What Happens When a UPS Truck Is in an Accident?
Posted on: May 2, 2023
UPS is one of the largest package delivery services in the world, with annual revenues of nearly $75 billion. The company delivers over 5 billion packages annually worldwide.
In the United States, UPS employs nearly half a million people and deploys 125,000 delivery trucks and a growing number of tractor-trailers, delivering to millions daily. The brown UPS delivery trucks are a familiar sight in our daily lives, and with such a large number of them on the road, truck accidents are bound to happen.
The company is dedicated to safety, with extensive driver safety training and outfitting their trucks with collision mitigation technology. Despite this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), reports that approximately 2,800 accidents involved UPS trucks over a two-year period, which resulted in more than 1,000 injuries and 63 fatalities.
What Are the Procedures UPS Follows When a Truck Is Involved in an Accident?
The company will make a full report of the accident in accordance with their insurance company policies, and a district manager may travel to the scene to document in some cases.
UPS will conduct its own investigation, which will involve speaking with the driver, witnesses, and reviewing the accident report. Once complete, UPS will help determine if the driver is at fault for the accident.
What Should I Do if I am Involved in a UPS Accident?
If you are physically able, taking action to capture the scene immediately after the accident can benefit you greatly and help your attorney with your claim. Some steps to take include:
- Report the accident: Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries to law enforcement and emergency medical responders.
- Document the scene: Photograph the scene, including the vehicle to both cars, injuries, road conditions, signage, lighting, and any other contributing factors.
- Inquire witnesses: If there are witnesses, exchange contact information, ask for any photos or videos they may have taken, and obtain a statement if they are willing.
- Seek medical attention: Regardless of whether you think your injuries are minor, seek medical attention within 48 hours of the accident. Some internal injuries do not present symptoms for hours or days but can be life-threatening if left untreated, and a medical report is crucial to your insurance claim. Without one, your claim may be denied.
- Maintain records: Save any correspondences or records you receive related to the accident.
- Hire an attorney: Working with an experienced attorney increases your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Who Is Liable for a UPS Truck Accident?
Accidents involving company vehicles can be more challenging in determining fault, as there may be more than one responsible party, including:
- The driver: If the driver is clearly at fault for the accident, liability would likely be on the driver and possibly the company. Some UPS drivers are independent contractors who are required to carry their own liability insurance.
- The company: UPS is required to maintain the safety of their fleet and ensure drivers are not working more hours than permissible. The company may be liable if they allowed the driver to work overtime or the truck involved does not pass safety inspections.
- The manufacturer: In some cases, the designer or manufacturer of the truck may have some liability if it is determined the truck malfunctioned due to a design or manufacturing defect or mechanical failure.
- Third driver: In some cases, the UPS truck may have been struck by another driver, causing the UPS driver to crash into you, such as a chain reaction resulting from a rear-end accident.
How Can I File a Claim for a UPS Truck Accident?
Claims for accidents involving commercial vehicles are more complex than passenger car accidents. You are not required to hire an attorney to seek a personal injury claim, but you will likely fare better if you do.
When an individual files a claim themselves, insurance companies offer the lowest possible settlement or deny claims outright, hoping the individual will give up. Sadly, this works more often than it should. Hiring an attorney demonstrates to the insurance company that you are serious and have legitimate claims. To file a claim with UPS, you should:
- Gather copies of the police report, medical evaluation and treatment records, itemized medical and property repair bills, witness statements, photos, and any other relevant documents. The more thorough your evidence, the better your chances for obtaining compensation.
- Call a UPS representative about the accident and your intent to file a claim. They may deny responsibility but do not argue with the representative.
- Follow up the call with a demand letter detailing the accident, where and how it occurred, and why you believe the UPS driver is at fault.
- Include the supporting documents you collected indicating your injuries and losses with the demand letter.
- Determine an overall value you are seeking in your claim. Insurance companies often offer less than what is needed, so request more than you are willing to accept to leave room for negotiations and counteroffers.
What Compensation Can I Receive Following a UPS Accident?
Vehicle accidents are costly, especially if you suffer injuries. New Jersey is a no-fault state and requires all drivers to carry minimum personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and each driver would use their own coverage initially.
However, PIP rarely covers all expenses, especially severe injuries requiring a long hospital stay. You may be entitled to compensation from the other driver if your damages exceed your own PIP coverage, which cover certain losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Lifelong medical treatment related to the accident
- Wrongful death
New Jersey’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident or date of death in wrongful death claims.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a UPS Accident?
An experienced attorney can communicate and negotiate on your behalf and knows how to handle insurance companies and opposing counsel. Seeking compensation can be difficult, and your best option for obtaining maximum compensation for your losses is to hire an attorney who knows how to deliver and has a track record of success.
New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Represent Clients Injured in Accidents with UPS Trucks
UPS trucks are everywhere in the United States, darting in and out of traffic delivering millions of packages each year. While the brown trucks are easy to spot, they are sometimes hard to miss and cause accidents with other motorists. If you have been injured in an accident with a UPS truck, our New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help. Call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn, New York, and New York City.