Delivery trucks are vital for keeping our economy running. These large vehicles are necessary for transporting materials, products, and other goods to their destinations on time. To do so, they must share the road with other motorists, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
When a delivery truck is involved in a collision, the resulting injuries and related losses can be catastrophic.
If you have been injured in a delivery truck accident that was not your fault, you want compensation and accountability for the harm you have suffered. Reach out to Olson Law Firm, LLC, for a free initial case evaluation and find out how our firm’s Denver delivery truck accident lawyers can help you seek justice.
What Is Considered a Delivery Truck?
A delivery truck may be any vehicle used to transport goods, usually to a store or a customer’s delivery address.
Examples of delivery truck types include:
- E-commerce delivery trucks (Amazon, for example)
- Mail and parcel delivery trucks (UPS, Post Office, and FedEx, for example)
- Flower delivery trucks
- Home improvement trucks that deliver appliances
- Furniture delivery trucks
- Laundry delivery trucks
- Water, beverage, and food delivery trucks
- Food subscription delivery trucks
- Grocery delivery trucks
- “Last mile” delivery trucks
High Growth in Parcel Deliveries Increases Accident Risks
As online shopping has exploded in popularity in recent years, more people use e-commerce to regularly purchase items they previously would have bought in brick-and-mortar stores. With this shift in shopping habits, the number of delivery trucks on Denver roads has increased.
Much of the growth in e-commerce can be attributed to Amazon, which offers its members free two-day shipping on many items. To ensure that it can meet this delivery promise, Amazon has established its own in-house network of delivery trucks that includes long-haul 18-wheelers, box trucks, and smaller vans to complete last-mile delivery from warehouses to customers’ addresses.
Unfortunately, this increasing demand for delivery services has led Amazon and other delivery companies to rush through delivery drivers’ hiring and training process. Delivery companies also contract other drivers to make last-mile deliveries using their own vehicles. This practice means that some of the drivers behind the wheels of delivery trucks pose a risk of causing a severe accident that can injure others.
Common Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
Delivery truck accidents often stem from driver error or carelessness. Some of the most frequent causes of delivery truck accidents include:
- Reckless driving, including excessive speeding or cutting off traffic
- Unsafe turns and lane changes
- Unsafe parking and loading
- Illegal turns
- Driver inexperience
- Unfamiliarity with local roads
- Failure to use mirrors and indicators
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Cell phone use behind the wheel and other distracted driving behavior
- Disregarding traffic signals and signs
- Unbalanced or unsecured cargo loads
- Deferred vehicle maintenance
Common Types of Delivery Truck Accidents
As wrecks between delivery trucks and other vehicles have become more commonplace, trends have emerged. Common types of accidents involving delivery vehicles and semi-trucks include:
- Intersection accidents include left-turn or right-turn accidents when a truck swings wide into the adjacent left lane or the opposing traffic lane during the turn.
- Sideswipe accidents are often caused by a truck moving into a lane occupied by another vehicle when a driver fails to signal or check their blind spots.
- T-bone accidents are where the front of a truck crashes into the side of another vehicle.
- Potentially devastating head-on collisions can occur when a delivery truck drifts out of its lane into oncoming traffic or if a truck travels through lanes of oncoming traffic when turning right on tight local streets.
- Rear-end collisions often occur when a delivery truck tailgates another vehicle since larger trucks need more distance to slow down and stop.
- Rollover accidents can be caused by delivery drivers improperly loading cargo which throws off the vehicle’s center of gravity.
- Multiple-vehicle collisions, or pile-ups, are where two or more vehicles other than the truck are involved in the crash.
- Underride accidents involve a vehicle getting stuck underneath the trailer of an 18-wheeler.
- Jackknife accidents occur when the back of a trailer swings forward towards the tractor, causing the tractor and trailer to fold in on one another like a pocketknife.
Some specific driving habits are typical of delivery trucks and can frequently cause wrecks:
- Stopping unexpectedly
- Backing up unexpectedly
- Parking in busy areas or in the path of traffic to unload goods
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Delivery Truck Accident in Denver?
Depending on the circumstances of a delivery truck accident, one or more parties may have liability for injuries and property damage caused by the crash. Examples of parties that may be responsible for a delivery truck accident in Denver include:
- The truck driver
- The delivery or shipping company
- Third-party mechanics responsible for maintaining delivery vehicles
- Truck and auto part manufacturers
Delivery Truck Insurance Policies in Colorado
Many delivery companies have commercial auto policies that cover their vehicles and drivers in the event of an accident. The largest delivery companies, including UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon, can have policies that provide up to $1 million in coverage for an accident.
However, Amazon and some other last-mile delivery companies also use independent contractors, many of whom provide their own vehicles. For example, Amazon hires independent drivers through its Amazon Flex program. The company does provide commercial insurance for Flex drivers, but only when they are actively making deliveries for Amazon.
If an independent contractor delivery driver causes an accident, their auto insurance policy may apply. Many personal auto policies exclude coverage for commercial activities such as delivery driving. However, drivers can purchase a rider to their personal auto policy to continue coverage when they work for delivery companies.
How the Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers at Olson Law Firm Can Help You
After you’ve been in an accident with a delivery truck, you should not have to face big corporations like FedEx, UPS, or Amazon – and their insurers – on your own. Let the experienced attorneys of Olson Law Firm, LLC, help you secure compensation for your injuries and losses by:
- Investigating the accident to recover evidence that can show who should be held liable for the crash
- Identifying applicable insurance coverages to determine your options for compensation
- Calculating fair compensation in your case based on your past, ongoing, and future losses
- Filing claims on your behalf
- Aggressively pursuing negotiations with insurers to try to reach a settlement that provides you with the money you need
- Fighting your case in court and at trial, if litigation becomes necessary
If an accident with a delivery truck has upended your life, please know that there is help. Contact Olson Law Firm, LLC, today for a free, no-obligation case review to review your legal options with our firm’s experienced and dedicated Denver truck accident lawyers.