United Parcel Service (UPS) Accidents

If you've been injured in an accident involving a UPS vehicle, it's important to understand your legal rights. If the accident occurred because of the driver or the company's negligence, you may have the option to file an accident claim against the company.

UPS trucks are commercial vehicles, meaning they are driven by employees but owned by UPS. Commercial vehicles are governed by a unique set of regulations that dictate their maintenance and usage, as well as rules that both the company that owns the vehicle and the driver must comply with. If they do not, serious crashes can occur, and there can be legal consequences. In these instances, you may be able to file an accident claim against UPS to receive compensation for various damages that resulted from the accident, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of income, among other things.

The specifics surrounding a lawsuit against UPS can be complex. If you have been injured in an accident with a UPS vehicle, it is important to speak with an attorney experienced in litigating commercial vehicle accidents with a track record of success.

For a free legal consultation, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form. Our team is adept at recovering significant amounts in commercial vehicle accident lawsuits, including $14 million and $13.5 million settlements for clients harmed in crashes involving company-owned vehicles.

What to Do After a UPS Accident

Remember that in motor vehicle collisions, your health and safety are always the first priority. You may have also thought about taking legal action, but have no idea how or where to begin. There are steps you can take to ensure your legal rights are protected in the aftermath of an accident with a commercial vehicle.

  • Seek medical attention: As soon as you are able after the accident, make sure you are examined by a medical professional you trust. Even if you do not feel like you have any serious injuries, this is still an important step; some injuries, such as concussions, do not show symptoms right away. Additionally, getting examined immediately after the accident ensures there is a record of your injuries, which could be potentially useful in court.
  • File an accident report: Ensure there is an accurate police report of the accident, so that the facts of the incident and any damage done to your vehicle is on record and accessible. It is also helpful to ask for a copy of the report for your own records.
  • Take photos of the accident scene, if you are able: If you are not in immediate danger and you have received medical attention, it is beneficial for a case to have pictures of the accident scene and damage done to the vehicles involved. Physical evidence that shows the immediate aftermath of an accident can be helpful, as a large company defendant (like UPS) may try and manipulate the accident details so the company seems less liable.
  • Take note of various kinds of damages: In car accident cases, there are various damages that you may be able to claim compensation for. Some of these include the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident, the medical expenses incurred, loss of income if your injuries prevent you from working, and loss of quality of life. Noting if and how the accident has affected different areas of your life can help your attorney build a better case for you, and recover every dollar of compensation you are entitled to.
  • Call an auto accident lawyer to discuss your case: Your first priority in the aftermath of an accident with a UPS vehicle should be healing your injuries. An experienced attorney can focus on handling the details of your case and ensuring you get the compensation you are entitled to.

UPS Delivery Vehicle Regulations

UPS trucks are subject to certain regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), meant to ensure that the vehicle and the driver are as safe as possible and to decrease the risk of accidents. Some of these regulations include:

Hours of Service: Commercial vehicle drivers carrying property (such as packages for delivery) are required by law to take a break after 14 consecutive hours of driving. These regulations "are designed to eliminate the type of drowsiness that can lead to crashes," according to the FMCSA website.

Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Requirements: All commercial vehicles must adhere to a certain level of maintenance in order to be deemed safe for the roads. It is the responsibility of the company that owns the vehicle to ensure it is properly maintained and inspected, and it is the responsibility of the driver to inspect the vehicle to ensure it is in proper condition before driving. The company that owns the vehicle is also required to keep records of the vehicle's condition and various inspections.

Driver Qualification Requirements: Companies have an obligation to hire drivers that meet certain baseline standards qualifying them to drive a commercial vehicle. A qualified driver must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), be at least 21 years old, and provide the potential employer with a list of all motor vehicle violations (if any), among other things.

Employee Background Checks: In addition to the qualifications listed above, an employer must look into a potential employee's driving history to ensure they have a record of safe driving. For example, if a company knows (or should have known) that an employee they hired had a history of reckless driving, then they might be found at fault for any accidents the employee causes. According to the Safety Measurement System, UPS had 1,850 unsafe driving violations in the past two years, and 3,462 vehicle maintenance violations.

All of these regulations are meant to minimize the risk of accidents. That is why violating any of these requirements is such a serious offense, as it could cause an accident that could otherwise have been prevented, leading to serious consequences for the victims.

Liability in UPS Accidents

Even with the above regulations, UPS vehicle accidents still occur. According to the Safety Measurement System's UPS page, the package delivery company was involved in 2,470 crashes between 2018 and 2020. If you have been involved in an accident with a UPS truck, you may be wondering who is at fault. Often, both the driver and the company can be considered liable. Below are a few different common liability scenarios after a commercial vehicle accident:

Driver liability: As stated above, commercial vehicle drivers are required to complete regular inspections of their vehicle, and may not drive unless they are "satisfied that its parts and accessories are in good working order," according to the FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Planner. If a driver does not complete the necessary inspections, or notices something wrong with his vehicle but drives it anyway and an accident occurs, the driver could be found at least partially at fault. Drivers can also be found liable for driving negligently or recklessly and causing an accident.

Company liability due to negligent entrustment: Companies can be found liable for a commercial vehicle accident for various reasons, one of which is negligent entrustment. Negligent entrustment is a legal concept that states the owner of a vehicle (such as a company) is responsible for an accident that occurs if they let an unqualified or otherwise negligent driver operate their vehicle. In this case, UPS would be found at least partially liable for an accident caused by a negligent employee that they entrusted to drive one of their vehicles.

