UPS Truck Accident Today – UPS Freight Truck Accident FAQs
In the U.S., United Parcel Service (UPS) has grown to be the biggest logistics carrier in terms of the number of employees and annual revenue.
There are about 125,000 UPS vehicles on our highways daily, each trying to fulfill fast-paced delivery schedules.
Much of this is due to the popularity in online shopping. Retailers want to be able to get goods out faster than ever, and as such are under more competitive pressure.
But many of these UPS trucks end up in traffic accidents.
A logistics giant like UPS is prepared to handle their vehicle accidents in a way that protects the company from liability. But for accident victims, the unexpected ordeal can be extremely difficult, as they suffer serious injuries, huge expenses, and emotional distress. And when they try to claim compensation, many find that a major corporation can easily challenge or downplay their injury claims.
If you or a family member has suffered from a UPS truck accident, you’ll need the legal help of an attorney.
Here’s what you should be aware of in the event of a UPS delivery crash.
What Happens When a UPS Truck is in an Accident?
Unlike most car crashes where only drivers are involved, a commercial truck accident typically involves the freight company. This is because of the legal principle called respondeat superior or “vicarious liability,” which holds employers responsible for the conduct of their on-duty employees. In a UPS truck crash, you can expect UPS to step in, alongside their insurance carrier.
An insurance adjuster or representative may call you immediately after the crash, asking you how you’re feeling, how the accident happened, and what you were doing at the time. The adjuster may try to get recorded statements from you.
It’s best to be careful when speaking with the insurance company, as your statements could be used against your claim. In some cases, even saying “I’m fine” could be taken to mean that you don’t have a compensable injury.
There are also cases where a third party is involved due to their contribution to the accident. For example, UPS hires separate companies for various services, including automotive parts suppliers, material handling professionals, and equipment repair shops.
If any of these firms was negligent and partly caused your accident, they could be held liable, too.
UPS, or any other company involved, will be keen to minimize their liability in the accident. They may quickly send their investigator to collect evidence and start building their defense with their experienced legal team.
Experience is crucial in investigating a truck accident case because it requires know-how on the technical and legal sides of trucking. Seasoned investigators know what to look for and where, such as the truck’s event data recorder (referred to as the ‘black box’), the driver’s work logs, and the company’s safety history. They’ll also be familiar with the unique laws governing the trucking industry, which may affect the company’s accident liability.
You’ll want a truck accident lawyer who can handle your case with the same knowledge and proficiency. Look for an attorney who has a successful track record, and has demonstrated their effectiveness specifically in truck crash cases like yours.
Who Pays for My Injuries in a UPS Truck Accident?
When it comes to auto insurance, California is a “fault state” or a “fault-based state,” which means that the party that caused the accident must pay the damages. To claim compensation, you and your lawyer need to establish who was at fault in the crash.
Multiple parties could potentially cause a delivery truck accident through their direct negligence or vicarious liability. Hence, a truck injury claim can have more than one at-fault party. Here are some potentially liable parties in delivery truck wrecks:
- Distracted driving
- Driving without proper credentials (truckers are required to have a certain amount of training and experience before they can operate a large truck)
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless driving
- Failure to obey rules of the road.
- Failure to inspect, repair, and maintain trucks (regular maintenance is required by law)
- Hiring unqualified truck drivers
- Violating laws on hours-of-service and rest breaks (these are designed to prevent driver fatigue)
- Failure to properly load or secure cargo according to industry standards
- Vicarious liability (a company can be liable if their employee caused a crash during their shift).
A Third Party
- A truck parts manufacturer selling defective products
- An automotive service or repair shop failing to meet industry standards
- A highway agency or government office failing its duty to keep roads reasonably safe.
How Much is UPS Truck Insurance Coverage for Bodily Injury?
If UPS has to pay for a truck accident injury, each of its vehicles is covered by auto liability insurance with a maximum of $1 million per accident. This includes their owned, non-owned, and hired vehicles.
Though UPS vehicles are insured, accident victims often find it challenging to obtain fair compensation. Cargo companies and trucking firms won’t easily admit fault, and they have tremendous legal resources to minimize their liability. Their insurance adjusters are trained at downplaying claims, typically through “delay, deny, and defend” tactics. Some won’t even take your claim seriously if you don’t have a lawyer.
