Online shopping is more popular than ever. During the height of the pandemic, e-commerce websites shipped countless packages across the country. Even while many Americans were ordered to stay home, FedEx, Amazon, and UPS workers were busy delivering. Unfortunately, the rise in commercial delivery traffic has also led to an increase in accidents involving commercial delivery vehicles. These accidents are often serious and can be both physically and financially devastating.
Here is what you need to know about delivery vehicle crashes in California.
The Causes of Delivery Vehicle Crashes
Anyone who drives for a company like FedEx or Amazon has to have a commercial driver’s license. Getting a commercial driver’s license can be painstaking. While California’s licensing system ensures that most commercial drivers are well-trained professionals, they can—and often do—make mistakes. Delivery drivers are, after all, under tremendous pressure: they have to deliver hundreds of packages every day. If they get behind schedule looking for an address or make a simple mistake, they could lose their chance at a pay raise or promotion.
This sort of pressure can cause anyone to act recklessly. And when you are driving distracted—because of pressure, a navigational aid, or a bad day at work—you are not driving safely.
Delivery vehicle accidents can be caused by:
- Distracted driving, such as when a driver is on their cell phone or using an onboard computer to search for an address
- Sleep-deprived driving
- Improper training
- Failure to yield, or failure to recognize or adhere to traffic control signals
- Poor parking decisions
- Aggressive driving
Liability in Delivery Van Accidents
If you were hurt by a negligent van driver, you will need money for your financial and physical recovery. You may have already considered filing a personal injury claim, especially if your insurance company is not willing to give you the money you need.
However, you cannot maximize your recovery if you do not know who to blame for an accident. While your first instinct may be to sue the driver, you may have to broaden your scope.
Even though an at-fault driver is almost always named as a defendant in a personal injury complaint, their employer could be to blame, too. The driver’s boss may have pressured them into working long hours or neglected federal and state safety-review mandates.
A vehicle or parts manufacturer could be responsible for your injuries, too, if their product’s poor design or outright failure contributed to the accident.
Any accident involving a commercial vehicle has the potential to cause serious harm, and even be deadly. A collision with a large Amazon van or FedEx truck could lead to:
- Head and neck injuries that take weeks, months, or even years to recover from
- Spinal cord injuries, including fractures and compressed or displaced vertebrae
- Fractured bones, especially in the wrist, legs, or ribcage
- Psychological trauma, including PTSD and prolonged emotional pain and suffering
What to Do After a Commercial Vehicle Crash
Your first priority should always be your own safety: you should always seek immediate medical attention after any sort of crash, even if you do not believe you were injured. A physician can help identify injuries you did not know you had. Furthermore, visiting the doctor shows insurers and delivery companies that you are concerned about your health and have genuine concerns that need to be addressed.
Once you have reviewed your health, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. California has a special statute of limitations on automobile-related claims: if you wait too long to take action, a court might dismiss your lawsuit outright, even if it is obvious that a van driver or e-commerce company was responsible for your injuries.
Your Compensation After an Accident
California does not have any limit on personal injury claims stemming from automobile accidents. Before presenting your claim to an insurer or taking your complaint to court, your personal injury attorney will help you calculate the extent of your physical and financial damages. These may include hospital bills, compensation for lost income during recovery, and payments for emotional pain and suffering.
In all likelihood, your insurance company—as well as the van driver and their employer—will do whatever they can to decrease their own financial liability, even if it means taking money out of your pocket.
A commercial truck crash attorney knows how to deal with bad-faith negotiators. We can help you get a better settlement from an insurance company—and if that does not work, we know what evidence to gather to show a judge compelling evidence of your injuries.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one was hurt in a California delivery vehicle crash, contact Case Barnett Law online today.