Company liability due to vicarious responsibility: Due to another legal doctrine called "respondeat superior," companies can be found at fault for the negligence of their employees, as long as the negligent act was not committed intentionally. For example, if a UPS driver was speeding and ran a red light, causing an accident, the company would likely be found vicariously responsible and partially at fault for this accident.

Company liability due to general negligence: It is also possible a company might be found to have directly contributed to the cause of the accident by their own negligence. For example, if a company like UPS did not ensure their trucks were completely well-maintained before allowing their drivers to use them or did not properly vet their drivers before hiring them, those factors could cause an accident and the company would likely be found at fault.

Consequences of UPS Truck Accidents

Any motor vehicle collision can have consequences for those involved, regardless of severity. For example, some injuries that can result from commercial truck crashes include:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Emotional trauma, such as PTSD
  • Head injuries, such as concussions or Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal injuries, such as paralysis or herniated discs
  • Death, in severe cases

In addition to physical injuries, these accidents can greatly affect the emotional health and quality of life of the victim(s). In addition to focusing on healing, commercial vehicle accident victims are often concerned about paying for their exorbitant medical bills and may become depressed at how they are unable to maintain the same quality of life they had before the accident. They may also feel hopeless, knowing that the defendant on the other side of their case is a large company like UPS. If you have been the victim of a collision with a UPS vehicle, you don't have to feel helpless; you have legal options. Call 212-736-5300 to speak to a qualified attorney today.

UPS Truck Accidents in New York

New York is known to be an extremely congested urban area with lots of traffic and little space for parking. In 2019, UPS paid New York City approximately $23 million for 348,890 parking violations. This is because, with the lack of parking space, it is often difficult for larger delivery trucks to park legally in order to make their deliveries. Unfortunately, this lack of parking availability creates a more dangerous environment for pedestrians and cyclists, increasing the risk of accidents. As a UPS spokesperson stated, the lack of parking "often forces deliveries to be made in a way that seemingly conflicts with other road uses, like biking." There is more competition between pedestrians and trucks for space, which can lead to frustration and drivers resorting to double parking, a dangerous practice in which a car parks illegally next to a vehicle already parked in a legal spot. Double parking specifically contributed to causing the UPS accident in the case study below.

Case Study: $2,760,000 Settlement in UPS Lawsuit

In a Brooklyn case, a 60-year-old recent retiree was riding in the front seat of his cousin's car. His cousin double parked the car to run an errand while our client, the Plaintiff, remained seated in the vehicle. A United Parcel Service (UPS) truck was making its way down the street, followed by another UPS truck. Because the double-parked car was blocking one lane of traffic, the first truck moved into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid the car. The second truck driver attempted to do the same, but noticed cars coming toward him, and quickly swerved back into the other lane. In doing so, the truck hit the rear of the parked vehicle Plaintiff was sitting in.

Plaintiff suffered neck and back injuries, including herniated discs, as a result of this car accident. He required multiple spinal surgeries, and still deals with daily pain. Summary judgment was granted to our client on the issue of liability, meaning that both UPS and Plaintiff's cousin were found to be liable in this accident. If not for their negligence in driving and parking, our client would never have been injured. Partners Jeffrey A. Block and S. Joseph Donahue obtained a $2,760,000 settlement for Plaintiff.

Contact a UPS Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you have been the victim of negligence at the hands of a UPS driver or vehicle, do not be intimidated by the fact that a large corporation will be on the other end of the lawsuit. The accident lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have extensive experience litigating cases that have involved UPS and other delivery vehicles. We will deploy every resource we have to get you every dollar you are legally entitled to.

Select results we have obtained include:

  • $14,000,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who had to have his leg amputated, among other severe injuries after he was hit by a truck in Nassau County
  • $13,500,000 settlement for a 24-year-old pedestrian who suffered catastrophic trauma injuries after she was hit by a company-owned vehicle in Suffolk County
  • $9,950,000 settlement for a social worker who had to have her leg amputated after she was hit by a commercial van that careened into a grocery store parking lot
  • $9,263,326 jury verdict for a taxi passenger who suffered nerve damage to his spine after the cab he was riding in was involved in a multi-vehicle rear-end crash
  • $8,800,000 settlement for a 53-year-old pedestrian who was struck by a commercial van while walking to pick her grandchildren up from school
  • $3,375,000 settlement for a delivery truck driver who needed spinal fusion surgeries after he was rear-ended at a Brooklyn intersection by a company-owned truck.
  • $3,258,000 jury verdict for a delivery truck helper who required multiple surgeries after he was struck by a supermarket forklift
  • $2,760,000 settlement for a 60-year-old retiree who suffered neck and back injuries, with continual pain, after a UPS truck rear-ended the vehicle he was sitting in
  • $2,700,000 settlement for a construction worker who suffered a fractured patella, among other serious injuries, after he was hit by a commercial truck.
  • $2,400,000 settlement for a man who was forcefully rear-ended by a commercial truck on the Long Island Expressway, resulting in multiple spinal injuries
  • $1,975,000 settlement for a 50-year-old salesman who suffered multiple herniated discs after the car he was riding in was struck by a moving truck at a Brooklyn intersection
  • $1,850,000 settlement for a 43-year-old paraprofessional who suffered a herniated disc and pinched nerve after a delivery truck backed into her vehicle
  • $1,675,000 settlement for a woman whose vehicle was struck by a delivery truck making a left turn in Harlem
  • $1,500,000 settlement for a 62-year-old livery cab driver who required neck surgery after his vehicle was rear-ended by a delivery truck at a Manhattan intersection
  • $1,300,000 settlement for a 52-year-old cyclist who was struck and knocked to the ground by a commercial van

Call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to speak to an experienced attorney today. We serve New York and New Jersey.