In the San Francisco Bay Area, thousands of large delivery trucks owned by FedEx, UPS and other businesses share the road with non-commercial trucks, cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. Delivery trucks play an important role in the state or national economy, but they can pose a certain danger on the road. These large, heavy vehicles are particularly likely to cause severe or fatal injuries if involved in an accident.
Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Delivery truck accidents can be caused by a range of factors, though most are caused by delivery truck drivers operating their vehicles in a negligent or reckless manner. Examples of negligent behavior include:
- Using excessive speed. Delivery truck drivers are under great pressure to deliver their merchandise quickly. Sometimes they drive well above the speed limit to meet their deadlines, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Engaging in distracted driving. When searching for an address, delivery truck drivers may be more focused on the building numbers, a map, or their navigation system than the road ahead. Alternatively, they may be distracted by their cell phone, MP3 player or other gadgets.
- Making abrupt stops or quick turns. Unfamiliarity with an address or lack of attention may lead a delivery truck driver to drive in an unpredictable manner, such as stopping abruptly, or making a quick turn or unsafe lane change. Sudden actions such as these don’t allow other drivers enough time to react and can cause an accident.
- Failing to check behind the truck before backing up. If a driver misses an address, he or she may back up without carefully scanning the road behind for vehicles or pedestrians.
The delivery truck driver isn’t always (or exclusively) at fault, however. Sometimes the blames lies with the delivery truck company itself. For example, if the company sends a driver on the road without adequate training on how to handle the truck, the company may be held responsible for any accident that results.
Other times, the accident may have been caused by equipment failure, such as faulty brakes, and thus manufacturer of the truck or its parts may be to blame. Finally, there are also occasions where the defective roadways may have played a part in the accident, in which case the municipality in charge of that stretch of road should be held liable.
What to do if You’ve been involved in an Accident with a Delivery Driver
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if you think that you feel fine, it’s a good idea to receive a thorough examination by a doctor just in case symptoms related to the accident present themselves later. Remember to save all medical bills arising from the accident.
Next, as soon as you’re able, you should consult with an experienced San Francisco Bay Area delivery truck accident attorney to safeguard your rights. If the accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you will need to start collecting evidence to support your claim right away. Your lawyer can help identify and obtain the testimony of witnesses, obtain the police report, negotiate with insurance companies, and help build your case with accident reconstruction experts if necessary.
If your case is successful, you may be entitled to receive reimbursement of your medical expenses as well as compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional trauma or costs relating to a wrongful death.
The accident attorneys at the Appel Law Firm LLP are dedicated to helping San Francisco Bay Area residents receive compensation for injuries and wrongful deaths arising from delivery truck accidents. Contact us for a free consultation.