Delivery Truck Accidents and the Coronavirus Epidemic
Dramatic increase in shopping from home is stressing delivery vehicles, drivers
In a previous post, we reported on the alarming number of fatal and serious injury accidents involving armored trucks belonging to GardaWorld Cash Services and how that company has a history of accidents caused by poor vehicle maintenance and overworked drivers. In today’s post the delivery truck accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm discusses an often-overlooked consequence of the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic: the dramatic increase in the number of families shopping from home has led to a shortage of qualified drivers to deliver online purchases.
The Coronavirus epidemic has led to “panic” buying of consumer products, resulting in empty shelves at grocery stores and “big box” retailers. These shortages have led many individuals and families to turn to online sellers such as Amazon and Ebay as a source of essential disposable products and, kin some cases, non-perishable foodstuffs such as canned goods. As a result of this surge in online shopping, online retailers have been forced to hire thousands of delivery drivers and contractors to deliver a rapidly-expanding volume of products. Although most of these drivers have good to excellent driving records, some home delivery and over-the-road drivers have poor driver safety records and probably would not have been hired had it not been for the acute shortage of qualified drivers!
The Coronavirus epidemic has led to major disruptions in our daily lives. It has not, however, relieved employers of their duties to obey all state and federal laws regarding transportation safety. At The Doan Law Firm, our staff are already receiving reports of some companies taking dangerous shortcuts to cope with the demand for home delivery. Although we will not identify specific companies and/or individuals, most reports are related to the following issues.
Failure to conduct background checks and verify driving records of employees
By law, before a commercial vehicle driver can be hired, the prospective employer must verify a driver’s license status and conduct a background check to include driving record and any disqualifying criminal record. Failure to conduct such checks is not only illegal, such failure could be seen as negligence if an unqualified driver is involved in an accident while operating a company vehicle.
Improper vehicle maintenance
Aside from driver error, mechanical problems are the leading cause of commercial vehicle accidents. By law, an unsafe vehicle cannot be operated on public streets and highways. These laws and regulations apply to both company vehicles as well as those owned by independent contractors acting on behalf of a company, such as owner-operators who use their own vehicles rather than one assigned them by a company. If a vehicle is involved in an accident, and it can be shown that improper or inadequate maintenance was a factor in that accident, the vehicle’s owner and/or driver can be held liable.
Violations of traffic laws
All drivers, particularly those operating commercial vehicles such as large package delivery trucks, must obey all state and local traffic laws. If a driver violates a traffic law and is involved in an accident, the driver (and in many cases the driver’s employer) can be held liable for any injuries and other damages.
Contacting a delivery truck accident lawyer
Since there are many legal issues that could arise following an accident involving a delivery truck, or any other commercial vehicle, you will need the services of an experienced delivery truck accident lawyer who has a record of success in managing product delivery truck accident lawsuits.
If you, or a family member, were injured in a delivery truck accident, we encourage you to contact the delivery truck accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a personal injury law firm with offices located throughout the country, to arrange a free review of the facts in your delivery truck accident case and a review of the legal options that may be available to you.
When you contact our firm to arrange a review of the facts in your delivery truck accident case, your case review and first consultation with delivery truck accident lawyer is always free of any charges and does not obligate you to hire our firm to represent you in court. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in order, and that you would like for us to act as your legal counsel, we are always willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for a percentage of the final settlement that we are prepared to win for you.