Getting into an accident of any kind can lead to severe injuries and extensive damage to your vehicle. Along with making sure that witness statements are gathered and that your insurance provider is contacted immediately, you will also be tasked with tending to any injuries that have resulted from the accident. This scenario becomes even more complicated when involved in a UPS truck accident. Because of the size of a United Parcel Service vehicle, accidents involving these vehicles can be more severe. If you want to be confident that you’ll receive the damages you’re owed, you should know the exact steps to take when involved in a UPS truck accident.
Initial Steps to Take Following the UPS Truck Accident
Before you focus on filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation through a lawsuit, there are specific steps that you should take immediately following the truck accident. First, you must contact the police, which is necessary to ensure that all pertinent information about the accident is recorded in a police report. If anyone involved in the accident is injured, make sure to request medical attention when you first dial 911. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, they need to be checked out.
If you have a phone with you, take pictures of the accident, referenced later by your insurance provider. When police officers arrive at the accident scene, they will ask you what happened while investigating the accident. During this investigation, witness statements will be gathered, which can be helpful if you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
In a day or two following the accident, UPS may contact you during their investigation into the accident. However, it’s highly recommended that you wait to speak with UPS until after you’ve hired a truck accident attorney who can represent you during the conversation. Otherwise, UPS could use everything you say during the conversation if a claim is made or a lawsuit is filed.
Who to Call When Involved in an Accident with a UPS Truck
As mentioned previously, you should call the police when a UPS truck accident occurs. They will record all of the details about the accident, which include everything from witness statements to footage from dash-cams or highway cameras. Once you’ve arrived home from the accident, you’ll likely want to get in touch with your insurance provider to give them all of the details of the accident as you remember them.
Your insurance provider will ask for the police report from the accident. However, these reports can take a few days to a couple of weeks to become available. The police officers you spoke with at the accident scene should give you all of the information you need about gaining access to the police report. Your next step should be to get in touch with a lawyer like ours who can represent you throughout the rest of the legal process.
How to Locate the Right Attorney
There are four primary areas of focus that you should have when searching for the right personal injury attorney to represent your claim. First, the lawyer in question should have ample experience handling personal injury cases involving UPS truck accidents. Dealing with a company like UPS takes extensive knowledge and experience, which is why you mustn’t hire an attorney who isn’t qualified in this regard.
You can also take a look at Google and websites like Avvo.com to find customer reviews of any lawyer you’re thinking of hiring. These reviews will give you a better understanding of how reputable and experienced a lawyer is. Ensure that the lawyer you hire is fully licensed to practice law in your state.
If the accident occurred in a state other than the one you live in, the attorney you hire must practice law in the state where the accident took place. Most reputable attorneys will also offer resources on their website to help you navigate your case even before hiring an attorney. Take advantage of these resources to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Common Causes of UPS Truck Accidents
Even though accidents involving UPS trucks happen for many of the same reasons as standard car accidents, you should be aware of some causes specific to UPS trucks. These causes include:
- Not receiving enough training before driving with UPS
- Not putting on the parking brake during a delivery
- Not taking the time to yield when getting back into traffic following a delivery
- Not completing safety checks or repairs on the UPS vehicle
- Driver fatigue after a long shift on the road
Should You Sue the Company or the Driver?
The attorney you hire will be able to help you determine if UPS or the driver who caused the accident should be sued. If you’re only filing an insurance claim to seek base compensation, this claim can be filed with the other driver’s insurance provider. Once the insurance provider investigates the accident, they will deny or accept your claim. If your claim is accepted, you will receive a settlement offer.
These offers are usually lower than you fully deserve since insurance providers don’t want to spend too much money. If you or your attorney believes that the settlement offer isn’t enough to account for your injuries, you should look into filing a lawsuit. You can file a lawsuit against UPS or the driver in this situation. To file a lawsuit against UPS, three things you need to prove to include:
- The driver who was at fault for the accident was working for UPS when the accident occurred
- The driver who caused the accident was on-the-clock
- The driver was performing standard work activities when the accident took place
If you can prove all three of these elements, you may be able to file a lawsuit against UPS. However, UPS may claim that the driver caused the truck accident while on a break or when running an errand, which means that they believe they aren’t responsible for the actions that caused the accident.
