St. Louis Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers
Every day, delivery trucks, such as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon vehicles, travel across cities to ensure packages arrive at their destination on time. The rural streets and major highways in the United States are flooded with many different types of delivery trucks.
Some drivers are in a rush to stay ahead of incredibly tight schedules, while others are unqualified to drive that type of vehicle, to begin with. As more and more consumers order products online, more of these delivery trucks are taking to our streets, increasing the risk of getting into an accident with one of these fast-moving vehicles.
According to a report from the World Economic Forum, there will be 36% more delivery trucks on inner-city roads by 2030, delivering 78% more packages.
If you’ve been injured do the recklessness of a delivery truck, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. The St. Louis delivery truck accident lawyers from OnderLaw, LLC have the experience and resources to ensure you receive the maximum financial award to cover your losses.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact our award-winning attorneys today to discuss your case and your legal options. Call (314) 963-9000. We’re ready to help.
Major Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents in St. Louis
While a range of contributing factors can lead to a delivery truck accident, two of the main risk factors include the hiring of inexperienced truck drivers and the tight delivery deadlines that are placed upon these truck drivers.
Shoppers in the U.S. are increasingly buying products online, while retailers, such as Amazon, remain competitive by shipping their products within increasingly shorter timeframes. What this means, in effect, is that the delivery truck drivers face growing pressure to make their deliveries on time, sometimes down to the minute.
As more drivers are needed to meet this demand, more companies are hiring inexperienced drivers to fill in the gaps, and are often providing insufficient training themselves.
Some of the specific factors that could lead these delivery truck drivers to cause an accident include speeding, aggressive driving, and fatigue. Many of these drivers spend a long time on the road to ensure they deliver products to their destination on time. Others might turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the stress and physical demands of their job and get behind the wheel impaired.
In addition, external factors, such as adverse weather, traffic congestion, and poor road conditions, can result in hazards, especially given the fact that these drivers are often rushing. Maintenance issues may also lead to truck accidents, due to the pressure to keep delivery vehicles on the road to make deadlines.
Who’s Responsible: The Driver or Delivery Company?
After you get into an accident with a delivery truck, you might wonder who was to blame. The first step in determining fault is to investigate the cause of the crash. Our St. Louis delivery truck accident lawyers will open an investigation into the driver, their employer, and factors related to the accident.
Whether the driver or their employer is responsible for your injuries, you’re going to have to find proof. It’s difficult proving fault in an accident if you don’t understand what an insurance adjuster or jury looks for when reviewing the facts of a case.
To pursue a case for financial compensation, you must prove negligence with the following factors:
- Either the driver or delivery company owed you a duty;
- That party breached their duty;
- You suffered losses as a result of the accident; and
- Your losses were a direct result of the driver or delivery company’s breach.
Our attorneys will meticulously gather and review evidence to determine fault in your case. Keep in mind that while the truck driver may be held responsible for reckless driving, their employer may be held responsible, if they played a part in your accident. For example, they may be liable if they improperly hired an inexperienced driver, failed to train their driver properly, or failed to keep up with vehicle maintenance.
What Should I Do if I Get Injured in a Delivery Truck Accident?
The steps you take after a crash could determine whether or not you win your case. There are important details you need to gather and evidence to preserve after an accident to ensure that you have solid proof of fault and injury.
If you get into an accident with a delivery truck and sustain any type of injury, you should do the following:
- Call 911. Report the accident to law enforcement and request an ambulance, if necessary. The police will write a report on the accident, which will provide evidence for your case.
- Take photos. If you’re able to move around, take pictures of the accident scene.
- Speak to witnesses. Get contact information from witnesses to the crash.
- Go to the doctor. Seek medical attention immediately after the truck wreck.
- Hire a St. Louis delivery truck accident lawyer
Insurance companies will try to blame you for the accident or provide a stingy settlement offer. Evidence is crucial in any personal injury case, and the more information you can find about the cause of the crash, the better. There’s no such thing as irrelevant information. Even the smallest detail can help you build a strong case.
Regulations in Place to Prevent Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacts and enforces regulations to ensure truck drivers and other motorists are safe. These rules aim to reduce the number of crashes that occur, and anyone who breaks them can be held financially responsible for damages.
