Getting involved in an automobile accident can be a rather disastrous thing, depending on how severe the injury resulting from the accident are. One big issue that a lot of people face following an auto accident is the process of getting proper compensation from the incident, as it can be more or less complicated depending on certain circumstances. One such example is if the accident involves a UPS delivery driver. Just who is ultimately responsible in a legal context?
How do you handle seeking compensation if you are hit by a UPS delivery driver
Immediately after the accident occurs, the UPS driver should contact their superior in order to let them know that it had happened in the first place, which is a good first step to getting the ball rolling. You both should also take care to call the police and emergency services if needed; the latter to have good documentation of the incident, and the latter because if anyone has been injured, having emergency services on sight can make things a lot better in the grand scheme of things. It is important to obtain witness reports, especially when it happened, as the longer the witnesses have before they give their reports, the more likely their recollection of events are going to be hazy. Take pictures of any injuries you incurred, as well as any damage that your vehicle incurred. You should also look into nearby security footage, if any exists, though getting the footage may take more time to get. Police statements are also important and getting your statement on record does a world of good for you. Just make sure that the later statements you make line up with that original statement.
Before you even try to work towards getting a form of compensation, you need to consult with your own insurance company. After all, in the event that UPS’ insurance agency denies your claim, and you are unable to pursue a claim against them, you are going to need to deal with your own insurance. Unfortunately, the potential that the insurance company will determine that you at fault for the accident occurring in the first place is still there. Insurance companies are not at all an altruistic existence. Not that every person at an insurance agency is going to be a bad person, but in reality, the goal of an insurance agency is to make as much money as possible. For some, that may involve behaving in an unethical fashion. It is a business, after all. If an insurance agency can get away with not paying out for an injury you incurred, they will certainly try. Some states are also fairly strict with how they handle liability with respect to an automobile accident. For example, in Virginia, if you have even one percent of liability for the accident occurring, UPS’ insurance company is legally entitled to deny your right to recover damages through them. If you are unsure as to whether this is the case in the state you reside in, be sure to look up your state’s laws regarding liability in auto accidents and recovering damages from them.
The next thing that needs to be determined is what, exactly, the UPS driver was acting as. For example, if a person is currently on the clock when the automobile accident occurs, that would be handled through UPS’ insurance (unless another factor prevents that from happening, as mentioned above). On top of that, the driver needs to be performing their normal, expected UPS duties. This one is a lot more difficult to demonstrate, as it can be rather subjective as to whether what they were doing at the time constituted their normal duties, or even close to their normal duties. This can be used by UPS and their lawyers to point out certain actions and behaviors done by the UPS driver that made the driver technically not representing them when the accident occurs. As an example, the UPS driver may have been doing a personal errand, or they were on their lunch break, leading to them not acting as a UPS driver at the time. In the event that it is determined that the driver was acting on their own, at that point, it will be your responsibility to pursue the driver in order to recover damages from the accident, which may range to medical bills to automobile repair.
No matter who you are pursuing, UPS or the driver themselves, you should have a qualified personal injury lawyer on your side to represent you. It is both possible and legal to represent yourself, but in doing so, you are creating the risk that you lose your case, particularly to the opposing attorney, who is almost surely going to have more experience in this than you have. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you sort through the facts of the case, as well as determine whether you should even be pursuing UPS or not in the first place. An important thing to note though is that while UPS is likely to have more money available through their insurance company, suing UPS will not get more money to you than suing the driver.