How Fault Is Determined
Your ability to successfully file a lawsuit largely depends on your ability to prove that the UPS driver was at fault for the accident, which may be more challenging to prove than you’ve anticipated. When you hire a personal injury attorney like ours, we will conduct a comprehensive accident investigation to make sure that all of the necessary evidence is gathered. Once we’ve accumulated this evidence, deciding how to proceed should be considerably more manageable.
The state where you live also determines if you’re able to file a lawsuit against UPS or the driver who caused the accident. When looking at fault and negligence, states in the U.S. have considered either contributory negligence states or comparative negligence states, the latter of which is far more common. In a relative negligence state, you can file a lawsuit and obtain compensation if the other driver is at least 50% responsible for causing the accident.
However, the amount of compensation you obtain depends on how much fault you have for the accident. If you are around 45% responsible for the accident, your compensation will be below. If, on the other hand, the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident, your compensation could be very high. For instance, there’s a good chance that most or all of your medical bills would be covered in this scenario.
States like Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia are considered contributory negligence states, which work much differently compared to comparative negligence states. Live in a contributory negligence state. You will not obtain compensation for your injuries or any other damage if you are deemed even 1% at fault for the accident. These particular laws are considered by many to be unfair, which is why only four states still adhere to contributory negligence guidelines.
What Type of Settlement Should Be Expected?
While accidents involving UPS trucks can be more severe than a common car accident, this doesn’t mean that you will necessarily receive a higher amount of compensation. UPS insurance policies tend to contain high liability limits, which means that your injuries should be covered in full even if these injuries are relatively severe. However, the nature of your injury won’t allow you to obtain more money just because the accident involved a UPS truck. The insurance provider will look at any property damage and your medical bills to determine how much compensation you should receive.
Keep in mind that the offer an insurance provider makes isn’t always fair. If your case is taken to court, you may be able to receive more compensation. If you can prove that the UPS driver was at fault for the accident, the driver’s insurance provider may attempt to settle. It would be best to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side to make sure that your case is accurately represented during any settlement negotiations.
There isn’t an exact formula used when attempting to calculate how much damages a person should receive when involved in a car accident. Even though it’s easy to calculate compensation when looking specifically at medical bills, several other forms of compensation are less tangible, which you should be aware of before filing a lawsuit.
The main types of compensation you could seek when filing a personal injury lawsuit against a UPS truck driver include non-economic damages and economic damages, the latter of which is much easier to calculate accurately. Some of the financial damages that you can claim in your injury lawsuit include:
- Costs of physical therapy
- Costs of making changes to your home to account for your injuries
- All of your previous and current medical bills
- Vehicle damage
- Any lost wages
It’s considerably more challenging to assign a specific dollar amount to non-economic damages. Different calculations can be used to estimate how much compensation should be awarded in these situations. The primary non-economic injuries include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Future lost earnings
- Emotional and grief counseling
Even though non-economic damages are more difficult to prove in front of a judge, an experienced attorney like ours has the skills needed to navigate these claims and successfully argue them in court.
Why You Should Choose Our Law Firm
Getting into a truck accident often leads to extensive injuries. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you must hire a reputable attorney to make sure that you receive the amount of compensation you deserve. When you contact our injury lawyers, we’ll sit down with you in an initial consultation to obtain all of the details about your accident, allowing us to identify your next legal steps.
If you hire us, we’ll perform an extensive accident investigation to make sure that any piece of evidence that indicates the other driver was at fault is gathered correctly and recorded. Our attorneys will guide you through this entire process to help you understand what your options are and to keep you from being overwhelmed. We can also fill out any documentation and represent you in court. If the other driver’s insurance provider wants to negotiate a settlement, we’ll handle negotiations for you.
Call our attorneys today to schedule an initial consultation if you have any questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit. We look forward to hearing from you!