Companies like UPS have seen their business skyrocket since people have turned to online shopping. People want their purchases delivered to their front door, drastically increasing the demand for UPS’s services. The company has a growing number of drivers on the road. As of this writing, UPS has a fleet of over 134,000 trucks. There are 127,000 drivers on the company’s payroll to operate these trucks. UPS trucks drive over 3.5 billion miles on American roadways each year.
While UPS trucks provide a valuable service, they also increase the number of commercial vehicles on the road. Both big rigs and box trucks can cause serious damage and injuries in a crash, and they can change the lives of victims. Holding UPS accountable is no easy task, and anyone in a UPS accident needs a skilled truck accident lawyer right away.
UPS Trucks Are in Thousands of Crashes
The federal government compiles detailed crash statistics for companies like UPS. They report them on a rolling 24-month basis. As of this writing, UPS trucks factored in nearly 3,000 crashes in the prior two-year period. Roughly one in every three of these crashes caused injuries. Seventy-four drivers died in UPS truck crashes.
Like every company that employs truck drivers, UPS has difficulty finding enough experienced operators in this tight job market. The company offers recruiting and retention bonuses, but that cannot dent their critical driver shortage.
UPS Drivers Cause a Special Set of Dangers for Other Motorists
UPS has 18-wheelers and brown box vans that you see everywhere. UPS trucks present unique challenges and dangers because they often drive on city streets. Drivers have a long and challenging delivery schedule, traveling on local roads that they may not know. They may pull in and out of city traffic when making their deliveries. UPS trucks are boxy and heavy and can tip over in accidents.
You may be entitled to significant financial compensation if you have suffered an injury in a UPS truck accident. Not surprisingly, your case will proceed like any other truck accident case. To be eligible for a settlement check or a jury award, you must prove that the UPS driver was negligent. UPS drivers may also obtain financial compensation if they suffered an injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, either the other driver or the company that made a defective truck.
UPS Must Pay When its Drivers Are Negligent
UPS drivers owe you a legal duty to act reasonably under the circumstances. When they go onto the road, they assume a legal relationship with you just by being near you. If the UPS driver acts in a way that a reasonable driver will not, and it causes you injury, you can hold them responsible for what they did.
Here are some examples of UPS truck driver acts that can serve as negligence:
- UPS drivers may speed because they need to make all their deliveries before their shift ends
- The driver may illegally turn into traffic because they do not see where they are going
- UPS drivers can be at the end of a long shift or working overtime when they cause an accident by driving drowsy
- The company may not properly maintain the trucks, and the brakes can fail, causing the driver to rear-end a motorist
- The cargo loaders may have not correctly loaded the cargo, causing the truck to tip over or the driver to lose control
- The driver may be distracted because they are on their phone while driving
How You Can Get Financial Compensation from UPS
Before filing a lawsuit against UPS or a claim against its insurance, you must have proof of what happened. You or your family should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer who will begin to get to the bottom of what happened.
As you will see below, there are high stakes when you have a potential claim against UPS, as it can be worth a lot of money. Therefore, you should play it safe and take no chances. Let a lawyer handle your case because they can both help you prove fault and maximize your financial compensation.
One thing that makes your life easier when you have suffered an injury in an accident with a UPS truck is that their drivers are company employees. Some trucking companies (like FedEx) try to cover their tracks legally by classifying drivers as independent contractors, making it more difficult (but not impossible) to sue the company.
UPS Truck Drivers Are Agents of UPS
When a UPS driver has injured you, the company will be responsible for paying for your accident injuries. Legally, truck drivers are considered the same as the trucking company for which they drive. If the truck driver does something wrong, their company bears responsibility under the respondeat superior legal theory.
You can sue UPS for what its drivers do. It will not make sense to sue the truck driver because they will not have the money to pay you. So long as the truck driver was on the job at the time of the accident, UPS must pay for the driver’s negligence.
Not only is UPS responsible for the driver’s actions, but you may also have independent grounds for a lawsuit against the company. Trucking companies often get sued for negligent hiring and retention. UPS has a legal obligation to scrutinize the drivers that it hires closely. It must check their backgrounds and driving records and provide them with proper training.
The company must also take steps to terminate drivers with a poor record and documented examples of negligent and dangerous driving. If the company has a policy of removing dangerous drivers from the road, it must follow it or risk being liable for an accident.
