Can I Sue UPS?
UPS is a messenger company in the US and around the globe. Though it is a large company, it is still responsible for its drivers and commercial trucks. According to statistics from 2012, UPS drivers have reportedly been involved in 1,448 crashes which led to 541 injuries and 39 deaths. When a UPS driver is responsible for an accident, the driver and the company may also be responsible for the resulting damages and injuries. If you have been injured by a UPS vehicle, you may be able to sue the company for damages. Contact our truck accident lawyers in Sacramento to get started.
Who Do I Sue?
Claims made against a commercial trucking company like UPS are similar to claims made against the driver of a personal car. However, one important difference between these two cases is that you must determine who you will sue. In a regular car accident, in most cases, you will sue the driver of the car who caused the collision. When a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident, there are usually a number of people and entities you may be able to sue. However, not all of them may be appropriate defendants in the case.
Commercial trucking can involve a complicated system where one person owns the truck, another is hired to driver the truck, or the truck is leased or sub-leased to another company. Though UPS owns their own trucks and employs their own drivers, they may not take responsibility for their driver’s actions.
Typically, though, employers are liable for the negligent actions of their employees if the employees were acting in the course of their job during the time of the accident. If the company directly employs their drivers, they are responsible for them and may be sued for the driver’s actions while on the job. Therefore, if a UPS driver is making deliveries and hits and injures a person, the company may be held liable.
UPS could also be liable for the actions of their employee if UPS did not properly hire or train the worker. According to the UPS job description for drivers, the company requires a valid driver’s license issued by the state as well as excellent customer contact and driving skills, including the ability to operate a vehicle equipped with a standard or manual transmission. UPS states that all UPS employees typically work for the company for four to 12 years before becoming a driver. If the company can prove that the driver was properly trained but still acted outside of the company’s policies, the driver may be ruled liable as opposed to the company.
When determining who to sue, the cause of the accident is extremely important. If the driver was at fault for failing to yield to a pedestrian, it is a different matter than if the accident occurred because of mechanical problems in the truck. No matter what the cause of the accident, it is likely that you can file a lawsuit against someone; however, it is important to determine whether it is proper to sue the company, the mechanic, the driver, the truck manufacturer or some combination of these parties.
Building a Case Against a Commercial Trucking Company
When you are building a case involving a standard car accident, your focus is usually on proving the other driver acted negligently, causing the accident and the resulting injuries. When building a case against a commercial trucking company, however, liability can be more complicated and the numerous regulations surrounding commercial vehicles may further cloud the issue.
It is important to understand federal trucking regulations in the US when trying to establish liability in a commercial vehicle accident. These regulations govern the ways in which commercial trucks operate on the road. If the truck driver violated any of the many federal trucking regulations, it may be useful to have this information to show the driver was at fault or was negligent. It is important to gather evidence, such as police accident reports, that highlight these faults as well as other evidence such as the driver’s log book, the company’s records and even GPS-based tracking information on the truck in question.
Building a case against a large company like UPS is difficult and often requires the experienced counsel of a personal injury lawyer. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a UPS vehicle, seek the advice of attorneys who have special training and experience in dealing with federal trucking regulation laws and procedures and fighting against large companies. Just because UPS is a large company does not mean it is not responsible for the damages its drivers and vehicles cause. You may be able to sue UPS and receive just compensation for injuries you have sustained.
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.