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The Proliferation of Home Deliveries in California and the Interconnected Increase in Delivery Vehicle Accidents

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world in countless ways. One of those is the massive proliferation of people having their purchases — even everyday ones — shipped to their front door. With that explosion of deliveries has come more drivers, more trucks… and more accidents caused by delivery drivers. If you were hurt by a professional delivery driver, you need to take great care in initiating a legal case so that your case gets you everything you deserve. One essential step in doing that is retaining a knowledgeable San Mateo truck accident lawyer.

Late last month, an incident involving a delivery truck was something far from the ordinary. The driver of the delivery truck led police on a wild chase across parts of Solano County, according to a Mercury News report. A witness spotted the FedEx driver driving recklessly, including hitting another car before entering Interstate 80 in Vacaville. Police in Fairfield attempted a traffic stop, but the driver evaded them there and led them on a chase that ended in Cordelia. Police captured the driver after “a brief foot pursuit,” according to the report.

Chances are high that you won’t be injured in a crash like that one. Nevertheless, the danger of being hurt by a delivery driver is very real.

That danger is greater than ever today, what with the explosion of services offering home delivery, right down to fast food meals and supermarket groceries.

Both Vehicle Defects and Driver Errors May Lead to Delivery Service Liability

There are lots of ways that a delivery driver may be negligent in causing the accident that injured you. The driver may have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. The driver may have been, under the weight of pressure to meet deadlines, impaired by drowsiness or fatigue. The driver may have been distracted or failed to keep a proper lookout. The driver may have been speeding.

Each of these is something that, if proven, may entitle you not only to hold the driver liable, but also the delivery entity. In all cases, the key to meeting that burden of proof and winning that claim will come down to obtaining the right evidence and utilizing it correctly.

For example, say the delivery driver who hurt you was under the influence of drugs at the time. You’ll need a legal team that can not only unearth the driver’s driving history but also get proof related to the delivery service’s investigation into the driver (or its lack of investigation.) If your evidence reveals that the driver had a history of driving while high and that the delivery service failed to do reasonable research on the driver (when reasonable research would have uncovered those “red flags,”) then that represents potential liability. If the company did the research, found the driver’s problematic past, and hired him anyway, that also could be a winning claim. In each instance, the company is potentially liable under the legal theory of “negligent hiring.”

Also, if your proof reveals that the driver who hit you was driving in a reckless manner and that the company’s policies, practices, and/or training encouraged (or failed to discourage) that kind of driving, then the company might be liable under various theories of negligence, potentially including negligent training. More than 25 years ago, the Domino’s pizza chain ended its “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee after multiple people successfully sued the business following accidents with Domino’s drivers, including one where a rushing delivery person ran a red light and slammed into a woman’s car, causing her hundreds of thousands of dollars in harm. The theory of those cases was that the company’s policies encouraged drivers to drive recklessly.

Alternately, your accident may have occurred because of flaws with the delivery vehicle, not the driver’s driving. If the delivery driver injured you because their vehicle malfunctioned, then you may be entitled to hold the company liable for its negligent failure to provide the driver with a safe vehicle. You may also be able to sue any additional entities legally obligated to maintain and/or repair that truck.

If you were hit and hurt by a delivery driver, you undoubtedly have questions. The knowledgeable San Mateo truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos have the reliable answers you need. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

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