Car accidents are never easy to deal with, especially if you’ve been involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle. Aside from damage to your vehicle and possible injuries, there will likely be other obstacles to overcome when dealing with a commercial insurance policy.
With the holiday season upon us, there is an abundance of delivery vehicles on the road. Crashes with delivery vehicles like Amazon, DSL, UPS, and FedEx are on the rise as more inexperienced delivery drivers take to the streets.
So, what should you do if you’re involved in an accident with a delivery truck?
What Are Common Causes Of Delivery Truck Accidents?
Delivery truck accidents can happen for a number of different reasons. If you or your vehicle was struck by a delivery truck, some causes for the accident could include:
- Driver Fatigue: Long hours on the road can lead to exhaustion, impairing a driver’s focus and reaction time.
- Distracted Driving: Distractions such as texting, adjusting navigation systems, or eating while driving can contribute to accidents.
- Vehicle Maintenance Issues: Poorly maintained delivery vehicles may experience mechanical failures, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Overloaded Trucks: Exceeding weight limits can impact a vehicle’s stability and braking capabilities.
- Inadequate Training: Insufficient training for delivery drivers may lead to errors in judgment and handling of the vehicle.
Although commercial truck drivers must adhere to certain laws regarding the operation of their vehicle, these rules may not apply to delivery drivers. The lack of regulations for delivery vehicles could lead to potentially fatal accidents.
What To Do After An Accident With A Delivery Truck
If you’ve been involved in a delivery truck accident, follow the same procedures in a crash involving another passenger vehicle. Here’s what you should do:
- Check for injuries: Before anything else, check yourself and your passengers for any injuries.
- Call 911 to report the crash: Inform the police of the accident location and if there are any injuries on the scene. The police will help to tend to any injured parties and file a police report of the incident on your behalf.
- Get the driver’s information: Collect the delivery driver’s name, employer, the vehicle’s license plate, and their insurance information.
- Document the scene: Take photos of the scene to help strengthen your claim. Be sure to take photos of any damages to yourself, passengers, your car, and the surrounding areas.
- Seek medical treatment: Even if you feel well, it is important to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible after the accident. Injuries that may not present themselves at the time of the accident can worsen after the adrenaline of the collision dies down.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: Before speaking to the insurance companies, talk to a personal injury lawyer who has experience working with car accident victims. An attorney will be able to review your case and protect you from making any mistakes that could jeopardize your compensation amount.
Was The Driver An Employee, Contractor or Gig Worker?
Not only is a delivery truck accident case complex in regards to dealing with the commercial vehicle insurance policies, but determining whether or not the driver was employed directly under the delivery company or not could provide additional obstacles.
- Employee: If the driver is a full-time or part-time employee of the delivery company, the company is typically responsible for the damages incurred.
- Contracted Delivery Partners: Third-party delivery partners may have their own insurance policies, which would require you to file an insurance claim through their respective policies.
- Gig Worker: Some delivery companies may opt to hire independent gig workers, whose insurance coverage may vary. In the event of a collision with a gig worker, an insurance claim typically cannot be filed with their own personal auto insurance.
Establishing the driver’s status can be crucial in how to proceed when filing an insurance claim for damages.
Filing A Claim For A Delivery Truck Accident
If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of an accident with a delivery vehicle, you may be unsure of how to proceed when filing a claim. If the driver who struck you was not a direct employee of the delivery company, you may be presented with a new set of obstacles in regards to securing compensation for your damages.
Under New York State law, truck accident victims are entitled to seek compensation via an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Delivery companies and third-party partners will likely carry commercial liability insurance policies, but filing a claim with a commercial insurance company is hardly ever easy. Big insurance companies are notorious for using all of the tricks in the book to deny claims and offer low settlements to victims.
As explained above, gig workers may present a different set of obstacles. If a driver is in an accident while on the clock, his or her personal insurance likely will not cover any of the expenses related to the accident. Most gig drivers are required to carry a commercial insurance policy, which they can obtain through their insurance company or the company that contracted them for work. If the gig worker is found to be at-fault without proper insurance, you may need to turn to your own SUM coverage to pay for the damages incurred.
In either situation, it’s best to contact a trusted personal injury attorney for guidance on how to proceed with filing a claim for compensation.
Injured In A Delivery Truck Accident? Call Cellino
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, figuring out the next steps to take can be challenging. Understanding your legal options is important when it comes to seeking compensation for your losses. That’s why at Cellino Law, your legal consultation is always free.
Our compassionate and experienced truck accident attorneys will assess your claim, offer legal guidance, and answer your questions every step of the way. To speak to one of our truck accident attorneys, call us any time at 888-888-8888 or complete an online form.
Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.
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