Accidents Involving FedEx Vehicles
If you have been injured in an accident with a FedEx truck, you have legal options. FedEx delivery trucks fall into the category of commercial vehicles, which are subject to certain regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Because commercial vehicles are often much larger than normal cars, they pose more substantial risks to motorists and others on the road. Additionally, employees are often expected to drive continuously for long hours to make deliveries, increasing the risk of driver error. Aside from the normal traffic laws that all vehicles on the road must obey, the extra regulation that commercial vehicles, including FedEx trucks, are subject to means that there are various ways in which both the driver and FedEx could be liable for an accident.
Block O’Toole & Murphy has obtained over 100 auto accident results exceeding $1,000,000, including a $14 million settlement for a motorcyclist who was hit by a commercial truck. Call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation today.
What Are FedEx’s Responsibilities?
FedEx is responsible for ensuring all of their trucks and employees meet the requirements commercial vehicles and their drivers must adhere to. If they do not meet these regulations and an accident occurs as a result, it is possible FedEx will be found liable in some capacity for the accident. Some of these regulations include:
- Hours of Service regulations: The FMCSA requires all commercial vehicle drivers to comply with Hours of Service regulations, which are meant to limit the amount of hours commercial vehicle drivers can be on the road continuously. For example, a driver carrying property in their vehicle cannot drive longer than 14 consecutive hours. The overall goal is to reduce the risk of accidents by eliminating driver fatigue. Regardless of what state the driver is in, these Hours of Service regulations apply. Unfortunately, drivers do not always comply with these regulations. According to the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement (SMS) system, FedEx Ground drivers had 706 Hours of Service compliance violations in the two-year period between May 2018 and May 2020.
- Inspection and maintenance requirements: Commercial vehicle drivers and their companies are required by federal law to ensure vehicles are well-maintained and safe to drive at all times. FedEx also requires their drivers to perform a thorough inspection of their truck before driving it. In a civil lawsuit brought against FedEx in 2005, the plaintiff-employee detailed the inspection protocol for all FedEx trucks. He had to conduct vehicle inspections before and after every shift, which included checking for fluid leaks, inspecting the headlights, tires, fluid levels, doors, and seat belts, checking the brakes and steering wheel, and circling the entire vehicle before entering. He was then required, as are all FedEx employees, to report his findings in a Vehicle Inspection Report. If any of this protocol was not followed, and an accident occurred as a result of driving a faulty vehicle, both FedEx and the driver could be found liable for negligence.
- Mandatory employee background checks: It is the responsibility of the employer to perform background checks on all employees to ensure they have a clean driving record and are fit to drive a company vehicle. The FMCSA has outlined a list of general qualifications that all commercial vehicle operators must have, and that employers must check for. For example, if FedEx knowingly allows a person who has a history of reckless driving to operate one of their delivery trucks, they could be found at fault for negligence if that driver is involved in an accident, since they knew of his record and allowed him to drive anyway.
- Obligation to train drivers: All companies that employ drivers are required to ensure they are trained in the safe handling of company vehicles. Whether it is a FedEx delivery truck or a tractor trailer, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure all their drivers have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), have completed entry-level driver training, and are equipped to operate a large vehicle or truck.
- Maintaining the proper load requirements: The FMCSA has laid out guidelines for how much weight commercial vehicles are allowed to carry and how it must be secured. Overloading a truck with more weight than it can handle or not properly securing the cargo within can lead to a greater risk of accidents, as trucks that are overloaded can spin out or flip over if they have to make sudden stops.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident With a FedEx Vehicle
Even though FedEx is a large company, they are just as liable for any negligence that may have contributed to an accident as a privately-owned vehicle. FedEx is responsible for maintaining their fleet of delivery vehicles, as well as hiring safe drivers and training them properly. Additionally, FedEx owns all the vehicles that its employees drive. Because of a legal doctrine called “negligent entrustment”, FedEx can be found at fault for an accident caused by one of the employees they trusted to drive the company-owned vehicle.
If you have been hit by a FedEx vehicle, there are steps you can take to ensure you have the best chance of getting the full amount of compensation you deserve:
- File an accident report and ask for a copy, so the damage done to your vehicle is on record.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel like you are hurt, so all your injuries are documented.
- Take photos of the accident scene, if possible.
- If there were any witnesses to the accident, contact them and see if they would be willing to speak on your behalf.
