Understanding Accidents with Delivery Trucks
Dec. 7, 2022
Delivery trucks come in all weights and sizes, ranging from semi-tractors with loaded trailers to box trucks delivering home appliances and vans delivering floral arrangements. Safety regulations for commercial motor vehicles are stricter than those required when you drive your car. However, negligent operation of a vehicle of any size makes the driver liable. If they’re driving a delivery truck or other vehicle in the agency of their employer, the driver may not be the only party that can be held responsible.
The laws can be confusing, and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed during this challenging time. If you have been injured by someone negligently operating a delivery truck in Missouri City, Katy, Friendswood, Sugarland, Fresno, or Pearland, Texas—or if a loved one has been killed—I can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, it is what I do for my clients every single day.
How Do Federal & State Laws Apply to Delivery Truck Accidents?
Federal law regulates the safety of operating semi-tractors, heavy vehicles, large passenger vehicles, and those transporting hazardous materials. Because the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) has adopted those federal regulations, both apply generally to motor vehicles in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles may not reach that threshold. Ford’s transit vans, for example, weigh from 8,670 to 11,000 pounds, depending on the model. That means a delivery van may or may not reach the threshold requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and adherence to federal and state DOT regulations.
If the delivery truck that caused the accident requires a CDL and a DOT registration number, violations of state and federal safety regulations may serve as proof of negligence. However, even smaller vehicles must observe the rules of the road, comply with state laws, and be operated with a certain degree of care.
What Are Some Common Reasons for Delivery Truck Accidents?
Driving too fast for conditions, driver fatigue, lack of adequate driver training, improperly loaded cargo, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and failure to obey traffic laws are a few of the reasons why delivery truck drivers cause accidents. The bigger and heavier the vehicle, the more likely victims will be injured seriously or even killed. If you have ever driven something larger than a standard car or SUV, you can appreciate the differences between these types of vehicles. Even simple mistakes can cause major accidents.
Who’s Liable in a Delivery Truck Accident?
Of course, the driver of the truck is liable for a delivery truck crash. However, because the driver was working for someone else and usually operating a vehicle owned by someone else, other parties may be held responsible as well. If they are, their liability insurance policies are also exposed to bodily injury and wrongful death claims.
Can you sue the truck company after the delivery truck accident? Absolutely. The employer of the driver will virtually always be liable. Even the employer of someone driving their own vehicle while working for them may share liability.
If the crash occurred due to a defect in the vehicle, the manufacturer or dealer could be held liable. Those responsible for loading cargo incorrectly could be liable if it caused or contributed to cause the accident. Those responsible for the safety and maintenance of the vehicle could be liable as well.
Proving the liability of all parties can be complex, so work with an experienced truck accident attorney.
How Do I Make a Truck Accident Claim?
The best way to make a delivery truck accident claim is to retain the services of a personal injury attorney who handles commercial motor vehicle liability claims. The circumstances of the crash will need to be investigated immediately, and your attorney will know how to protect potential evidence from destruction.
Following the investigation, your attorney will put the liability insurer of every potential defendant on notice and all communication will route through your attorney. You will be making decisions about your case, but your attorney will provide you with counsel and guidance so you can make informed decisions.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Texas for personal injury and wrongful death claims is only two years, so you will need to reach out to an attorney sooner rather than later.
Call K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law
I know my clients struggle with their injuries, as well as grief, anger, and frustration in the wake of a truck accident. I guide you through this difficult process, handling all the legal details so you can have time to recover. While I treat you with compassion, I’m tenacious in the pursuit of justice for you and your loved ones.
If you have been injured in a delivery truck accident or a loved one has been killed, call K.D. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law in Missouri City, Texas today to schedule a free consultation.