Some of the worst traffic injuries involve a collision with a big truck such as a UPS truck, a situation a lawyer may be able to help a victim with. Though not as large as a semi, these commercial vehicles can carry more than 80,000 pounds of freight, so they need to be under safe operation at all times. Unfortunately, with the company’s strong emphasis on fast delivery times, drivers often cut corners on safety to maximize their package deliveries. Because they are so large and unwieldy, the smallest lapse in concentration can cause severe, even fatal crashes.
WHAT KINDS OF UPS TRUCK ACCIDENTS CAN A LAWYER HELP WITH?
With their size, these cargo carriers have to be driven with safety in mind. When they are not, a driver can quickly lose control of them and cause serious injuries to others sharing the road. A personal injury attorney can help a victim attain restitution when driver or company negligence is at least partly responsible for the crash. Some of the most common causes of cargo carrier wrecks include:
- Lack of or poor driver training. Company drivers must be able to handle a vehicle much larger than they are likely accustomed to. This will take time to adjust to, and many drivers do not have this adjustment period before they are expected to make deliveries.
- Drivers are reversing recklessly. Company drivers often pass the target address while on delivery. They may be reluctant to circle back around safely and instead stop and reverse, even in risky situations.
- Failure to use parking brakes when stopping for delivery. To ensure a complete stop, drivers should engage their parking brake whenever possible. If they do not, the vehicle may roll and collide with parked cars or pedestrians.
- Drivers are making sudden stops or left turns. In the pursuit of fast delivery times, drivers may make sudden decisions with little regard for other motorists. Unsafe turns or stops can force other motorists to swerve or slam on their brakes.
HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT REGULATE FREIGHT CARRIERS?
In addition to state laws, cargo carriers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is responsible for creating and enforcing safety standards in the cargo carrier industry. Some of these regulations include:
- Standards for driver training
- Programs aimed at preventing drug and alcohol abuse
- Procedures for recording hours-of-service by the delivery driver
- Requirements for regular repair and maintenance for the vehicle
In addition to these standards, the FMCSA also maintains a database of all certified companies. This database records all accidents the company is involved in and is an excellent resource for monitoring the company’s safety record. For example, between October 2010 and October 2012, UPS drivers were involved in about 1,440 wrecks, injuring more than 700 people, including 39-deaths. That’s nearly four crashes a day, every day for two years.
When a wreck involves a UPS truck, an injury lawyer is often needed to help the victim recover compensation for their medical expenses. The size difference between cargo carriers and passenger vehicles is extremely stark and can cause grievous injuries, including debilitating brain or spine injuries, chronic pain or loss of mobility, loss of limb function, disfiguring burns, or organ damage. Personal injury attorneys are typically required to assess these injuries accurately and produce a demand package appropriate for the victim’s suffering.