Who hasn’t looked out their window at any odd hour of the day to see a delivery truck zipping down the street maybe a bit too fast? Maybe with a driver a little too focused on meeting a delivery deadline and a little less focused on the surrounding environment? Fast delivery is big business in the 21st Century and is expected to continue growing worldwide.
DHL Express is the self-proclaimed ‘global leader in international express shipping.’ They promise fast service. They use words like ‘swift,’ ‘quick,’ and ‘expedited.’ What this can trickle down to is pressure on drivers to make deliveries as rapidly as possible. Such intense focus on getting to the next destination may result in unsafe driving behaviors that lead to accidents.
At Stephenson Rife, we help people who have been injured in accidents with DHL trucks. Our Indianapolis DHL truck accident lawyers are dedicated to getting justice for our clients and are driven to obtain the best possible outcomes in every case.
How You Benefit from a DHL Truck Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been injured in an accident involving a DHL or any type of delivery truck, there may be several responsible parties who will all be looking to their insurance companies to provide coverage for their liabilities. The insurance companies will be arguing among themselves, all trying to minimize the amounts of money they will need to part with.
This can become a complicated mess without the help of a legal advocate who knows how to focus on what is important to you and can cut through the chaos to get what you are legally entitled to. A DHL truck accident attorney can help in the following ways:
- Consider the circumstances of your accident and your claim in relation to the applicable laws
- Provide counsel regarding various legal options and make recommendations based on your desired outcome
- Investigate the circumstances leading to the accident and develop legal strategies to support your claim
- Make sure the nature and extent of your injuries are understood and fully compensated
- Use their knowledge and experience to negotiate with insurance companies for the best settlement
- Take your case to trial if it will get you a better result.
Why Stephenson Rife is the Right Law Firm to Handle Your DHL Truck Accident Claim
At Stephenson Rife, we focus on how we can get the results our clients want. We don’t shy away from difficult cases. We welcome the opportunity to find positive solutions to challenging legal situations. We never settle for anything less than our clients’ best interests.
We are grateful for our ability to achieve the high level of client satisfaction expressed by the following testimonials:
- “I am so thankful for the passion and dedication he and his team had throughout my entire case.”
- “They were caring and explained every step to us, and made themselves available whenever we had a question.”
- “Whatever preconceived notions of lawyers you may have, Stephenson Rife will quickly erase. They are the most thoughtful, intelligent and compassionate people we have ever met.”
Large Truck Accident Statistics
According to the most recent Traffic Safety Facts published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks accounted for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2020. A large truck is any vehicle excluding a motor home or a bus, with a gross vehicle weight of over 10,000 pounds. Many DHL delivery trucks qualify as large trucks under the NHTSA definition.
In Indiana, the percentage of large trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2020 was slightly higher than the national average at close to 12%. Of the 153 persons killed in large truck accidents, 73% were the occupants of other vehicles.
There were close to 176,000 traffic collisions in Indiana in 2020. Marion County had the largest number of crashes and the most fatalities. Speed was a contributing factor in 25% of the fatality accidents. Unsafe driver actions were the primary factor in 63% of all collisions and nearly 50% of all fatal crashes.
Making an Injury Claim after a Delivery Truck Accident
The success of a personal injury claim depends on proving another person or entity was responsible for causing the claimed injuries. Indiana is a fault state, and recovery for injuries depends on determining who was at fault for a DHL truck accident.
It is important to document as much information about the accident as quickly as possible after it occurs and take steps to preserve any evidence that may be lost or destroyed with the passage of time.
If fault for an accident is not clear or there is disagreement among the persons involved, additional investigation and consultation with experts may be necessary to proceed with an injury claim. Fault may be attributed to more than one party – including an injured claimant.
Having some fault will not bar an injured person from recovering from other at-fault parties in Indiana unless an injured person is more than 50% responsible for causing their injuries. However, any damage award will be reduced proportionately by the percentage of fault for the accident.
This makes the determination of who is at fault for an accident and by how much critical to the amount of compensation that can be collected for damages.
Who is Liable in a Delivery Truck Accident?
Depending on the cause of the accident and the relationship between the truck driver and the trucking company, there are several potentially liable parties. DHL delivery drivers can be employees of the company or may be hired as independent contract couriers. With no employment relationship between the driver and the delivery company, it is harder to hold the trucking company responsible for a driver’s actions, but it is not impossible.
