Delivery is a crucial part of our everyday lives, especially here in car-dependent Phoenix. Whether it’s bringing goods to stores or it’s just FedEx or Amazon delivering a package, there are more delivery vehicles on our roads than ever.
The injury attorneys at Thompson Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients injured in delivery vehicle accidents. Our offices are conveniently located in Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call. You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.
By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people.
What’s the Difference Between a Commercial Vehicle and a Delivery Vehicle?
When generically talking about commercial vehicles versus delivery vehicles, there is no real difference. A commercial vehicle carries cargo for a company. However, for the purposes of discussing car accidents, a commercial vehicle refers a large vehicle, like a semi-truck, an 18-wheeler, or a tank truck. In other words, vehicles that are much larger and heavier than a passenger vehicle. Delivery vehicles are smaller trucks and minivans that make deliveries in neighborhoods, like the ones from UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and other delivery or service vans.
While these are larger and heavier than normal passenger cars, they are nowhere near as large or heavy as the commercial vehicles you think of on the highway. For comparison, a commercial vehicle weighs more than 30,000 pounds, while a delivery vehicle will generally weigh anywhere between 8,500 and 12,000 pounds. Standard passenger vehicles usually weigh around 4,000 pounds.
What Causes Delivery Truck Accidents?
- Driver Error/ Recklessness: When making deliveries, the delivery truck driver must stop often, which may inconvenience drivers behind them. These drivers may get irritated and impatient, and may drive dangerously in some way.
- Bad Weather: A slippery road will make it difficult for a car to stop. Rain and snow can cause a car to hydroplane and skid. This is amplified with delivery trucks because they are often heavier and bigger than passenger cars.
- Distracted Driving: Because delivery truck drivers drive for long periods of time, they might search for entertainment. This may tempt many drivers to text, turn on a podcast, or otherwise look away from the road. Additionally, since many drivers don’t take breaks, the simple act of eating may cause them to take their eyes off the road and lose concentration.
- Cargo: You might be wondering “What does cargo have to do with me?” In an ideal situation, it has nothing to do with you. However, cargo that is too heavy or improperly packed can cause a multitude of accidents. Not only can it spill out the back if the door is not latched correctly, it can also cause an imbalance of weight, which could lead to the truck tipping over or being unable to go up steep inclines. Any way you put it, if something is wrong with the cargo, it can lead to catastrophic accidents.
- Poor Training: Although companies have training programs for truck drivers, sometimes those programs aren’t followed. In the event of poor weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, or wind, the truck driver must be extra careful to go slower than the posted speed limit to avoid hydroplaning or skidding. If the driver isn’t trained for these weather conditions, they will likely cause an accident.
- Speeding: Sometimes, the unfortunate reality is that drivers may not make their deliveries on time. If the driver thinks that they will lose their job, or get a decrease in pay, if their delivery doesn’t make it on time, they will be more likely to speed.
- Maintenance: It’s routine for companies to require that each truck is inspected before it goes out on the road. However, due to time cuts, expenses, or other reasons, this doesn’t always happen. If a part breaks down in the middle of the drive, it can lead to accidents.
What Happens if a Delivery Truck Hits You?
- Pull over to the shoulder of the road, or into a parking lot or driveway.
- Call 911, even if you are unsure whether you are injured or not. The operator will send police and/ or an ambulance.
- Gather information from the other driver including name, license plate number, company they work for, and other insurance information. Collect the names and contact information of eyewitnesses if possible.
- Give a report to the police. Be as detailed and thorough as possible. Record the police officer’s name and badge number.
- Go to a hospital to make sure you aren’t injured, even if you don’t feel any pain.
- File a claim with your insurance company.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. Because of the nature of trucking accidents, as well as some confusion with which parties are liable, it is important to get a personal injury attorney right away. They will help you prepare next steps.
Who Is Liable in a Delivery Truck Accident?
In many other cases, it is clear who is liable for an accident. In the case of a delivery vehicle accident, however, it can be much less straightforward. Of course, the truck driver may be liable, particularly if they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The company (carrier) may also be held liable if they have not trained the driver correctly, allowed the truck to drive without inspection, or required deliveries in an impossible time frame.
In addition to those two obvious parties, other people/ companies that may be liable are:
- Manufacturer: If a truck gets into an accident because of a malfunctioning part, the manufacturer of that part may be held liable.
- Cargo: If the owner of the cargo is different from the carrier, then the owner of the cargo may be held liable, particularly if the cargo caused or worsened the accident in some way.
Resources Near You in Phoenix
If you have been in a delivery vehicle accident and need to have your car repaired, here are some mechanics who can help.
Phoenix Best Mobile Mechanic
Auto Repair 2 You
Action Auto Repair