UPS is one of the largest delivery services in the world. They have about 125,000 delivery vehicles on the road. This explains why this company’s trucks get into so many accidents.
Claiming compensation after a UPS accident can be challenging. UPS are not short of lawyers to deal with accident claims related to their vehicles. This post highlights everything associated with UPS accident claims and how you can get the most compensation from your claim.
What Should You Do Immediately after a UPS Accident?
The decisions you make after a UPS accident can influence your compensation claim. Here are the steps to consider immediately after a UPS Accident.
Call the police
When you are involved in a car accident, whether minor or major collision, it is essential to call the police immediately. Typically, the responding law enforcement officer will conduct a brief investigation and try to figure out the driver that bears all the fault of the car accident. For example, if there is any traffic rule violation, the officer will determine which driver is responsible for the offense.
The police officer will also record everything about the accident in the police report, including:
- Date and time the accident happened
- Details of the accidents and the victims
- The property or the vehicles involved
- Statements and contact information of those involved, including the passengers and witnesses
- Injuries that you sustained at the scene
- A diagram describing the accident scene showing the location, point of collision, and path of the vehicles
- In some cases, the responding officers may include findings of what might have caused the accident.
A police report is one of the vital tools that lawyers and insurance adjusters use in a lawsuit puzzle or a car accident claim.
Stop and Survey the Scene of the Accident
It would be best if you stopped immediately after an accident. Once you’ve stopped, check whether everyone in the car is safe from further danger. You should also move your vehicle to the side of the highway if you’re on a traffic path.
Do a Once-Over on Yourself
Check whether you feel dizzy, sick, or disoriented after the accident. Please don’t push yourself even when feeling the slightest discomfort since there are chances of breaking vital body parts.
You should still seek medical attention within 24 hours even if you do not get immediate medical attention and have not sustained any injuries. Once you’re treated, tell your physician to give all documents related to your evaluation and treatment to use as your evidence during your accident claim.
Gather as Much Evidence as Possible
You need enough evidence about the UPS accident in your lawsuit. Gathering enough evidence is quite simple.
All you need to do is:
- Take pictures or record videos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved.
- Use your mobile phone to record any witness statements.
- If the other party agrees to be liable for the accident, request them to make a statement and sign it.
- Search for video surveillance cameras at the accident scene and request the accident footage immediately.
Gather the UPS driver’s information
Ensure that you get the driver’s phone number, insurance policy number, and contact of their insurance provider, which you can use to contact them when needed.
Speak to an Attorney
You have a limited time to file an accident suit. The best way to ensure that you file the lawsuit on time is by speaking to an attorney immediately after the accident. This will also help you avoid things that would affect the outcome of your case.
What Are the Common Causes of UPS Accidents?
UPS accidents are not different from other accidents. Here are the common causes of UPS accidents.
#1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving refers to driving a vehicle while engaging in other activities that take your focus off the road.
Examples of behaviors and actions that can distract you include:
- Eating while driving
- Changing the channel
- Interacting with the conductor
- Drinking while driving
- Making a phone call or texting while driving
UPS drivers can easily cause an accident when they are speeding, especially if the vehicle loses control. Overspeeding also reduces the time and distance needed to stop your vehicle in case of an emergency.
#3. Failure to Yield
Failure to yield can cause accidents at intersections, especially when the traffic lights are non-functional.
The three types of failure to produce accidents include:
- Three-way intersection accident: A three-way or T-intersection accident occurs when a driver on the intersecting way doesn’t yield to the driver on the main road. This can lead to a side-impact accident.
- Failure to stop at a stop sign: Naturally, any driver approaching a stop sign should stop as indicated. If a driver doesn’t stop, they will probably hit an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian.
- Failure to stop at a crosswalk: Drivers should allow the right of way to pedestrians on crosswalks. If they fail to do so, they will probably hit a pedestrian.
#4. Mechanical Failure
This seems odd and scary, but mechanical failure significantly contributes to UPS accidents. Many UPS vehicles are not regularly maintained due to the level of demand in this industry. Once a car misses several maintenance schedules, some parts might wear out. As a result, the driver will operate a vehicle with a defective part, increasing the possibility of causing an accident.
Common mechanical issues that might cause a UPS accident include:
- Brake failure
- Steering issues
- Tire blowout
- Missing mud flaps
- Broken light or wipers
#5. Drowsy Driving
When drivers work overtime to meet a deadline or make several deliveries, they will wear out. Consequently, they have a high possibility of causing an accident since they cannot focus on driving.
#6. Drunk Driving
Alcohol usually impairs normal brain functioning. This means that you cannot coordinate your muscles, think, or reason typically, which is necessary for safe driving. Due to alcohol impairment, motorists usually make mistakes like failing to obey traffic lights, using turn signals, seeing a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and so on.
#7. Excessive Truck Loading
UPS truck drivers are responsible for proper loading and securing their freight. An improperly loaded cargo can lead to a fatal accident. For instance, when a load is too heavy, it can make the entire truck roll over. If it’s not secured tightly, it might fall off the truck and scatter on the road, leading to an accident.
What Are the Common Injuries Sustained in a UPS Accident?
Most of the Injuries sustained from UPS accidents are severe, especially when trucks are involved. Even in a low-speed collision, a UPS truck accident can cause severe injuries to the victims.
Here are common injuries in UPS accidents:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck injury
- Internal injury
- Psychological issues or PTSD
What Types of Damages Can You Recover from a UPS Accident claim?
The purpose of filing a UPS accident claim is to recover all damages incurred from the accident. Damages refer to the expenses associated with the accident. There are three types of damages you can recover from a UPS accident. These damages are economic, non-economic, or punitive damages.
#1. Economic Damages
Economic damages refer to compensation for financial provable monetary loss. Some of the significant economic damages you can recover are as follows:
Medical expenses refer to all costs incurred in the diagnosis, hospitalization and treatment for the injuries incurred in an accident. It also includes all forms of expenses incurred when required to continue taking medication, physical therapy and buying medical aids. You must provide all documentation related to your treatment when seeking compensation for your medical expenses.
You might spend time without working due to the injuries sustained from an accident. At this time, you’ll be missing your wages and opportunities for your career advancement. You can recover all your lost wages and promotion fees in an accident claim. This includes any wage cuts you’ll experience when you cannot perform as expected.
#2. Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are subjectively non-monetary damages. You can recover the following non-economic damages from your UPS accident claim:
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are part of the non-economic damages you can seek from your UPS accident claim. Several situations and factors define pain and suffering in an accident claim. For instance, you can seek compensation for the cost of psychological counseling when working through the mental issues associated with the accident.
Loss of Consortium
This is a stand-alone type of claim made by family members or the spouse of an accident victim. This kind of compensation claim is made against the at-fault party for limiting the victim’s ability to provide affection, society, love, or sexual relationship as they would have done before the accident.
#3. Punitive Damages
Punitive damages refer to damages awarded as punishment, especially when the accident was reckless and malicious.
#4. Wrongful Death
This is another type of stand-alone claim made by family members. However, it’s different from the loss of a consortium since it’s made against the at-fault party for causing a wrongful death to the victim. A wrongful death claim involves a variety of damages mentioned above, like medical costs, pain, suffering, and funeral bills, among others.
Who is Liable for a UPS Accident?
Ideally, drivers hold a substantial financial responsibility in a UPS accident. This can be true even when you are partially liable for the accident. However, there’s one thing that makes UPS accidents different. UPS drivers are like any other employees. Therefore, several parties can be held liable for UPS accidents.
- The driver
- UPS truck manufacturer and repair services
What Four Steps Should You Take in a UPS Accident Claim?
After your UPS accident claim, you must:
- Prove that the defendant legally owed you the duty of care
- Prove that the defendant breached their duty of care for failing to act in a certain way
- Prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries
- Prove that you incurred financial loss due to the injuries sustained from the accident
Here is a breakdown of these four steps:
#1. Proving Duty of Care
Duty of care refers to the legal obligation to operate a vehicle safely and responsibly. For instance, UPS drivers must drive for sixty hours a week. This rule exists to avoid over-working and tiredness.
Other examples of duty of care include:
- Driving at a reasonable speed
- Slowing down at a crosswalk
- Regularly checking and maintaining their trucks
#2. Proving Breach of Duty of Care
Next, the court will determine whether the defendant breached their duty of care by doing or failing to do something. For an action to be considered a breach of duty, the defendant must conduct that action knowing that it could injure someone else.
Some of the actions that prove breach of duty in a UPS accident include:
- Texting while driving
- Eating while driving
- Driving a vehicle with a faulty part
#3. Proving the Defendant’s Breach of Duty Caused your Injuries
The third step of your accident claim proves that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. You must verify that a random or long-term foreseeable action somehow caused the defendant’s action. For instance, when a UPS driver is texting while driving, they know it can cause an accident. Therefore, if the injuries were due to this reason, this becomes a breach of duty of care.
Some of the evidence you can use to prove that the breach of duty caused your injuries are:
- Photograph of the scene of accident and injuries
- Medical records showing your diagnosis and prognosis of your injuries
- Statements from eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, and accident reconstructionists
#4. Proving Damages
The final step in your accident claim is proving damage. You need to provide evidence to the court showing that you incurred injuries from the UPS accident. You can use the following pieces of evidence to prove damages:
Medical records showing your treatment
- Employer’s statement showing your lost wages
- Your daily journal detailing your experiences after the accident
- A psychological review statement from a psychiatrist showing your psychological trauma from the accident
In most cases, UPS accident claims are made against UPS. Establishing that UPS is liable for the accident can be challenging. For instance, you might need to look into their drivers’ logs, work schedules, and vehicle maintenance records which they might be reluctant to provide.
With an experienced lawyer by your side, you can navigate the legal process needed in your claim and stand up against UPS’s defensive tactics.
Claim Your UPS Accident With the Help of an Attorney
Filing an accident compensation claim with UPS is not a walk in the park. You’ll probably have to deal with their team of lawyers based on the nature of your claim. Fortunately, by hiring an experienced attorney, you can seek maximum compensation from UPS without intimidation.
Therefore, while seeking compensation for this kind of accident, find an attorney willing to lock heads with UPS lawyers and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.