- Discuss your case with an auto accident lawyer who will be able to advocate for you while you focus on healing your injuries.
FedEx Trucks in New York
Many FedEx and other delivery truck accidents are at a higher risk of occurring on the congested streets of New York City. According to a 2019 report by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), an explosion of online shopping-41 percent of New Yorkers receive a package delivery at least a few times a week-has created more competition on the road than ever before. The same report also states that in East Midtown, Manhattan, the largest commercial business district in the world, delivery vehicles may park for 6-8 hours in the same spot if they have multiple deliveries in the same area. Or, if their deliveries are not so tightly concentrated, they may double park while they make their stop.
None of these practices are conducive to keeping pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists safe. For example, double parking-a practice in which a vehicle parks illegally next to another vehicle already in a legal spot-takes up space on the road that is often meant to be used by pedestrians or cyclists, such as a designated bike lane. Double parking can force cyclists outside of their lane and into traffic, which increases the risk of accidents. In February 2020, the DOT implemented a new rule that prevented commercial trucks from double parking for longer than 20 minutes while they are actively engaged in their deliveries, and completely barred double parking in Midtown. However, as a spokesperson from the organization Bike New York said, the law will “only be as significant as the enforcement that follows.”
With the large number of deliveries that must be made in New York daily, and the typical congestion of the city’s streets, it is certain that FedEx trucks pose risks to cyclists and pedestrians alike. Although FedEx has not been recently accused of specifically flouting any of New York’s commercial trucking laws and regulations, according to the Safety Measurement System, FedEx Ground vehicles were involved in 2,062 crashes and had 3,157 unsafe driving violations between May 2018 and May 2020.
If you have been the victim of a FedEx driver’s negligence on the streets of New York or New Jersey, call 212-736-5300 to discuss your case with the commercial vehicle accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy.
Speak With a FedEx Accident Lawyer Today
The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand that getting hit by a FedEx vehicle can be a confusing and painful experience. Even though there is a large company on the other side of the accident, it may still be entirely within your rights to bring a lawsuit against them. Our car accident attorneys have extensive experience handling cases in which a company was on the other side of the negligence claim. Select results include:
- $14,000,000 settlement for a 23-year-old mechanic who was riding his motorcycle in Nassau County when he was struck by a truck making a left turn, resulting in a leg amputation and extreme physical limitations
- $13,500,000 settlement for a 24-year-old woman who was walking home in Suffolk County when she was struck by a company-owned vehicle
- $9,950,000 settlement for a social worker who suffered an above-the-knee amputation of her left leg after was hit by a commercial van that sped into the Buffalo parking lot where she was loading groceries into her car
- $8,800,000 settlement for a 53-year-old grandmother who was walking to pick up her grandchildren from school when she was hit by a van that careened onto the sidewalk, resulting in neurological and physical injuries
- $7,525,000 settlement for the family of a mother and son who tragically died in a crash with a commercial van in Suffolk County
- $3,375,000 settlement for a delivery truck driver who needed spinal fusion surgery after he was rear-ended by a commercial truck
- $2,760,000 settlement for a 60-year-old man who sustained herniated discs and required surgery after a UPS truck hit his parked car
- $2,700,000 settlement for a 23-year-old construction worker who suffered severe leg injuries after his vehicle was struck by a commercial truck
- $2,400,000 settlement for a client who suffered herniated discs and needed spinal fusion surgery after he was rear-ended violently by a commercial truck on the Long Island Expressway
- $1,975,000 settlement for a 50-year-old man who was hit by a truck at a Brooklyn intersection, leaving him with lower back pain and various injuries
- $1,850,000 settlement for a paraprofessional who sustained herniated discs and a pinched nerve after a delivery truck backed into her car
- $1,750,000 settlement for a 40-year-old man who required surgery, among other injuries, after a company-owned vehicle rear-ended him on the Cross Island Expressway
- $1,675,000 settlement for a mother who suffered a neck injury when the front of her vehicle was hit by a delivery truck in Harlem
- $1,500,000 settlement for a cab driver who was rear-ended by a delivery truck at a Manhattan intersection, resulting in a serious neck injury and multiple herniated discs
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a FedEx truck, you may be entitled to compensation as a result of the company’s negligence. Call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to speak to a qualified attorney. We serve all of New York and New Jersey.