Who Is Liable for an Accident Involving a UPS Truck?February 28, 2023
Business is booming for UPS, according to their own reporting, they delivered an average of 24.3 million packages per day in 2022. While this might be a sign of good business, it also means that there is an increased risk of truck accidents involving UPS trucks. Depending on the circumstances, UPS may be liable for injuries associated with the accident. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a collision involving a UPS truck, you are urged to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at your earliest convenience.
If you are injured in an accident that was caused by a UPS truck driver, UPS is likely liable for any harm caused by its employer. This is known as the theory of vicarious liability, which states that if an employee commits a wrongful act while they are on the job, the employer is liable unless the driver was negligent outside the scope of their employment. This theory is based on the idea that if UPS had not hired the person to drive the UPS truck, the accident would not have happened. The following are examples of UPS truck driver behavior that may be considered negligent:
- A UPS driver caused an accident after speeding in an effort to their packages before the end of the shift.
- After working a long shift, or overtime, a UPS truck driver caused a drowsy driving truck accident.
- The company failed to properly maintain the truck’s brakes, causing the UPS driver to rear-end another driver.
- After improperly loading the truck’s cargo, the cargo came loose inside the truck, which caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle and tip over.
- The UPS driver caused a distracted driving accident after using their phone to send a text message while driving.
UPS may be directly responsible for a truck accident if the company engaged in the following negligent behavior:
- Negligent hiring: When hiring UPS drivers, the company must perform a background check and ensure that they have a clean driving record. If the company fails to carefully scrutinize potential drivers before hiring them, this is considered negligent hiring.
- Negligent training: If UPS does not provide the necessary training and continuing education for its drivers, this is considered negligent.
- Negligent supervision: This is the failure to properly supervise UPS drivers and monitor them for problems, including speeding, DUIs, and accidents.
- Negligent retention: If the company does not terminate drivers who have engaged in negligent behavior, UPS will be held liable.
How Common Are UPS Truck Accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) publishes accident statistics for all truck companies in the United States, including UPS. Since 2019, UPS trucks have been involved in 2,852 reported accidents, according to the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System. That means that there are up to four UPS truck accidents every day, many of which caused serious injuries and fatalities. During the holiday season, there are more UPS trucks on the roads, including massive 18-wheelers and the brown box vans that you see everywhere.
What Are Common Causes of UPS Truck Accidents?
UPS drivers are under a lot of pressure to meet tight deadlines and deliver packages as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this can increase the risk of serious accidents. The following are some of the most common causes of accidents involving UPS trucks:
- Speeding: In an effort to meet tight deadlines, UPS drivers may drive too fast. The faster the truck is moving, the more difficult it is to slow down in time to avoid hitting another vehicle. In addition, the force of impact caused by a high-speed accident is more likely to result in more severe accidents and life-threatening injuries.
- Distracted driving: If a UPS driver is talking on the phone, reading or sending a text message, or engaging in any other types of distracted behavior while driving, there is an increased risk of a serious truck accident.
- Drowsy driving: This is a common problem among truck drivers, particularly if they have been working long hours without taking a break. Unfortunately, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, particularly if the driver has gone without sleep for more than 24 hours straight. This affects the driver’s coordination, attention span, and the ability to react quickly to an unexpected hazard.
- Damaged truck parts: UPS trucks must be inspected on a regular basis. If there are any parts that are damaged or not working properly, including the brakes, wheels, lights, mirrors, or seat belts, it can cause a severe accident.
- Improper truck loading: When packages are not loaded or secured properly, they can come loose inside the truck, causing the weight to be unevenly distributed. This can make it difficult for the driver to maintain control of the truck. If the contents are not properly secured, they can fall out of the truck and onto the road.
How Do I File a Claim Against UPS?
If you were injured in a UPS truck accident, it is important to understand that the claims process can be a bit more complicated than a regular car accident. UPS is a multi-billion dollar company with a team of highly paid lawyers who may use a range of legal tactics to protect the financial interests of the company. That being said, a dedicated truck accident lawyer will guide you through every step of the claims process, from filing a demand letter to negotiating the best possible settlement. Keep in mind that the initial settlement offer made by UPS’s insurance company may seem like a large sum of money, but it rarely covers all of your losses, including ongoing medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Damages for a UPS Truck Accident
Like other truck accidents, UPS truck accidents can cause very serious injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle involved in the crash, particularly if the truck was traveling at a high speed. If you suffered a serious injury in a UPS truck accident, you may be entitled to receive the following damages:
- All medical expenses associated with the injury.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of earning capacity if you become disabled and are no longer able to earn a living.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Lost wages if the injury prevents you from being able to return to work for an extended period of time.
- Pain and suffering.
- Property damage.
If the truck accident caused a tragic fatality, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against UPS. If it can be proven that UPS was negligent, the family members may be eligible for the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Grief and trauma associated with the loss of a loved one.
- Lost wages that the deceased would have earned if they survived and continued to work.
- Medical expenses associated with the deceased’s care prior to their death.
- The loss of the loved one’s guidance and support.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of UPS Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident involving a UPS truck, do not hesitate to contact our Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.