United Parcel Service (UPS) is a logistics and global package delivery company based in the US. They operate in more than 200 countries and provide delivery services to approximately 12.7 million customers daily. In 2022, UPS delivered 6.2 billion packages, generating a total revenue of $100.3 billion.
As one of the largest fleets of commercial vehicles, UPS has had its fair share of truck accident cases. From May 2021 to May 2023, the FMCSA recorded at least 69 fatalities and 1021 injuries from UPS truck crashes.
Large truck accidents make up nine percent of all fatal crashes in the US. In 2021, 5,700 trucks were involved in fatal crashes, with more than 100,000 resulting in injuries.
You may pursue damages if you sustained injuries in a UPS truck crash. It’s advisable to seek the guidance of personal injury attorneys to know the best approach for your truck accident case. Law firms usually offer free initial consultations to potential clients. Moreover, having a lawyer increases your chances of recovering fair compensation and expediting the claims process.
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Common Causes of UPS Truck Crashes
Semi-truck accidents can lead to severe injuries and even death. Various factors contribute to these accidents, such as road hazards, operator error, and weather conditions.
Operator error is among the most common causes of truck accidents. It includes driving while fatigued, distracted driving, and speeding. Meanwhile, road hazards like debris and potholes can also lead to accidents. The same goes for inclement weather conditions like snow, rain, and hail storms.
Driver fatigue is a significant concern for truck drivers, as it can significantly affect their ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely.
Fatigue can slow a driver’s reaction time, making it challenging to react quickly to unexpected or sudden changes in road conditions. Additionally, fatigue causes poor driving judgment, as tired drivers are more likely to take risks or make bad decisions on the road.
Studies say people awake for 24 hours have comparable impairment to those having 0.10 percent blood alcohol content. Since the US’ drunk driving limit is 0.08 percent, drivers who have been awake for 24 hours are unfit to drive.
Distracted driving is another common cause of motor vehicle accidents, including truck crashes. It refers to activities that take an operator’s attention away from the road. Examples include eating, talking on a cell phone, texting, drinking, and adjusting the radio or navigation systems.
Suppose a delivery driver engages in these activities. They can become distracted and lose focus on the road and their surroundings. This state of mindlessness can cause inattentional blindness and reduced awareness.
Inattentional blindness happens when people fail to see objects or hazards in their surroundings as they focus on a different task. Meanwhile, reduced awareness can result in delayed reactions and an inability to make sound decisions, increasing the risk of accidents.
Speeding and other traffic infractions
Speeding is especially hazardous for UPS drivers due to the size and weight of their delivery trucks. When a delivery driver is speeding, they may have reduced control over their semi-truck and short stopping distance.
This situation is particularly hazardous when a driver needs to slow down or stop suddenly, such as when traffic abruptly halts. If not prevented, it may cause rear-end collisions.
In addition, speeding increases an accident’s force of impact. It can potentially result in severe injuries and property damage to the truck and other vehicles on the road.
Poor truck maintenance
Regular maintenance of commercial vehicles is vital for safe and efficient UPS delivery operations. Neglecting to maintain their trucks properly could lead to catastrophic accidents. Issues that can arise from poor maintenance include brake failure, tire blowout, and steering problems.
To address this issue, the FMCSA implements regulations requiring delivery companies to consistently inspect, repair, and maintain their commercial vehicles. These rules ensure UPS delivery trucks operate safely, with properly functioning tires, brakes, and other crucial components.
Examples of UPS Truck Accident Injuries
UPS truck crashes can result in injuries for those involved, including the truck driver and occupants of other vehicles in the collision. The severity of such injuries depends on various factors. They include the truck’s speed, location of impact, and whether the parties wore seatbelts during the incident.
Due to the size and weight of UPS delivery trucks, collisions involving these vehicles can be devastating. Accidents may result in serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation.
Head and brain injuries
Head and brain injuries are common in truck crashes and can range from mild to severe. Examples include concussions, skull fractures, and hematomas.
These injuries can occur when a truck’s occupants hit their heads on the steering wheel, dashboard, or other hard surfaces during the collision. In this case, victims may sustain skull fractures or brain contusions.
Meanwhile, suppose the truck driver is speeding and collides with another vehicle. The impact might cause the head to whip back and forth rapidly, leading to a concussion. This mild traumatic brain injury can sometimes develop into post-concussion syndrome, prolonging symptoms for weeks or months.
If the impact is severe enough, it may cause a hematoma or bleeding in the brain. If not treated promptly, complications include seizures, brain damage, or permanent disability.
Back and neck injuries
Back and neck injuries from truck crashes often result due to the forceful impact and sudden movements occupants may experience during a collision. Common examples include whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and herniated discs.
For instance, a truck hits a smaller vehicle. The smaller car’s occupants might jolt their heads forward and back suddenly. This experience may strain their neck muscles and ligaments, leading to whiplash injuries.
In more severe cases, truck crashes may cause spinal cord injuries. This type of injury can lead to paralysis and loss of sensation, especially below the point of injury. Another typical back injury is a herniated disc from the forceful compression of the spinal column.
Internal injuries are some of the most catastrophic and life-threatening injuries you can sustain in a truck accident. Victims in semi-truck accidents can sustain organ damage, internal bleeding, or abdominal injuries.
For instance, a crash may cause blunt trauma to the chest or abdomen. As a result, vehicle occupants may suffer from injuries, including broken ribs or damage to internal organs, like the liver or kidneys.
In addition, objects inside the cab or debris from the accident can penetrate the body, causing skin and internal organ lacerations.
Suppose the truck driver was speeding during the incident. The risk of internal bleeding increases due to the sheer force of the collision. Symptoms from these kinds of injuries may not appear immediately. Hence, seeking medical attention after an accident is crucial.