Potential liability for a delivery truck accident may rest with any of the following:
- Delivery truck driver
- Delivery service company
- Manufacturer of delivery truck parts
- Company responsible for the maintenance of the delivery truck
- Company responsible for loading the truck’s cargo
- Government entity responsible for roadway maintenance
- Drivers of other vehicles.
Common Reasons for Delivery Truck Accidents
Human error or other unsafe driving behavior is the primary factor in large truck accidents. In a study done by the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on large truck accident causation, four driver behaviors were identified as the top reasons for the majority of crashes:
- Driver non-performance – driver fell asleep or became physically impaired
- Lack of recognition – driver was distracted or failed to accurately perceive the situation
- Poor decision making – driver made unsafe driving choices such as speeding or following too closely
- Poor performance – driver response was inappropriate for conditions due to inexperience or panic.
The top mechanical reason for truck accidents is problems with braking. Roadway problems were the top environmental factor.
Injuries That Can Occur in Crashes with Delivery Trucks
Delivery trucks are generally bigger, taller, and weigh more than the average passenger vehicle. As is demonstrated by the statistics on truck accidents, when crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles occur, the occupants of the passenger cars get the worst of it.
The types of injuries that can occur in a delivery truck accident depend on what happens at the moment of impact and how the body responds. Some injuries are immediately recognized, and some may develop more slowly. Some injuries are temporary, and some are so severe they completely change a person’s life. Sometimes the injuries are so devastating they are not survivable.
Brain injuries can occur in truck accidents even when there is no outward sign of injury. The impact can cause the soft brain to slam into the hard skull, causing damage to nerve tissue. The body’s reaction to the injury can create secondary injuries and become a life-threatening emergency if not recognized and treated quickly. Brain injuries can cause permanent impairment to function and require lifetime care.
Spinal cord injuries are also serious injuries that can result from a truck accident. Damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis of the body, permanent impairment, and the inability to do many things that were previously enjoyed.
The more serious the injury and the greater an impact it has on life both now and into the future, the more compensation an injured person may be entitled to and the harder it can be to convince insurance companies to pay.
Proving Damages in a DHL Delivery Truck Accident
Persons injured in accidents in Indiana are allowed to be compensated for the expenses incurred as a result of the accident and for the suffering and inconvenience they have had to endure.
Economic damages include expenses related to medical care for injuries and income that could not be earned due to work missed. Lost income can also include amounts that cannot be earned in the future because of the accident. These types of damages are relatively easy to calculate because they are based on known amounts.
Non-economic damages are based on the subjective experience of the injured person. Proving damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life involves monetizing the negative impact an accident has had and will have on an injured person. The amount of non-economic damages is often a source of disagreement in settlement negotiations.
What Kind of Settlement can be Expected from a Delivery Truck Accident?
There really is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to personal injury settlements. Every situation is different. The factors taken into consideration will include who was at fault for the accident, the injuries sustained, and how those injuries have impacted the injured person.
Insurance companies will do everything possible to limit the amount of money they need to pay out in claims. An injured person must be a strong advocate on their own behalf and relentlessly impress upon insurance companies the damages incurred and the willingness to take matters to court if necessary.
The more thoroughly an injury claim is prepared and backed with evidence, the more likely settlement negotiations will lead to a satisfactory settlement and avoid litigation.
Contact a DHL Truck Accident Lawyer Today
We live in a fast-paced world that doesn’t seem to lend itself to a lot of downtime. When the unexpected happens, and we’re faced with setbacks that knock everything out of balance, we may need help to figure things out and get ourselves back up and running again.
If you find yourself reeling after being injured in an accident involving a DHL truck or driver, Stephenson Rife is here to help you understand and enforce your legal rights to compensation. Serving families throughout Indiana for more than 30 years, our DHL truck accident attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and dedication to represent your interests and get you the best results.
For personalized service from a law firm that is willing to do what it takes, call 317-680-2350 or contact Stephenson Rife for a free consultation.
Attorney Mike Stephenson
Attorney Mike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, just to name a few. Mike is a proven advocate and trial attorney. He has served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and has handled litigation in 18 states. [ Attorney Bio ]