Delivery Vehicle Accidents

Delivery vans and trucks are ubiquitous on our streets, but there are even more delivery vehicles on the road daily that are harder to spot.

In addition to UPS, Fedex, Amazon, and other parcel delivery services, your groceries and restaurant meals are delivered by gig drivers in their own personal vehicles. While the benefits of quick delivery are undeniable, there are also evident problems created by the influx of delivery vehicles on the road. Drivers are often on the road for many hours and are under pressure to complete huge delivery routes with tight deadlines. These conditions contribute to driver fatigue and errors, which lead to additional accidents across the United States and worldwide.

If you are injured by a delivery driver as a pedestrian or motorist, it can be challenging to understand your rights and ensure that your damages have been appropriately compensated. If you have been in an accident involving a delivery driver and you were not at fault, reaching out to a qualified personal injury attorney will help you push past the bureaucracy to get answers and fair compensation for your losses.

Car on tow truck on snow road

What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)?

United States Code § 31132 found in Title 49 defines the most typical types of CMVs. A vehicle that is over 10,001 pounds, designed to transport 16+ people, or designed to transport specific hazardous materials all fall into the category of CMVs. You may see these types of CMVs regularly in your area:

Clearly, CMVs can be any of a wide variety of vehicles. Typically, they are vehicles that are used by a business for the transportation of goods or passengers. Their size and cargo often make them significantly more dangerous in a wreck, even at low speeds. A passenger vehicle is likely to suffer severe damage in a collision with a CMV, and the occupants may be seriously injured or killed. Cyclists and pedestrians are in even more extreme danger.

Types of Delivery Vehicles:

Delivery Trucks and Vans

The visible delivery vehicles on our streets are often clearly marked vans or trucks displaying their company branding. However, just knowing that you were in a collision with an Amazon or Fedex vehicle doesn’t necessarily mean that the parent company is required to insure the driver or vehicle. There are two possible scenarios for most marked delivery vehicles: either the driver is a direct employee of the delivery company, or the driver may be employed by an independent delivery company that is contracted to do deliveries for the parent company.

If the driver is a direct employee, their employer will likely be covered by a sizeable insurance policy. Most UPS drivers are direct employees of UPS, which means that if they are involved in an accident that UPS’s insurance would cover any damages incurred while their employee is on the job.

If the driver is employed by a delivery partner, the situation is often markedly different. Amazon often works with smaller, local delivery companies instead of employing each driver themselves. In this situation, negligence by the delivery driver would be covered by the insurance policy held by the local delivery company. In many cases, these policies are significantly lower than the type of policy held by an online giant like Amazon.

Deliveries Using Personal Vehicles

Delivery services like DoorDash, UberEATS, Skip the Dishes, Grubhub, Instacart, and Shipt have exploded since early 2020, when large sectors of society were suddenly encouraged or required to stay home due to the spreading COVID virus. Nearly three years later, much of society has returned to their normal routines, but meal and grocery delivery has remained extremely popular across the United States.

Drivers for these companies are independent contractors, which means they are typically not covered by the companies that contract them. UberEATS and DoorDash are the exceptions to this rule as they provide up to $1 million in coverage per accident, but other companies require each driver to maintain their own insurance policies. However, most personal insurance policies do not cover accidents that occur while the driver is using the vehicle for commercial purposes. If the driver did not add a rider covering their delivery work, they are likely to be uninsured in case of an accident.

Parties at Fault in a CMV Accident:

Drivers: Negligence

Typically, cases against the driver of a CMV are based on a charge of negligence in some regard. Because of the increased danger associated with CMVs, there are increased regulations and insurance requirements for vehicles and their drivers.

Drivers are typically at work when behind the wheel, which can mean pressure from the company to complete deliveries or routes by a specific deadline. This can easily lead to drivers being overly fatigued, driving while distracted, continuing to drive through dangerously inclement weather, and failing to maintain their vehicles properly. Should the entity owning and using the CMV in your wreck have been negligent in causing a collision, we will prove them liable for your damages, harms, and losses.

Drivers: Bad Faith

Occasionally, the evidence uncovered during our investigation may lead us to the conclusion the company made decisions equating to conduct occurring in bad faith. Whether they omitted important medical information which may have disqualified them from operating a CMV or did not take reasonable steps to avoid a collision when there was time and opportunity to do so, a driver can be found to be operating in bad faith.

Company Owners: Vicarious Liability

In some cases, the company employing a CMV driver will be at fault since the employer will be held liable for the actions of their employee while they are working. For instance, a trucking company may encourage its drivers to violate regulations or even allow them to operate a CMV without the required licensing. In these cases, the company may be liable for damages caused by its driver.

Recoverable Damages

While the damages that may be recoverable in your case will be specific to the accident, your injuries, and the applicable laws, it is common to seek reparations for the following damages:

We will help you assess your harms and losses and assign a valuation that will appropriately compensate you for the losses you and your family may have suffered.

What To Do If I Am Hit By A CMV

Being in a serious car wreck can be absolutely life-changing. In the moment, there are several things you can do to help you document the scene and protect your rights. The severity of wrecks involving a CMV may prevent you from doing any or all of these steps, but if possible you should attempt to follow them. If you have also sustained significant injuries or are now mourning the death of a loved one, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you of your options.


File a report.

The first step after a wreck is to reach out for help and file a report with the police. Explain what happened to the best of your ability, noting any erratic or dangerous behavior from the other driver.


Get medical attention.

Even if you don’t feel that you are seriously injured in the moment, allow the paramedics to assess you and make their reports. After a serious collision, injuries may not reveal themselves until the initial adrenaline has worn off.


Get insurance information.

If possible, speak with other driver and exchange your names, contact information and insurance details. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their contact information as well.


Take photos.

In the aftermath of a wreck, everything can be overwhelming, and documenting the scene may be far from your mind. However, pictures of the location, vehicles involved, skid marks, or anything else that seems pertinent can be extremely important. Remember not to post any photos to social media or even your own account of the collision.


Contact your insurance company.

Your insurer will be able to walk you through your policy benefits, and a prompt report can assist your insurer to refrain from asserting the unavailability of benefits you’ve paid for in your policy.


Contact legal representation.

Evidence and memory quickly become faded and vague, so contacting a personal injury lawyer quickly is key. We will advise you about your rights and help you avoid obstacles in your pursuit of justice.

Truck Delivery on the Way

Your Personal Injury Attorney

If you are injured in a collision with a delivery vehicle, it is often extremely difficult to get appropriate compensation without legal representation. A personal injury attorney can immediately work on documenting the scene, collecting evidence, gathering expert testimony, and compiling evidence of your injuries and losses due to the accident.

Whether you were injured by a delivery driver’s personal vehicle or a company-owned delivery truck, our team at Lazenby Law Group is experienced and ready to help you receive justice. Time is of the essence when preserving evidence and meeting legal deadlines, so don’t delay. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case, and we will respond within 24 hours of your inquiry.

Have you been in a Commercial Motor Vehicle accident?

A major collision can leave you mentally and emotionally overwhelmed, unable to provide for your family, and facing the consequences of your injuries for decades to come. If you have been involved in a wreck involving a CMV, you can rest easy knowing that your case is safe in our hands.

Lazenby Law Group is here to help. If you have been involved in a wreck involving a CMV, contact us today and we will reach out immediately to begin the process of seeking justice for you and your family.

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