As with other types of trucking accidents, collisions that involve FedEx trucks are often due to driver error, poorly maintained delivery trucks and vans, mechanical failure, and other factors. Commercial driver error is a prominent cause of these accidents and can involve distracted driving, failure to obey traffic laws, impairment from alcohol or drugs, improper training, or simply reckless driving of one kind or the other. Fatigued driving is another danger faced by commercial drivers, particularly if the driver has exceeded the allowable hours of service (HOS) designated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
An experienced truck accident attorney can discover and evaluate the facts of your accident with a FedEx truck, determine liability, and pursue appropriate compensation based on your damages.
Determining the liable party in a FedEx accident
Under the legal theory of vicarious liability, regardless of whether or not the driver directly caused the accident that led to your injuries, FedEx itself is held liable. The reason is that the company is legally responsible for its employees’ actions as long as those employees are acting within the scope of their job duties. Although filing a lawsuit against FedEx enables you to recover a larger settlement than you would from an individual driver, the process of holding the company liable is not always easy.
This is because FedEx uses a different model from most shippers. Individuals and small companies actually buy their routes, and enter into a contract with FedEx. It is these individuals and owners who set rates of pay and buy their own trucks and equipment. As such, if a FedEx truck wasn’t properly maintained and something goes wrong, leading to a collision, it is the individual or small company who is liable, not FedEx.
All of this does not mean that you cannot make a claim. In some cases, both FedEx and the company it contracts with could be held liable for the injuries you sustained in a crash. For example, if FedEx is negligent in its hiring practices – i.e., fails to conduct a background check, or misses information that would imply the company would be unsafe in its practices – both parties could be liable. If a defective truck part is the cause of your accident, the manufacturer may also be liable.
Going up against a large company like FedEx with a powerful legal team requires the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. You need legal representation that understands the nuances in the law, and how to counter any potential defense or misguided effort to deny responsibility for negligent conduct.
If you sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of a FedEx driver, FedEx maintenance workers, or a manufacturer, the Huntsville truck accident attorneys at Martin & Helms can fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 256.539.1990 or fill out our contact form to request a free, no-obligation consultation. We have law offices in Huntsville and Decatur and also serve Madison, Athens, and the surrounding areas.