UPS’s Insurance Company Plays Hardball
UPS is known to have a longstanding relationship with Liberty Mutual Insurance. The relationship is mutually beneficial for both companies. Liberty Mutual provides UPS up to $1 million in coverage for each accident. In return, UPS pays Liberty Mutual a lot of money each year. UPS has over 100,000 trucks, a fleet that grows yearly. The company’s drivers are involved in numerous accidents that cause significant harm to injured motorists.
Liberty Mutual wants to keep as much of UPS’s significant premiums as possible. Liberty Mutual earns over $3 billion per year and maximizes its earnings by writing low settlement checks or avoiding liability altogether in an accident. The company is a massive insurance behemoth that has boiled down underpaying claims to a science. Therefore, you need a tough and aggressive truck accident lawyer to take on this well-oiled machine.
If the insurance coverage is not enough to pay for your accident injuries, you can go after UPS itself. The company has more than enough assets to pay judgments. You do not need to be afraid that UPS is a large company. Everyone has legal rights, no matter how large the defendant is. Juries often try to send a message to large companies when their employees have done something to injure you, and the company will not make things right. If the UPS driver is in the wrong, they are the ones who need to be afraid of a lawsuit and how much a jury may award you.
Examples of Jury Verdicts that UPS Has Lost
For example, here are some large verdicts against UPS that juries handed down:
- A Connecticut jury awarded a family $3.8 million when the UPS driver rear-ended a pickup truck, forcing it off the road and killing the driver.
- A former University of Miami football player received $5 million when he suffered critical injuries from a UPS driver who hit his car head-on when making a turn at an intersection
- A Texas jury awarded a critically injured bicyclist when he ran into the back of a UPS truck partially parked on the roadway
These represent just a small sample of the large number of cases that UPS may lose in court when they fail to offer a reasonable settlement package for your injuries. UPS and its insurance company know that they are taking a risk when their case reaches the jury. Often, it is one that they want to avoid, knowing full well what can happen.
Having a legal right to financial compensation is not the same as actually getting it. First, your lawyer must stand up to powerful corporate interests to get you what you deserve.
Damages in a UPS Truck Accident
Your UPS truck accident compensation must pay for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- If the driver or UPS has acted exceptionally poorly, you may be awarded punitive damages against UPS.
Your family might file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died in a UPS truck accident.
If your family can prove that the UPS driver was negligent, your family may recover:
- The lost wages that your loved one might have earned had they lived and continued to work
- The loss of the family member’s guidance and support
- Your grief and trauma that happens when you lose a loved one in a tragic accident
Since motorists suffer more severe injuries in accidents with large trucks, your UPS accident compensation will usually be larger than the average compensation in a car accident. Your legal rights are valuable, and you should not sacrifice them for less than you deserve.
An Attorney Will Stand up to Large Companies on Your Behalf
You need your own protector and defender when there are large companies that want to deny responsibility for the accident or pay you a fraction of what you deserve. As you can see, UPS and their insurance company are not all-powerful. It is possible to beat them in court, and they know it. UPS may be motivated to settle with you to avoid multi-million verdicts like the cases above because UPS is on the hook to pay for what its insurance does not cover. UPS is the quintessential deep-pocketed company with more than enough money to pay you what you deserve.
Your Lawyer Will Work to Put a Number on Your Damages
In any UPS accident case, one of the keys is to know how much money to seek in damages. You have a legal right to recover the full amount of your damages. Your UPS accident attorney will work with experts to determine what you deserve so you take the right starting point in negotiations.
Your lawyer may work with:
- Medical experts to understand your exact prognosis
- Vocational experts to know whether you can work again and what work you can do
- Life care planners to know what care you may need in the future as a result of your injuries
- Economic experts to understand how inflation may affect you in the future
If UPS and its insurance company make you a low settlement offer, your lawyer will know that immediately because they know what you should get. Your lawyer will advise you to reject a settlement offer that does not fully pay you.
There are times when UPS may not offer you enough money, and you will need to go to a jury trial. While this may take longer, you should not be afraid to take this step if necessary. While it is rare, a jury trial is sometimes the only way to get the entire amount of your damages.
Although it may take time and effort, you can get the money you deserve when you stand up to a large company like UPS. Prepare for a fight. An experienced truck accident lawyer can do this for you. Contact Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC today.