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On any given day, delivery vehicles ranging from cars to trucks are ever present on Georgia roads. Often, these drivers are seen rushing to meet tight schedules from a mountain load of online orders. Therefore, it is inevitable that accidents do occur with these types of vehicles. But the question remains: Who is liable when car and truck crashes happen during delivery? To discern liability, the competent Atlanta & Savannah workers’ compensation attorneys of Parons Law Group will shed more light on this matter. 

Understanding the Complexities of Liability in Delivery Car and Truck Accidents

Liability simply means a party is legally responsible for damages or injuries. Determining liability in delivery car and truck accidents can be complex as multiple parties may be involved. Some key parties that impact liability include:

  • The driver: It is normal to first look at the driver in cases of an accident. Liability can be assigned if negligence such as speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving, or failure to comply with service hours as mandated under Title 49, Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).
  • The owner of the truck/car: The driver may not be the vehicle’s owner, and liability, therefore, will also be linked to the owner. Liability can be proven if the owner fails to conduct the proper vehicle maintenance or comply with safety standards. 
  • The trucking company: The term “respondeat superior” can be applied to trucking companies. In simple terms, it implies that “the master must answer”. However, it must be proven that the company failed to conduct background checks on the driver or that improper training was provided. In this case, they are liable for negligence in hiring. 
  • The vehicle manufacturer: Was the accident caused by a vehicle malfunction? Then the manufacturer could be held liable under product liability laws. Of course, this requires evidence that a specific part is defective and this defect directly resulted in the accident. 
  • The delivery company: They manage the final delivery phase, and can be held liable due to direct control over adherence to safety and legal standards, driver training, and vehicle operations. 
  • Other parties (such as government agencies): Governmental entities can be held liable for a poorly maintained road, or a malfunctioning traffic light, which could have contributed to the accident. Governmental claims however involve certain immunities and requirements which can only complicate the matter. 

Understanding these specifics is crucial in accurately determining liability in truck and delivery vehicle accidents. 

Exploring the Role of Employment Status in Delivery Vehicle Accidents

The driver’s employment status is important in determining liability for a delivery vehicle accident. If the driver is a full-time employee, the employer might be liable for employee actions during working hours. 

However, if the driver is an independent contractor or a gig worker, the driver and their insurance coverage provider can be held liable for the accident.

What Happens if a Third-Party Contributed to the Delivery Vehicle Accident?

There is always a possibility that the delivery vehicle accident was because of a third party. Third parties who can play a role in delivery vehicle accidents are:

  • Other negligent drivers
  • Bicyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Vehicle manufacturers

If a third party’s negligence contributes to the accident, the injured delivery driver can file a personal injury lawsuit or through the company’s workers’ compensation coverage. 

How Georiga Law Addresses Workers’ Compensation for Delivery Drivers

Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws ensure injured employees receive benefits, covering medical expenses and lost wages. Independent contractors, however, face different challenges as no coverage exists under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Despite this seeming clause, it does not always mean that the employer is exempt from having to pay workers’ compensation. 

Secure Your Rights: Getting the Right Help From Our Atlanta & Savannah Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Determining liability for car and truck crashes during delivery can be a complex process. Due to several parties – from drivers to manufacturers – being involved, you may be unsure of where your rights begin and end. For personalized advice and efficient representation, contact our competent Atlanta & Savannah workers’ compensation attorneys today. Let us help you secure the compensation you deserve.