New Jersey Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers

Selivery truck accident

The vast majority of goods that are bought and sold each years spend some amount of time in a delivery truck. According to the American Trucking Associations, commercial trucks move roughly 72.6% of the nation’s freight in terms of weight. After products are move via freight, they will get transported by delivery companies that specialize in last-mile delivery. This will include UPS, USPS, DHL, Amazon and FedEx. According to one report by Quartz, delivery is the fastest growing job industry in the US.

Delivery companies are essential for the transportation of goods, but their trucks can be particularly dangerous. The FMCSA has estimated that UPS alone has been involved in nearly 3,000 crashes between July 2020 and July 2022. Part of the problem is that the rapid growth of the delivery industry has led to an influx of unsafe drivers. According to Ars Technica, Amazon hired unsafe trucking firms nearly twice as often as its peers. Any person that is injured due to the negligent actions of a delivery truck driver may have legal recourse through a personal injury claim. Our team of delivery truck accident attorneys at Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC are here for you. We can evaluate the unique facts of your case and let you know if you have a claim that can be pursued. You can reach out to us anytime at 908-248-4404.

Common Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents

Delivery companies are expected to fulfill their assignments as quickly as possible. In many situations, this has lead to unacceptable safety compromises and unsafe working conditions. For example, the Guardian has reported that Amazon delivery drivers are often working 14-hour days. Some drivers have even resorted to urinating in bottles within their vehicles to keep up with delivery rates. Similarly, it is estimated that 40 UPS drivers have been hospitalized due to heat-related illnesses since 2015. These conditions aren’t just bad for workers, they create a safety hazard for everyone else on the road.

  • Driver Fatigue: Fatigue is one of the most common contributing factors for delivery truck accidents. The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that staying awake for only 17 hours can reduce a person’s ability to drive safe similar to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%.
  • Left Turns: Performing a left turn is one of the most dangerous maneuvers that delivery drivers make. Drivers making left turns are nearly 10 times more likely to be involve in a collision compared to drivers making right-hand turns. It is for this reason that companies like UPS have worked to eliminate as many left-turns as possible in the routes their drivers take.
  • Speeding: Delivery trucks tend to be much more difficult to stop than smaller vehicles. If a delivery driver is speeding, they will have much less time to come to a safe stop.
  • Intoxicated Driving: Though rare, some delivery drivers have been charged with driving under the influence. What many delivery drivers do not realize is that they can be compromised by substances other than illicit drugs or alcohol. Indeed, certain prescriptions can substantially impair their ability to drive safely.
  • Inclement Weather: Delivery drivers don’t have the luxury of deciding when they are going to deliver their packages. As such, they regularly drive during periods of inclement weather. Rain, snow and ice on the road can all dramatically increase the likelihood that an accident will take place.
  • Inadequate Training: Driving a delivery vehicle can be substantially more difficult than driving a smaller vehicle. Poorly trained delivery drivers are much more likely to make critical driving mistakes. This includes driving while distracted and failing to inspect a delivery vehicle before leaving.

Elements that influence the likelihood of a delivery truck accident can take place hours, days or even several months before a collision. Many of these factors are outside of the control of the driver. However, the vast majority of delivery truck accidents are preventable. They tend to occur when companies favor speed and efficiency over safety. Unrealistic delivery timelines can push drivers to make poor decisions that they would otherwise not have made.

Demonstrating Liability For Delivery Truck Accidents

New Jersey is one of a handful of states that operates under a no-fault insurance model. Every driver must have Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) insurance, according to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.2. This insurance provides aid to drivers regardless of who was at fault for any collision. Under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(a), any person that is injured by a delivery driver in New Jersey may also be able to pursue a negligence claim if they were seriously injured. There are a number of ways that a delivery truck driver may have acted negligently prior to a collision.

  • Follow Distance: New Jersey Vehicle Code 39:4-89 forbids drivers from following another vehicle at a distance closer than would be safe given the prevailing conditions of the roadway.
  • Driver Intoxication: Commercial drivers are held to an even higher standard than those in cars. It is illegal for any person operating a commercial vehicle to drive with a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
  • Speeding: According to New Jersey Vehicle Code 39:4-89, no person shall operate a motor vehicle at a speed greater than would be reasonable or safe given the prevailing conditions. Even driving the speed limit could be considered negligent during periods of inclement weather.
  • Lane Changes: Delivery vehicles tend to have large blind spots. If a driver made an unsafe lane change which led to an accident this could be construed as negligence.

Depending on the facts of any case, the company that a delivery truck driver worked for could be liable for an accident. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the wrongful actions of their drivers – insofar as those drivers were working within the course and scope of their job duties. However, companies like Amazon will often hire their delivery drivers as “independent contractors.” Companies will typically not be liable for the wrongful actions of their independent contractors.

Injuries Associated With Delivery Truck Accidents

Car accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States. According to Springer Nature, “As many as 3 million US residents are injured in traffic-related incidents every year leaving many victims with disabling conditions.” Delivery trucks can be particularly dangerous due to their weight and size. This is especially true for pedestrians who are often overlooked by drivers. What follows below are some of the common injuries associated with delivery truck accidents.

  • Broken Bones: Delivery trucks are powerful vehicles with a high center of gravity. It is common for people involved in collisions with delivery trucks to sustain broken bones. Fractures in the wrist and hand are particularly common as they absorb a large portion of the initial impact.
  • Lacerations: Many people who are involved in collisions with delivery trucks suffer deep lacerations. This could be the result of shattered glass. Cuts can also be caused by acute blunt-force trauma.
  • Burn Injuries: Most delivery trucks still have combustion engines. In the event of a crash, fuel can spill all over the place and ignite. Victims who are pinned in their vehicles could easily sustained first, second or third degree burns.
  • Organ Damage: Much of the trauma associated with car accidents is not immediately visible. Broken bones and blunt force trauma can cause serious damage to internal organs. These injuries are often very difficult to treat.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries that a person can face after a delivery truck accident. They can result from the sudden deceleration that comes with being hit by a heavy vehicle. These injuries are also quite likely for pedestrians involved in collisions.
  • Brain Injuries: If a person’s head hits the steering wheel or window after a crash, this can lead to a traumatic brain injury. According to Chandi Edmonds, a professor at Feinberg School of Medicine, “The lifetime costs of a patient’s treatment for a traumatic brain injury are estimated to run from $85,000 to $3 million.”

Even after a person’s physical injuries have healed, victims of delivery truck accidents tend to suffer from long-term psychological trauma. According to the American Psychological Association, “Individuals who experience a serious motor vehicle accident (MVA) are at increased risk for psychological problems, particularly Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” PTSD can manifest in a variety of different ways including continued anxiety, panic attacks and recurring nightmares. It is always best to get a thorough medical evaluation after any car accident. Not all injuries will be immediately apparent.

Steps To Take After A Delivery Truck Accident

An accident involving a delivery truck can be both traumatic and life-altering. Accident victims may need to take significant periods of time off of work. The medical costs associated with recovering from any accident can also be very high. Many accident victims are left with permanent injuries that substantially impair their quality of life. It is important to try to keep a clear head after any accident. Here are a few steps that you can follow in order to preserve your rights after any delivery truck accident.

  • Call The Police: The police will help document the scene and produce a report of what happened. This report will be the first documentation of the crash and can be tremendously helpful down the road.
  • Exchange Information: As you wait for the police to arrive, exchange information with all drivers involved in the accident. This should include their driver’s license, phone number and auto insurance information.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Your body will be filled with adrenaline after any collision. You may not realize if you are injured. For that reason, it is always best to get a thorough evaluation by a team of medical professionals.
  • Be Cautious About What You Say: It is important to be careful who you speak to after an accident. Insurance companies will try to get you to make statements that they will turn around and use against you. Even saying something relatively innocuous like “I’ll be alright.” can be very bad for your case.
  • Speak With An Attorney: It’s always a good idea to contact an experienced delivery truck accident attorney if you’ve been hit by any delivery vehicle. An attorney can take steps to preserve your rights and potentially pursue a legal claim on your behalf.

There are so many benefits that come with hiring an attorney after an accident. For starters, delivery truck accident attorneys do not charge anything up-front. They will pursue your claim entirely on a contingency-fee basis. They only get paid from the opposing party after they successfully resolve your claim. An attorney can help maximize the value of your claim through skilled legal representation. They can also take your claim to trial if that is what’s needed to get you the best outcome. If you’ve been hit by an Amazon, DHL, UPS, USPS, FedEx or any other type of delivery vehicle, an attorney may be able to pursue a claim on your behalf.

Getting Legal Help After A Delivery Truck Accident

At Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC we are committed to getting our clients the justice that they deserve. Just take a look at some of the case results we have been able to achieve. There is a reason that so many people across New Jersey have hired our firm to represent them in their time of need. We will do everything in our power to win for our clients and hold those who harmed them legally accountable.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a New Jersey delivery truck accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our law firm is here to help you in whatever ways we can. We care deeply that our clients get the maximum amount of financial support possible so that they can focus on healing. Feel free to read some of the 5 star reviews that our clients have left us. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after a collision, we may be able to assist you. You can reach out to us anytime at 908-248-4404.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Many delivery truck accidents are caused in part by drivers attempting to meet unrealistic delivery schedules.

It doesn’t cost anything upfront to hire a delivery truck attorney. They only get paid if they are able to successfully resolve your claim.

New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. As such, you may be able to recover damages through PIP insurance regardless of fault.

It is best to seek legal counsel before speaking with any insurance company.

The value of every claim is different. But factors that can influence the outcome of any claim will typically include the cost of medical bills, the presence of lost wages and the presence of pain and suffering.

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