Delivery truck drivers are allowed to drive for no more than eleven hours after ten hours off duty. They also can’t remain on duty for more than fourteen consecutive hours. Drivers can’t spend more than sixty or seventy hours on the road after a seven or eight-day period, respectively. If they’re going to drive more than eight hours in one shift, they must stop to take a thirty-minute break after the first eight hours.
Cell Phone Use
The FMCSA prohibits the use of cell phones when a truck driver is carrying hazardous materials. That includes both talking and texting.
Alcohol and Drug Tests
Federal law requires trucking companies to test prospective employees before hiring them. They also must perform random drug and alcohol testing during their employment and testing after any accidents occur. Employers are also allowed to test their drivers if there’s suspicion of drug or alcohol use on the job.
Loads and cargo are supposed to be secure, so they don’t fall off or out of the delivery truck. Inadequate loading can create a hazard on the roadways and injure other motorists.
Maintenance and Inspection
Drivers must perform a visual inspection of their vehicle to ensure there are no issues before they begin their driving shift. If there are defects, worn out parts, or damage, they have to report it to their employer and get it repaired promptly.
Can You Calculate How Much My Case Is Worth?
We can’t determine an exact amount, but we can estimate the value of your case by reviewing your total damages. Damages are the total losses an injured person incurs because of an accident. They get split into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include actual expenses, such as medical bills, while non-economic damages include losses that you can’t calculate, such as suffering.
You may be entitled to compensation such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Out of pocket expenses
There are some factors to consider when determining the compensation someone deserves after a delivery truck accident. Those include:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Time needed to recover
- If there’s a resulting permanent injury or disability
- Medical expenses from treatment of the injury
- Medications prescribed to aid in healing
- Physical or emotional suffering endured by the victim
- If surgery is necessary to repair the physical harm
- Insurance coverage available from the driver or delivery company
Additional factors that can affect your total compensation include whether or not you share any fault for the crash and the amount of relevant evidence you provide.
How Comparative Negligence May Affect Your Compensation
Missouri follows the comparative negligence rule when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. They use this rule to determine the amount of money an accident victim deserves based on their level of shared fault.
To calculate the maximum damages you can recover, a jury will determine your total damages and subtract your percentage of the blame. For example, if you incurred $100,000 in damages and a jury decides you’re 10% at fault, you’ll receive up to $90,000 at the most.
How Does Auto Liability Insurance Work?
All drivers must carry liability insurance that includes bodily injury and property damage limits. The responsible driver’s insurance coverage will be distributed to the victims of the accidents.
Let’s say the delivery truck driver holds liability insurance with $50,000 in bodily injury and $10,000 in property damage, that means you could recover up to $50,000 for your economic and non-economic damages. The $10,000 limit can go towards repairing or replacing your vehicle.
You’re not allowed to request a settlement higher than the available limits of liability. To receive additional financial compensation, you could file a claim with your insurance company. If you decided to purchase UM, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you could use the limits listed on your policy to pay for medical bills and other expenses related to your treatment.
The claims can be complex, especially when multiple responsible parties may be involved. However, a St. Louis delivery truck accident lawyer will handle each step for you. We can file the claim on your behalf, collect evidence, speak to witnesses, and negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a full and fair settlement.
What Should I Do if My Claim Gets Denied?
Just because the insurance carrier denies your claim doesn’t mean you lost your case. You can appeal their decision if you believe they arrived at their conclusion unfairly. You’re allowed to submit additional evidence you think might help you.
If an appeal doesn’t work, you could file a lawsuit against the insurance company and at-fault party.
In rare instances, when the act of wrongdoing was particularly egregious, you could sue the driver or delivery company for punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages punish the liable party and aim to prevent similar negligence from occurring again in the future.
To find out how OnderLaw, LLC can assist you with your delivery truck accident case, call us today for a free consultation. You can meet with us at no risk to discuss your crash and receive advice about how to recover compensation.
We believe you deserve to seek justice, and we’ll fight hard for you to make sure you win the money owed to you. You shouldn’t have to suffer alone. We’ll be there for you throughout your entire case. You can depend on us to give you excellent legal advice, guide you through the complicated legal process, and win the compensation you need to pay for your damages.
If you want to speak with an experienced St. Louis delivery truck accident lawyer, call us at (314) 963-9000.