People increasingly make use of delivery vehicles to get food and other items to their homes or offices. However, delivery vehicle drivers do get into accidents, and some of these crashes may result in injuries with lasting consequences. If you are hurt in a delivery vehicle accident, you should retain an experienced California truck accident attorney who can explore all of the options to seek the greatest possible recovery. Travis G. Black is an experienced attorney who has previously worked as an insurance adjuster and understands how insurers think. He can put his insights to work for you.
Bringing a Claim Based on a Delivery Vehicle Accident
Often, delivery drivers are rushing to get to their destination, and they may be sloppy in their driving or distracted. Delivery vehicle accidents may result in devastating injuries. It is important to realize that a company that delivers is likely to have greater resources than you and will likely have knowledgeable legal counsel to defend it against claims. Accordingly, if you have a claim, you should also secure the advice and representation of a truck accident attorney.
Many delivery vehicle accidents are caused by a delivery driver’s negligence. To establish a delivery driver’s negligence, a plaintiff will need to show that the driver owed a duty to use reasonable care, which they failed to meet and thereby caused the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, a delivery truck driver who is responding to texts from their employer may be distracted from sudden events occurring on the road or may run a red light or stop sign. In such cases, it is likely that a jury will find the driver negligent.
A delivery driver’s employer may also bear responsibility. An employer may be vicariously liable for an employee’s negligence in the course and scope of employment in California. In other words, you may recover damages from the delivery driver’s employer if the driver was on the clock or doing something to benefit the employer. However, if the delivery driver was off duty or running a personal errand when the accident occurred, you may not be able to hold the employer liable.
In some cases, you may also hold the driver’s employer directly liable for negligent hiring, supervision, or training. Generally, employers should be careful about whom they hire and whom they entrust with trucks or other vehicles. A background check may turn up red flags, such as DUIs or terminations for cause. An employer that fails to conduct a background check on a delivery driver who goes on to drive drunk may be held liable for negligent hiring.
Trucking companies owe numerous responsibilities by law to make sure that the drivers whom they allow to operate heavy commercial trucks follow detailed regulations. Among other things, drivers are supposed to keep logbooks with their hours of service, conduct routine maintenance before each drive, and stay off prescription drugs and alcohol while driving. In some cases, a trucking company may be negligent per se for failing to ensure that a truck driver is following rules or for encouraging drivers to disobey the law in the interests of efficiency and profit.