To level the playing field, you’ll need to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side. Your lawyer should help you build a strong case, counter the company’s defenses, and negotiate for your maximum compensation.
Does UPS Contract Independent Drivers?
It is common for big courier companies to outsource their delivery service to smaller businesses.
When a delivery truck gets in an accident, the courier company may evade responsibility by shifting the blame to the truck business they contracted. Or, when a contracted delivery driver gets in a crash, the courier company may distance itself by asserting that the driver is an independent contractor, not an employee.
UPS directly hires its truck drivers instead of contracting them. As the direct employer, UPS can be considered responsible for those drivers’ on-duty behavior.
However, the company is liable only within the workers’ scope of employment, or their assigned working hours and tasks. In many delivery crashes, it is not immediately clear whether the driver or employee is within their scope of employment.
Consider these scenarios:
- A UPS driver makes an unscheduled stop while en route to delivery. Since this takes place within duty hours, is it within the company’s liability?
- A delivery driver gets in a collision as they’re heading to lunch break. Does this count as part of their shift?
- A driver takes a company truck for personal purposes within work hours. Would the employer still be responsible?
A trucking company may use the limited scope of employment as a way to avoid responsibility, contending that the driver was not officially acting as their employee at the time of the crash.
To effectively assert your claim against defenses like this, you’ll need to work with a competent injury attorney.
How Much are UPS Truck Accident Settlements
Accident victims and their families usually ask how much they could receive if they file a claim against UPS or sue the company. There is no “average” answer to this as truck injury settlements vary widely, depending on the unique combination of factors in each case.
We’ll look at the severity of your injury, any law violations, contributing circumstances to the accident, and many more.
There are a few high-value claims against UPS that reach million-dollar settlements, but it’s more common for the amount to be at five or six figures. The following are high-value examples of UPS accident verdicts and settlements.
$2 Million Settlement — Double-Parked UPS Truck Injury Case
New Jersey, 2019 — Motorist Paul Cuff received $2 million as settlement for his brain and spine injuries, which he claimed were partly due to a UPS vehicle. Cuff said he was driving one day when he found his lane blocked by a double-parked UPS truck. He tried to pass it by crossing the center lane but ended up colliding head-on with another car.
Cuff and his lawyers said that these delivery vehicles are too often double-parking, but UPS denied their request for data on prior accidents involving double-parked trucks.
$1.3 Million Settlement — UPS Intersection Wrongful Death Case
California — A truck driver died instantly when a UPS truck broadsided him at an intersection. The victim’s family brought a wrongful death lawsuit, asserting that the UPS truck was speeding and running a red light. In defense, UPS claimed that the deceased driver was not wearing a seatbelt, which potentially contributed to his death.
The company tried to settle at $1 million, but the plaintiff’s lawyers were able to obtain $1.3 million.
$1 Million Verdict — UPS Permanent Injuries Case
Alabama — A jury ordered UPS to pay $1 million to a man who was permanently injured in a UPS truck collision.
The man, Gerald Simoneau, smashed into a UPS truck that had unexpectedly pulled out in front of him on the highway. According to the investigation, the truck had tried to cross the highway’s four lanes and median crashed into another car, then slid out in front of Simoneau’s vehicle. Simoneau sustained fractured ribs, sternum, and clavicle, as well as permanent injuries on his arm.
Since the truck driver was found negligent on the job, UPS was also deemed liable.
UPS Truck Accident Statistics
United Parcel Service is a multinational cargo corporation with its world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Company data shows that UPS transports 5.5. billion packages annually, or roughly 15 million every day. The company also says it deploys 125,000 package cars, vans, motorcycles, and tractors, plus more than 10,300 vehicles equipped with advanced tech and alternative fuels.
In North America alone, as of 2020, UPS has 19,851 tractors and 107,542 trailers, according to Transport Topics magazine. Further, the corporation has 495,000 employees in the region and earns annual revenue of $ 74,094,000.
With all this, UPS is currently the largest for-hire carrier in North America. FedEx Corp. is in second place, followed by XPO Logistics.
In the US, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees commercial carrier companies like UPS. The FMCSA database reveals that in the last 24 months as of June 18, 2021, UPS has had A total of 2,773 traffic accidents in the US, including:
- 62 fatal crashes
- 992 injury crashes
- 930 out-of-service vehicles, indicating violations found during inspections
- 124 out-of-service drivers, also reflecting safety violations.