Auto accidents, especially those involving large trucks, can leave victims traumatized. The emotional distress associated with such accidents can manifest in many forms, including anxiety, PTSD, and depression.
Victims of truck accidents may experience anxiety in the form of fear or unease whenever their surroundings trigger memories of the incident. It may prevent them from driving again or at least for a particular time after the accident.
PTSD can cause people to feel frightened even when they are not in danger. Meanwhile, victims may also struggle with sadness, hopelessness, and lack of interest in daily activities. These emotional and psychological impacts can be long-lasting and require treatment.
Legal Remedies for a Truck Accident Case
To pursue a truck accident case, victims must establish negligence or a breach of duty. They must prove the truck driver or UPS’s actions directly caused their injuries. Neglect can include distracted driving, driver fatigue, speeding, or poor truck maintenance.
Persons involved in a truck crash can file a claim on their insurance policy to recover compensation. The first step is to identify the insurance companies involved. Usually, it includes the truck driver’s and the delivery company’s insurance.
Victims must provide detailed information about the incident, such as the following:
- Description of the accident
- Contact information for all parties involved
- Police report
- Medical records
- Proof of damages
Insurance companies will investigate the accident, determine the at-fault party, and propose a settlement offer to the victims.
Several types of insurance coverage may apply when it comes to truck accidents. They include liability and collision insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Liability insurance usually covers damages caused by the delivery truck driver, while collision insurance covers damages to the vehicle itself. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage applies if the liable driver does not have insurance or does not have enough to compensate the victim entirely.
Dealing with insurance companies can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is crucial to hire a UPS truck accident lawyer to help you navigate legal processes and ensure that you recover fair and maximum compensation.
Suppose the at-fault party’s insurance company unnecessarily delays or denies an accident victim’s claim. The victim may file a lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
The process involves filing a complaint with the court and serving the liable party with a copy of the complaint. The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond to the complaint.
At this time, the parties may engage in discovery, which involves gathering evidence and exchanging information. A judge and jury will offer their verdicts and determine whether the defendant is liable. Suppose the accident victim is successful in proving liability. The court or jury may award them damages to compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and other non-economic damages.
Who is at fault for a UPS delivery truck crash?
Delivery companies like FedEx or UPS sometimes avoid liability by classifying their delivery drivers as independent contractors. This situation can make it challenging for accident victims to hold UPS responsible for their driver’s actions.
Besides the courier company, several parties may be responsible for a delivery truck accident, including the driver, vehicle manufacturer, and cargo loaders.
Suppose the delivery driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident. They may be responsible for the victim’s injuries. This liability can apply even if the truck driver is an independent contractor.
Examples of driver negligence include the following:
- Violating traffic laws
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
When a delivery company, like UPS, is at fault for an accident, it may face different types of liability. It includes negligent entrustment, vicarious responsibility, and general negligence.
Negligent entrustment occurs when a trucking company provides equipment to a driver that they knew or should have known was unfit. For instance, a company knowingly hires an operator with a history of reckless driving. They could be liable for any accidents the driver caused.
Vicarious responsibility is a legal principle that holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions. Meaning UPS is liable for any damages if their driver causes an accident while on the job.
General negligence refers to the failure to use reasonable care which causes harm to others. It includes a wide range of actions, such as inadequate maintenance of the truck or improper training of drivers.
Besides the truck driver and UPS, other parties may be responsible for a UPS truck crash.
One possible party is another driver who acted negligently and caused the collision. Their negligent actions could include running a red light, speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Another party possibly liable is the truck manufacturer if a defect in the truck’s components caused or contributed to the incident. The defects include issues with the brakes, steering, or other mechanical systems.
The shipping company could also be at fault for the crash if they did not properly secure or load the cargo onto the delivery truck. Suppose the cargo shifted during transport and caused the vehicle to lose control. They may be required to compensate victims for their losses.
Did you know?
The US spent approximately $167 billion on work injury costs in 2021. This amount accounted for wage and productivity losses, administrative expenses, employers’ uninsured costs, and medical expenses.
Book a Free Consultation With a UPS Accident Lawyer
Truck accident cases, especially those involving large delivery trucks, can cause devastating injuries to victims. They can sustain bone fractures, internal damage, and emotional trauma. These injuries can sometimes take a lifetime of medical attention and rehabilitation to treat. Moreover, they can be costly.
Seeking legal guidance is crucial when pursuing an accident claim. With the help of a skilled truck accident attorney, you can recover fair compensation. The Personal Injury Center can connect you with experienced attorneys who can provide you with the support you need. Book a free case evaluation today.
Obtain fair compensation in a personal injury claim. Contact The Personal Injury Center for a reliable attorney to advocate for your case.
FAQs on UPS Accident Injuries
How much can I expect to receive in a UPS truck accident settlement?
Various factors influence settlement amounts, such as the severity of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life. The insurance company generally considers medical bills, lost wages, or wrongful death expenses to compute an accident settlement offer. In addition, emotional injuries, such as emotional distress or loss of consortium, can also affect settlement amounts.
Can I still file a lawsuit if I was a pedestrian or cyclist hit by a UPS truck?
Anyone who sustained injuries from a UPS truck accident may file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party. It's essential to gather all relevant documentation and evidence to support your case. You may also seek legal advice from a truck accident lawyer to help with your case.
How soon should I file a UPS truck accident lawsuit?
It’s crucial to act quickly after a UPS truck accident to protect your legal rights. The time for filing a lawsuit for personal injury cases varies per state. In general, accident victims have 1 to 10 years to file a case against a negligent driver.