If you have an accident with a delivery driver out on a delivery or on the way back to the business after completing a delivery–that is, the delivery driver is on the clock at the time of the accident–and the driver bears fault for the accident, most often, the company’s liability insurance policy will kick in and provide compensation for the damage to your vehicle and the cost of your injuries. On the other hand, if you have an accident with a delivery driver off the clock, even if the delivery driver is still in uniform and/or driving a marked company vehicle, the delivery driver’s auto insurance may kick in to provide compensation for the accident.
Liability in an accident involving a delivery driver is also determined in much the same way as liability for any other accident. In order to bear liability for the accident, the delivery driver must commit an act of negligence that causes the accident, including aggressive driving, ignoring traffic signals, or distraction. An attorney can help investigate the circumstances that led to the accident, evaluate the cause or causes of the accident, and give you a better idea of how much compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Keep in mind that insurance companies may try to deny liability in a delivery driver accident. Sometimes, it may prove difficult to determine whether a delivery driver was on or off the clock at the time of the accident, especially if the driver was heading home at the end of a work day. An attorney can help navigate the dispute, establish liability, and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do After an Accident Involving a Delivery Driver?
If a delivery driver causes an accident that results in significant damage to your vehicle or injury, taking the right steps can help protect you. You should:
Call 911 to report the accident.
The delivery driver may try to convince you not to call 911. He has deliveries to make, after all. An accident on his work record could result in disciplinary action or, in some cases, termination. You should always, however, call 911 and report the accident, even if you feel sorry for the delivery driver. Failure to report the accident could make it difficult for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Give the police an accurate picture of what happened to cause the accident. Do not accept liability or deny the delivery driver’s actions.
You may want to photograph the damage to your vehicle, the position of the two vehicles after the accident, and any injuries you suffered. Photographic evidence often makes it much easier to prove liability after a serious accident, and taking pictures can make it easier for you to show the evidence you need.
Have a doctor evaluate your injuries.
If you have serious injuries from your accident, you may receive ambulance transport away from the scene. If you have more minor injuries, however, you may need to seek medical care on your own. Do not put off needed medical care after any type of car accident, even if you believe that you did not suffer serious injuries. Many people suffer more serious injuries, including broken bones and even traumatic brain injury, without realizing it immediately. Failure to seek medical care could both worsen your injuries and make it difficult for you to seek compensation.
Get copies or take pictures of all relevant paperwork.
Make sure you have a copy of the driver’s license, insurance information related to both the driver’s personal insurance policy and the company’s insurance policy, and the company the driver works for. Knowing the company that employs the driver can make it easier for you to pursue compensation.
Contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about the compensation you deserve.
Filing a personal injury claim against a delivery driver may prove more difficult than filing a personal injury claim against a private driver, especially if your accident resulted in serious injuries. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, negotiate with the insurance company, and even fight for you if your claim needs to go to court.
Did you suffer serious injuries in an accident with a delivery driver? Gina Corena & Associates can help. Contact us today at 702-680-1111 for a free consultation.