UPS Truck Accident Today
2 Dead in UPS Truck Underride Crash
2021 June 14 — Trenton Teamer, 26, and Jordan Winston, 29, were dead on the scene after their dually truck collided with a large UPS truck in Louisville, Kentucky. Part of the dual pickup was smashed under the UPS trailer. Authorities are investigating the accident.
Multiple Injuries in UPS Chain-Reaction Crash
2021 June 12 — Several people were sent to the hospital after a multi-vehicle wreck involving a UPS box truck in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to Utah Highway Patrol, the UPS truck was traveling on SR-201 when an unknown vehicle cut it off. The UPS driver swerved to avoid it but instead slammed into an SUV. This SUV was then pushed into another SUV. Occupants of the passenger vehicles were transported to the hospital with injuries, while troopers closed the highway for investigation.
Trucker Killed in Crash Between 2 18-Wheelers
2021 May 27 — Truck driver Leander Webb, 61, succumbed to his injuries at the hospital after a two-truck collision on Interstate 22 in Marshall County, Mississippi.
Webb was driving a 2006 Freightliner when another Freightliner, driven by Timothy Scott of Cordova, Tennessee, collided with his truck’s rear end. It was a major crash that caused at least one of the semis, a UPS truck, to catch fire. Cargo was also spilled all over the highway. Authorities are investigating the fatal crash.
Woman Dead in High-Speed Crash with UPS Truck
2021 May 15 — Nathaly Lopez Millan, 29, died at the hospital after her car collided with a UPS truck in Jurupa Valley, California.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the truck was turning left from Gail Drive onto Armstrong Road when it was struck by Millan’s car, which was southbound on Armstrong. Authorities say the car was traveling at a high speed and there was no evidence that it was breaking at the site.
Millan was pronounced dead at the hospital while the UPS driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
1 Dead, 1 Injured in Porsche vs. UPS Truck Collision
2021 May 10 — A 79-year-old woman died and her teenage passenger was hospitalized with injuries after their Porsche collided with a UPS truck in Palos Verdes Estates, California.
Preliminary investigation showed the woman was driving west when it was struck by the northbound UPS vehicle at an intersection. Police noted that the westbound traffic had a stop sign, but the northbound traffic did not.
The UPS driver was uninjured. The investigation is ongoing.
Mom, Toddler Killed in Multi-Vehicle UPS Truck Wreck
2021 April 14 — Twenty-eight-year-old Deidreana Ariel Jasper and her one-year-old son Noah Isiah Brown died in a Mobile, Alabama highway wreck that police say was caused by a UPS truck.
According to the initial investigation, the UPS truck was pulling a trailer when it lost control and crossed to the opposite lane. There, it smashed into Jasper’s sedan. As the two vehicles blocked traffic, a pickup truck came and crashed into the rear end of Jasper’s car, pushing it further to hit another vehicle. Police say wet roads were a factor in the fatal accident, though they continue to investigate.
Car Driver Injured in Collision with UPS Truck
2021 April 3 — A car driver was transported to the hospital following a rear-end collision with a UPS truck in Wayne County, North Carolina. The UPS truck had reportedly stopped to make a delivery when the car struck it from behind.
The truck driver was uninjured. Police continue to investigate and charges are pending.
Contact a Reliable Truck Accident Lawyer in California
It can be difficult to claim fair compensation for a truck accident injury or wrongful death, especially if you’re faced with a powerful company like UPS. But you don’t have to go it alone — you can get invaluable help from a competent truck accident attorney.
In San Diego and elsewhere in Southern California, the Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers can be your ally. We have over two decades of experience in accidents like yours and have been rated number 1 in the field of personal injury.
To talk to us about your California delivery truck crash, contact us online or call (619) 550-1355 for your free consultation.
Robert Hamparyan is one of California’s most accomplished personal injury lawyers. Hamparyan Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego was founded so that Robert could bring more of his skill and knowledge to personal injury victims in all types of cases. Robert and his team have dealt with semi truck accidents, wrongful death cases, brain & spine injuries, and many other types of personal injury cases with soaring success.
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