Delivery Truck Accident
Car accidents don’t just involve personal vehicles. Work vehicles can also become involved in accidents, and when that work vehicle is a large delivery truck, it can cause serious injuries to its victims. Large, heavy vehicles have more momentum, which causes more force in a collision, and can result in more serious injuries than accidents involving smaller, lighter vehicles. And when a delivery or rideshare service becomes involved in the claims process, the legal questions surrounding a delivery truck accident can become complicated.
If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident involving a delivery truck, you probably have many questions about your legal rights. Who is responsible for causing the accident? Who should compensate you for your injuries? How do you file a claim for compensation? How long do you have to file a claim? By hiring an experienced truck accident attorney, you can be sure that you are getting the right answers to these questions, and that your claim is being handled correctly. You need an experienced attorney fighting for your right to fair compensation.Who is at Fault for a Delivery Truck Accident?
Employers are legally responsible (“liable”) for negligence their employees commit while acting in the scope and course of their employment. As a result, the delivery service can be held liable for injuries sustained in an accident caused by its delivery driver. This is why it is important to identify the delivery service at the scene of the accident. If law enforcement officers respond to the scene, they will facilitate the exchange of insurance information. If they do not respond, it is important to at least know the name of the delivery service involved (such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, etc.), so that your attorney can later help you file a claim against the company.
In some cases, an employer’s actions can actually increase the chances that a delivery driver will have an accident. Many delivery services are offering delivery on deadlines that are becoming faster and faster. In many cases, an online purchase can be delivered to your door within hours. This convenience for customers is also a pressure point for employers. Many drivers receive pressure from their employers to perform their work more quickly than ever. This can lead to improperly secured cargo, inadequately trained drivers, and unsafe driving habits. When an employer’s actions encourage such behavior from its drivers, the case against the delivery service becomes even stronger.What About Ubers, Lyfts, Task Rabbit, Door Dash, and Other Delivery Apps?
With the rise of online delivery apps, many new delivery services are appearing throughout Georgia. These companies, too, can be responsible for negligent driving committed by their delivery drivers. Many of these drivers are classified as independent contractors. This can protect a company from being held liable for the drivers’ negligence. But in some situations, a company can still be held liable for the negligence of an independent contractor. Section 51-2-5 of the Official Code of Georgia lists six specific circumstances in which an employer is liable for the acts of a contractor:
- When the work is wrongful in itself or, if done in an ordinary manner, would result in a nuisance;
- If, according to the employer's previous knowledge and experience, the work to be done is in its nature dangerous to others however carefully performed;
- If the wrongful act is the violation of a duty imposed by express contract upon the employer;
- If the wrongful act is the violation of a duty imposed by statute;
- If the employer retains the right to direct or control the time and manner of executing the work or interferes and assumes control so as to create the relation of master and servant or so that an injury results which is traceable to his interference; or
- If the employer ratifies the unauthorized wrong of the independent contractor.
In some cases, the company is not just vicariously liable for the negligence of its independent contractor but is negligent through its own actions. Consider the company that hires an independent contractor with multiple DUIs, traffic tickets, or a poor driving record as a delivery driver. This is negligence on the part of the company itself - not the driver. In addition to negligent hiring, the company could also be liable for negligent supervision or retention of a bad driver. If, for example, an Uber driver has several accidents, but is still allowed to work as an independent contractor, Uber could be found negligent for allowing the driver to continue working for them. These are just two of many ways in which a delivery or driving service could be liable for its own actions, and not vicariously liable for the negligence of its driver.
As delivery apps continue to grow and expand, the question of liability for independent contractor driver is beginning to arrive in courts across the country. In many areas, this is an issue that is still unclear. This is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney advising you on a case involving an Uber, Lyft, or another delivery service. He or she will be able to effectively handle these new questions of law to ensure that your right to compensation is not lost in a legal loophole.The Right Choice for Your Auto Accident Injury Claim
Delivery and ride-sharing services are presenting new questions of law that could affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries. Don’t let the insurance company unfairly deny you compensation - let an experienced auto accident attorney fight for your legal rights. At Slappey & Sadd, our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys have decades of experience in handling many types of auto accident claims. Let our Georgia car accident lawyers can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call 404.255.6677 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today. Don’t delay - you have limited time in which to file your personal injury claim. Trust our attorneys and staff to ensure your claim is handled timely and properly.