Deliver trucks, such as those used by the United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx), travel many miles and many hours a day to deliver packages and mail throughout the nation, and, like other motor vehicles, are involved in their fair share of Maryland traffic accidents. Delivery trucks are generally considered to be medium or large trucks, and thus their involvement in a traffic accident can cause devastating results, including catastrophic injuries, for other motorists, pedestrians, and/or bicyclists.
Types of Delivery Trucks
Package delivery companies, like UPS and FedEx, have a wide range of vehicles that they use for their local mail and package deliveries and long-haul package transportation. They use vans, light and medium trucks, as well as freight tractor-trailers. Although drivers of tractor trailers, or “feeders” as UPS commonly calls them, are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), drivers of the smaller package vehicles just need to hold a valid driver’s license.
Driver Causes of Maryland Delivery Truck Accidents
In order to keep a profitable delivery business going, companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL need to be able to guarantee fast delivery. Keeping up with delivery schedules safely can be a difficult task, however. Even if a delivery truck driver is properly trained, their efforts to get the job done as quickly as possible may lead them to be negligent, careless, or even reckless. In their haste to make deliveries on time and/or to finish the day’s deliveries on time, drivers may:
- Forget to apply the parking brake before jumping out of the truck to deliver mail or a package, thus causing the truck to roll into other vehicles, or even pedestrians;
- Fail to yield at stop signs or merging onto a highway;
- Travel at unsafe speeds;
- Back up quickly after passing an address and risk striking other vehicles or pedestrians; and
- Rush parking and possibly hit other parked vehicles or stop the truck at an angle that causes a hazard for thru traffic.
If, by negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, a delivery truck driver causes an injury accident, the driver and the company they work for may be held liable for the losses and damages suffered. A skilled Maryland truck accident attorney can help injured victims understand the legal options available in such situations.
Other Causes of Maryland Delivery Truck Crashes
Although delivery truck accidents in Maryland are predominantly caused by driver negligence, error, or inexperience, truck defects and poor maintenance also play their part. Brake failure, tire defects, electrical malfunctions, and fuel system defects may all contribute to a delivery truck crash. In such a case, the delivery truck manufacturer may be held responsible.
Improper maintenance is also a concern. Package delivery trucks travel an inordinate number of miles each day, which causes much wear and tear on the vehicle. If the tires are not changed on time, if the oil is not changed regularly, and if the brakes are not checked, a potentially lethal vehicle is being allowed onto public roads, endangering all on the road. It is the delivery truck company’s responsibility to establish an effective maintenance schedule and to enforce the following of that schedule. If it does not, then the company may be liable for any losses and damages associated with an accident caused by its negligence.
Consulting with an Experienced Attorney
Though not as big or heavy as a big rig, local package cars and delivery trucks can have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds and can cause serious injury accidents. Quick delivery is not a valid excuse for putting the lives of other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists in danger. Steven H. Heisler, “The Injury Lawyer”, is a knowledgeable Baltimore truck accident attorney with years of experience helping injured victims hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. To learn more about how you can get the compensation you deserve, contact Mr. Heisler today for a free consultation at (410) 625-4878.
$5,500,000.00 - Steve represented a 33-year-old single mother of one whose vehicle was struck head-on by a construction truck in 2002. The client suffered life threatening injuries and was in a coma for six weeks. She required two months of brain injury rehabilitation. The client currently has serious permanent disabilities as a result of the accident including short term memory loss, impaired speech, double vision, and right side paralysis.
She is unable to return to her occupation as a dental hygienist or any other occupation. Steve Heisler and his associate Keith Kauffman negotiated a $5.5 million structured settlement at mediation. Should the client reach her life expectancy the payout increases to $9.5 million.
$250,000 - Steve represented the family of a 15 year old Anne Arundel County boy who was killed when the vehicle he was a passenger in failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. The defendant driver was also killed. Another passenger survived the crash. The defendant driver had a $300,000.00 liability policy. Steve negotiated a $250,000.00 settlement for the family. The remaining $50,000.00 was tendered to the surviving passenger.
$800,000 - Steve represented the estate and family of a 45 year old man who was killed when the motorcycle he was riding struck a guardrail and he was catapulted down an embankment. The estate and family alleged that a vehicle in the lane to the immediate left of the man swerved into his lane and caused a collision. The defendant strongly denied any wrong doing. The case was settled at a settlement conference for $800,000.00.
$325,000 - Steve’s client, a 45 year old Sr. Program Manager, was struck by a work vehicle that failed to yield the right of way while turning left in front of the victim in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Steve’s client was thrown from his Harley Davidson and suffered multiple injuries resulting in two surgeries. Suit was filed and the case settled for $325,000.00.
$200,000 - Steve’s client, an elderly lady from West Virginia, was seriously injured when the car she was traveling in was struck by a negligent driver in Garrett County, Maryland. The lady suffered a broken back and detached retina. Steve negotiated a $100,000.00 settlement with the defendant driver’s insurance company and was successful in getting his client’s West Virginia insurance company to “stack” an additional $100,000.00 for a total settlement of $200,000.00.
$100,000 - Steve represented a five year old Eastern Shore boy who was struck by a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road while the boy was riding his bike. Steve's client suffered a traumatic brain injury and serious fractures which required him to spend an extended period of time in a rehabilitation center. The boy now has permanent brain damage. The case settled for the driver's policy limits of $100,000.00.
$95,000 - Steve represented a 36-year-old Cecil County man who was rear ended while stopped at a red light. The force of the impact was severe and his client’s vehicle was totaled. Steve’s client suffered a cerebral concussion, a C5-6 disc herniation, and a L2-3 disc protrusion. He received a 30% whole-body permanent disability rating. Steve settled the case with the insurance company for $95,000.00.