Delivery Truck Accidents

Massachusetts Lawyers For Injuries Involving Commercial Vehicles

There are hundreds of delivery trucks operating throughout Massachusetts daily. The operators of these trucks often drive long routes and are under intense pressure to keep a timely schedule. This can result in the driver's breach of his or her duty to use reasonable care, and violations of traffic. Long story short, the driver, owner of the truck, and the company can be held liable if negligence is proven. Taking into account that if it's a workers' compensation injury, which is injury incurred in the course of his or her employment, negligence need not be shown to receive compensation benefits, but negligence must still be proved for the second case via third-party negligence law.

Ellis Law Offices represents clients in Worcester, Boston, Fitchburg, Springfield, Southbridge, New Bedford, Fall River and other surrounding towns and cities in Massachusetts.

If you have been injured as a result of a delivery truck accident of any kind, call or email us for a free consultation.

Causes Of Delivery Truck Accidents

  • Delivery truck/driver backing up – After passing a destination or address, some drivers view circling the block to be a hassle, an inconvenience and time lost, so they make the unfortunate choice to back up. This often results in collisions with other motor vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles or bicyclists.
  • Sudden left turn – Made by delivery truck driver in an attempt to save time or stay on time. Some delivery truck companies plot truck routes to eliminate or reduce the number of left turns made by their trucks.
  • Failing to engage or a malfunctioning parking brake – While delivering, materials or packages can cause the truck to roll into traffic striking other vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Failure to yield to oncoming or right of way traffic in city streets or merging onto a highway can cause very serious accidents or fatalities where the delivery truck owner, company owner and driver may be found liable.

  • Blind spot can be quite large when driving a delivery truck. Extreme care must be used when changing lanes or when pulling back into traffic. If reasonable care is not used, serious injury accidents can occur with other vehicles, motorcycles or bicyclists.
  • When a lift gate or delivery ram is extended off a delivery truck in an area that is unsafe to do so, the results can be serious injury accidents. Lift gates or metal unloading ramps crossing pedestrian traffic cause serious trip-and-fall pedestrian accidents. The extended lift gates or metal ramps can also block the flow of motor vehicle, motorcycle or bicyclist travel, which can also result in serious personal injury or death.
  • When a delivery truck back-up alarm is not working, malfunctioning, inaudible or absent, personal injury accidents can result. People that work around or near delivery trucks become accustomed to and rely on the warning back-up alarm. If there is no alarm made when backing, there is a heightened risk of striking a pedestrian or a motor vehicle.
  • Delivery truck tip-overs – When delivery trucks are dangerously overloaded or loaded in a top-heavy manner, tip-overs are always a risk. Delivery trucks fully loaded can weigh over 20 tons. When they tip over or lose control with their 20 tons of mass energy, the amount of kinetic energy created and subsequent damage and injury caused can be staggering.
  • Poor maintenance of delivery trucks can lead to serious injury or death for other motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists. With these trucks weighing up to 20 tons, it's imperative that they be regularly inspected and properly maintained by qualified personnel. Utmost care must be used in maintaining or repairing the suspension system, brakes, emergency brake, wheel, bearings, power steering and tires.
  • The careless unloading of delivery truck cargo can lead to serious personal injury accidents. Delivery truck operators are often responsible for unloading the truck material, goods and packages. They use various devices to complete the task, which include a delivery truck built-in mini boom or crane, a manual dolly, a power or manual hand truck, a stair-climbing delivery truck or a portable forklift that attaches to the back of the truck, otherwise known as a "spider forklift. The delivery truck operator must ensure he or she transports the cargo in a safer fashion by avoiding collisions with the moving devices (hand truck, dolly, crane or spider), and its cargo with nearby pedestrians and bicyclists.)
  • Parking lot accidents frequently occur when delivery trucks are making their deliveries to local businesses, retail stores or markets. These accidents can range from a pedestrian tripping over the ramp or lift gate, to being struck by moving packages and device (i.e., dolly). Low-speed delivery truck accidents in parking lots can also occur with other vehicles and pedestrians, due to the extreme weight of the truck, even low-speed collisions can cause serious personal injury.

Liability Of Delivery Truck Driver And Employer

Federal regulations have been established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations apply to all trucking companies and set forth mandatory requirements for the safe operation of commercial trucks, which include:

  • Driver training requirements
  • Mandatory hours of service to be recorded by the driver
  • Driver drug and alcohol prevention programs
  • Repair and maintenance requirements for trucks

If the employer fails to provide adequate supervision and/or training for its employees, the employer, under some circumstances, can be held liable for accidents that are caused by said lack of training. If an accident occurs and an investigation reveals it was not caused by driver negligence, the company can still be held liable. If the company loaded the cargo in an unsafe manner, i.e., the vehicle was top-heavy, which hindered the vehicle's ability to steer or was overloaded, which hindered the vehicles ability to brake, then the company that loaded the vehicle (and likely owns the cargo) could be found liable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a delivery truck accident of any kind, contact Ellis Law Offices by telephone or email for your free consultation. We have over 120 years of combined experience in personal injury law cases, and it is reflected by our results. For your convenience, home and hospital visits are available anywhere in Massachusetts.