Delivery vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are very obvious. Amazon now has an entire fleet of specialized vans maneuvering around major metropolitan areas near their warehouses. UPS and FedEx, as well as the United States Postal Service, all have their own proprietary vehicles. There are also numerous rental vehicles helping to supplement specialty delivery fleets and a host of companies that require that delivery professionals use their own vehicles on the job.
Whether someone was in their own vehicle or a branded delivery vehicle at the time of a collision, the people hit by a delivery professional often wonder about what rights they have. What happens when a delivery driver is to blame for a crash with a passenger vehicle?
The company is typically liable
Members of the public would likely have a very hard time covering crash-related expenses if the organizations that provide delivery services could pass the liability for every crash that occurred back to the drivers that they employ. There would be very little pressure on those organizations to hire the best professionals because the drivers themselves would end up financially responsible should they cause a crash. Thankfully, the companies are generally the ones liable when crashes occur.
There are established legal rules in the United States that effectively make employers responsible for the negligence and misconduct of their workers while on the clock. That rule applies to delivery drivers, regardless of whether they are in a fleet vehicle or their own vehicle. Therefore, the company will usually be liable for a delivery driver crash, regardless of whether they parked someplace irresponsible or conducted a turn without using a signal.
Insurance will often pay
Commercial vehicles and delivery companies usually have sizable insurance policies. The bigger the vehicle, the higher the insurance coverage in most cases. Those struck by a delivery vehicle can usually file an insurance claim against a corporate policy that could provide far more coverage than a standard car insurance policy would. In extreme cases, such as scenarios where someone suffers life-altering injuries or people lose a loved one in a crash, litigation may be necessary. Such claims will usually seek compensation from the business, rather than the individual driver.
The more expensive a crash becomes for the people affected, the more important it will be for them to understand their options. Holding a liable party accountable for a delivery vehicle collision will help to ensure that those who didn’t cause the crash can avoid absorbing all of the costs generated by the wreck.