Who May Be Liable for an Accident Involving a Delivery Truck?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on November 9, 2020

. Updated on March 23, 2022


white delivery van drivingDelivery trucks have been around a long time, but today they are being used more than ever. From groceries and household items to clothing and furniture, often the added convenience of a home delivery outweighs the added cost.

Whether the driver is operating an Amazon, UPS, FedEx or other delivery truck, accidents can happen. Determining who may be liable can sometimes be challenging in these circumstances. You may benefit from speaking with one of our South Bend car accident attorneys to discuss how we may be able to help you pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages. This meeting is complimentary. There is no cost or obligation to you.

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we have a proven track record of recovering millions in compensation for our clients. Our success is due to extensive knowledge of Indiana state law, years of handling personal injury cases and because we are dedicated to fighting on behalf of our injured clients.

Determining Who May Be Liable

After an accident, it is important that you contact 9-1-1 for emergency assistance and to ensure that you get an official police report for the accident. Often first responders record their determination of who may have caused the accident on the report. Police, first responders or others who may investigate the accident scene can provide a credible testimony if you pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

We strongly recommend that your next step be a phone call to an attorney for help in determining your eligibility and legal options, as well as determining all possible sources of compensation on your behalf.

Was the Delivery Driver an Employee?

If the at-fault driver who caused your accident was an employee, instead of filing a claim against the driver’s personal car insurance provider, you will likely be able to pursue a claim for your damages through his or her employer’s insurance carrier. For this to happen, the burden of proof is on you to establish negligence. This means that you or your attorney must establish:

  • The accident occurred because of the driver’s negligent actions
  • The driver is an employee who was acting in the scope of his or her employment

Independent Contractor or Freelance Gig Worker

If the driver was working as an independent contractor or freelance gig worker, things are likely to be more complicated. An independent contractor could be working for a third-party delivery partner. In a case involving one of their driver’s, you would then likely pursue a claim against that delivery partner, which may not be the same entity as the company who furnished the truck and uniform the driver may be wearing.

Gig workers are also challenging, working when they choose to and making their own schedule. These drivers often deliver for companies such as Door Dash, Shipt and Grubhub. Some of these companies, such as Ube Eats have a $1 million policy limit per accident. However, other companies, such as Instacart, do not provide their drivers with any insurance. These gig workers must purchase and maintain an insurance policy that covers commercial use of a personal vehicle. These policies are not offered by all insurance providers, and some drivers may opt not to purchase this insurance because of the cost.

Not on the Clock

A driver not working “on the clock” or who is taking a break may only be covered by his or her personal car insurance policy. Often for cases like these, the available insurance may be insufficient, especially if your injuries and other losses are severe. In this scenario, or if the driver was operating without any insurance, you may be best served by pursuing damages through your own uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your policy.

In Indiana, UM/UIM coverage is required. Although you may reject it in writing, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing more than the minimum required coverage of $10,000 limit per accident.

How Do These Delivery Truck Accidents Happen?

Delivery truck accidents may happen for many reasons. The driver may be operating while fatigued, become momentarily distracted or careless or completely disregard safe driving laws while hurrying to complete his or her route.

Delivery truck accidents that commonly happen including:

  • Backing up into another vehicle or pedestrian
  • Making an unsafe turn
  • Failing to yield right-of-way when entering a turn or leaving a driveway
  • Making an unsafe lane change or merge
  • Tailgating
  • Braking suddenly
  • Driving distracted or impaired
  • Speeding

After calling 9-1-1, it is a good idea, if you can do so safely, to gather evidence at the accident scene. Try to capture pictures that show the vehicles positions, damage to the vehicles, road debris, even skid marks. Look around to see if there were any witnesses who may have seen what happened and get their contact details if you can.

After an Accident With a Delivery Truck, Contact a Licensed Attorney for Legal Help

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, and the injuries can often lead to expensive medical costs or lost wages due to a lengthy recovery. Having one of our knowledgeable attorneys on your side throughout the legal process can provide the peace of mind you need while you are healing.

At Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak, we are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. We can discuss your situation and potential legal options in a completely free, no-obligation case review.

Call our firm to get started today, Ph. (574) 444-0741

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases