In Kansas, Missouri, and throughout the country, delivery truck accidents are not uncommon. Collisions involving Amazon delivery vans, USPS mail trucks, UPS vans, and FedEx trucks are all regularly reported, resulting in everything from minor property damage to severe injury and death.
When a delivery truck company or driver’s negligence causes an accident, injured victims could be entitled to significant compensation. Find out more about your legal rights after these types of accidents from the personal injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group.
Delivery Truck Accident Statistics
- On October 29, 2019, truck driver Timothy Weakley fell asleep at the wheel while driving from Missouri to Tennessee and crashed into a concrete barrier. He had been driving for as many as 49 hours without an adequate break. Weakley later claimed that Amazon and his employer, AAA Freight, routinely ordered him to forgo federally-mandated breaks and even doctored his driver’s log.
- On May 11, 2021, a 30-year-old motorcyclist suffered critical injuries when a FedEx truck turned left into his path in Kansas City, Missouri. The motorcycle rider hit the front end of the vehicle and was ejected from his motorcycle.
- On June 8, 2021, a 74-year-old woman was killed and her passenger seriously injured when a Freightliner UPS van failed to yield the right of way and rear-ended her vehicle on State Highway 37 near Butterfield, Missouri.
- A report co-authored by ProPublica and Buzzfeed News alleges that Amazon delivery drivers have been involved in at least 60 serious injury accidents in the U.S. since 2015. The report posited that some of these accidents were the result of Amazon’s emphasis on “speed and cost over safety”.
Who Is Responsible for Delivery Truck Accidents?
When it comes to auto insurance liability, Kansas is a no-fault state. This means that injured motorists and passengers file injury claims with their own insurance companies using personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Injured claimants can only sue a negligent party when they have been severely injured and their damages exceed their PIP coverage.
Missouri, on the other hand, is an at-fault state. This means that the insurance company of the driver who caused an accident is held responsible for all damages, including bodily injury and property damage. In an average two-car accident, filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance is usually a fairly straightforward process. But for accidents involving delivery trucks, it can be more complicated, especially if the accident occurred in an at-fault state.
In part, this is because delivery trucks are bigger than most passenger cars and can cause much more severe injuries and result in higher medical bills, lost wages, and other damages such as pain and suffering (which is not available through a traditional PIP claim). But there are other reasons why getting compensation might be difficult, and that includes the multitude of potentially liable parties.
Commercial Trucking Insurance Companies
If you were in an accident caused by a large tractor-trailer delivery truck, there’s a chance you’ll be dealing with a third-party trucking company who is contracted to deliver for another company (as is often the case with Amazon and FedEx). In this case, you may not be filing a claim with the truck driver’s individual auto insurance company, but rather a commercial trucking insurance company that represents the truck driver and their employer.
If you were in a UPS truck accident, you’ll most likely file a claim directly with UPS, as their drivers are generally employed and insured by the company. To report an accident, call 1-800-742-5877 and ask to speak to a customer service representative about filing an accident claim. Before doing so, however, you may want to consult a trusted and experienced personal injury firm.
When representing their clients, commercial trucking insurance companies may go to great lengths and spend a significant sum of money to deny the extent of your injuries and/or their responsibility for the accident. They may try to deflect responsibility by claiming that the driver was on their lunch break or otherwise not on company time when the accident occurred.
The bigger your potential claim to compensation, the more pushback you may face. Alternatively, the insurance company may offer you a subpar settlement in the days or weeks after your accident, hoping to get you off their back as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
Amazon Flex Insurance / Delivery Service Partners
Amazon’s delivery vans are the vehicles you see going to and from Amazon warehouses and delivering packages in residential areas. If you were hit by one of these Amazon delivery vans while driving your car, motorcycle, while riding your bicycle, or even as a pedestrian, who you need to file a claim with depends on whether the at-fault delivery driver is an independent contractor through Amazon Flex or if they are employed by one of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSPs).
If the driver is an independent contractor, they may be covered by the Amazon Flex insurance program. This commercial auto insurance policy covers accidents that occur when the driver is clocked in and actively delivering packages. (If they cause an accident in an Amazon vehicle in their off hours, you’ll need to file a claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance.) Amazon Flex insurance provides auto liability coverage of up to $1 million per accident.
If you were hit by an Amazon delivery driver employed by a DSP, you’ll most likely need to file a claim with their employer’s commercial auto insurance.
Amazon, UPS, or FedEx
If you suffered injuries in a delivery truck accident, there’s a decent chance you will be able to obtain the compensation you’re owed through one insurance company or another (and possibly your own in Kansas). On the other hand, though, negligence or recklessness on the part of a business may warrant additional compensation if their policies or business model contributed in some way to the accident.
Just because some companies like Amazon try to legally distance themselves from their drivers doesn’t necessarily mean they are immune to lawsuits, especially in light of the growing allegations that Amazon has pressured its contracted drivers to prioritize speed and efficiency over safety. The same may be true for other shipping logistics companies like UPS and FedEx. If you believe a company’s actions (or lack thereof) may have played a role in your delivery truck accident, contact Patterson Legal Group now to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.
If you were injured by a United States Postal Service government employee driving a government postal truck, you’ll most likely be filing a claim against the U.S. government instead of a private company. Doing so will require meeting a higher burden of proof and taking prompt legal action as soon as possible after a postal truck accident.
To get started, you will need to complete Standard Form 95, the most common documentation used to bring a claim for “property damage, personal injury, or death allegedly caused by a federal employee’s negligence or wrongful act or omission occurring within the scope of the employee’s federal employment”. It is highly recommended to consult an attorney prior to completing and submitting this document.
Hit by a Delivery Driver in Missouri or Kansas? We Can Help
The truth is that delivery truck accidents can be extremely complicated. Filing a claim with the wrong insurance company, business, or government entity can easily spoil your claim and reduce your chances of being fairly compensated for an accident that was not your fault.
The award-winning car accident attorneys at Patterson Legal Group are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal assistance when you need it the most. We even offer free, no obligation consultations to help injured victims better understand their legal rights before filing a claim.
To find out if you may have a delivery truck accident case, call us at (816) 920-0000 (Missouri) or (888) 687-2400 (Kansas), connect with one of our LiveChat agents standing by, or fill out this form to request your free consultation. There’s no cost unless we make a recovery on your behalf—that’s our no win, no fee promise.