Washington, D.C. Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers
We take on big companies—and get results
Delivery trucks are a common sight in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia areas. Ranging in size from vans and box trucks to eighteen-wheelers, drivers of these commercial vehicles are sometimes under impossible pressure to arrive at a destination within a particular timeframe or face economic and other consequences. This pressure only mounts in situations where congestion or other road conditions can easily create a situation causing a delivery driver to make unwise and unsafe driving decisions.
At the law offices of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A., our knowledgeable Washington, D.C. truck accident attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience helping injured clients recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages sustained in accidents involving delivery trucks and vehicles.
What causes truck accidents?
Besides factors such as heavy traffic or weather conditions prompting a delivery driver to speed, drive recklessly, or drive while fatigued in order to get back on schedule, accidents involving these vehicles can also be caused by:
- Inadequate driver training or lack of driver experience—Delivery vehicles often require specialized driving skills to safely negotiate congested driving environments. Delivery companies that inadequately train their drivers can be found negligent.
- Failure to properly inspect the vehicle—Delivery vehicles must remain under ongoing scrutiny for mechanical issues, such as inadequate warning lights or worn tires, which can cause accidents
- Failure to effectively maintain the vehicle—Components such as brakes, rear gates and trailer hitches must remain in working order
- Improperly loaded or secured cargo—An overloaded truck is prone to rollover, tire blowouts, and brake failure. In addition, an insufficiently secured payload becomes to shifting while in transit, which can also cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Driver error—Delivery truck drivers are, unfortunately, as prone to driving while distracted (such as texting, eating, or GPS usage while in motion), driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and reckless or careless driving.
Because of these factors, delivery companies and their insurers are prepared to swing into action the moment an accident occurs involving one of their drivers and vehicles, in an effort to minimize potential costs.
How are delivery truck accidents different from automobile accidents?
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is responsible for the actions of employees performed within the course of their employment. Because of this, when training candidates to operate one of their vehicles, many delivery companies routinely devote time to educating prospective drivers about what to do or say after an accident. This education is intended to serve only one purpose—to limit the company’s potential liability under respondeat superior.
In addition, other parties can be held liable in connection with a delivery truck accident, such as the vehicle manufacturer, the company responsible for maintaining the vehicle, or the company that manufactured a particular vehicle part or component. Our skilled Washington, D.C. truck accident attorneys seek evidence from multiple sources, including evidence documenting:
- The delivery vehicle itself—Maintenance records, inspection documentation, and even engine data from an onboard “black box” can provide substantial indication of that vehicle’s safety.
- The delivery driver—What hiring standards and qualifications, and special training factored into his employment? Does he or she have any history concerning possible driving infractions, disciplinary issues, or health problems?
- The delivery company—Are drivers subject to unreasonable pressures or punishments? Does management promote a work culture where negligence is tolerated and drivers are insulated, or are drivers expected to comply with management malfeasance?
- The delivery itself—Was the payload properly loaded and secured, in compliance with all state and federal safety guidelines? Potentially hazardous cargo, such as fuel or chemicals, is subject to particularly stringent regulations.
Using evidence obtained from this investigation, and in conjunction with experts in the field of accident reconstruction, our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys are able to put injured clients in a strong position to obtain maximum compensation.
Don’t let an insurance company tell you that you don’t need an attorney—hire a skilled Washington DC truck accident attorney today
When a delivery truck accident occurs, a response team is quickly dispatched to the accident scene to take statements from witnesses and gather physical evidence. These investigators may be working for the trucking company or an insurer, to minimize total liability and costs. In addition, while these individuals may approach an injured victim and make a settlement offer, such an offer is very likely to be inadequate to cover the full amount of damages sustained, and the settlement agreement may also incorporate a waiver of any further rights to compensation.
At the law offices of Karp, Wigodsky, Norwind, Kudel & Gold, P.A., our experienced Washington, D.C. truck accident attorneys are familiar with these tactics, and are prepared to aggressively counter them on your behalf. For a free initial consultation, we urge you to contact us now at (800) 229-7026, or contact us online. There is no fee unless we win. Offices conveniently located in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland.