Houston FedEx Truck
Legally Reviewed By: Jud Waltman
The drastic increase in online shopping has raised the demand for home delivery services like FedEx, which in turn increases truck traffic on the roads. This could explain the reason for an estimated increase of 13 percent in truck-involved crashes in 2021.
Despite multiple attempts by federal lawmakers to pass safety regulations that could save lives, the trucking industry spends millions of dollars every year lobbying against such regulations. FedEx alone spent more than $98 million from 2009 to 2015 lobbying for the following:
- Lowering the minimum age of interstate commercial driving from 21 to 18
- Allowing tractor-trailers to haul to 33-foot trailers, an increase from 28 feet
- Elimination of two-day rest periods for truckers
- Opposition to raising insurance coverage limits
While these lobbying efforts have yet to pay off for FedEx, it is clear that FedEx would rather invest in political capital than safety. This is why The Lanier Law Firm is passionate about holding companies like FedEx accountable.
These companies are motivated by greed. Until accidents become more costly than the investment into safety, FedEx will never care enough to do the right thing.
FedEx Truck Accidents in the News
FedEx truck crashes are making the news in Houston, the surrounding area and throughout Texas. Below are just a few news stories of note:
- A FedEx truck flipped on its side and caused a hazmat spill along Grand Parkway/Highway 99 in the Tomball area.
- A FedEx truck jackknifed on I-35W near Fort Worth at 2:30 a.m. and ended up on top of the interstate’s barricade. No other drivers were hurt. The incident shut down traffic for hours.
- A thin layer of ice on Fort Worth Highway caused a 100-car pileup, which was hit by a FedEx truck at a high speed.
- A FedEx truck left the road on U.S. Highway 59 North in Polk County and rolled over in a grassy area.
These incidents illustrate how easily FedEx truck accidents can occur and the dangers they present to passenger vehicles.
What causes FedEx truck accidents?
FedEx uses 18-wheelers, box trucks and cargo vans. While accidents involving 18-wheelers have the potential to be the most devastating, all of these trucks are larger than passenger cars and create hazards when not driven with skill and attention.
The common issues that plague the trucking industry also impact FedEx: long hours, tight delivery schedules, labor shortages and inclement weather.
Common causes of truck accidents include the following:
- Driver fatigue
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Following too closely
- Mechanical defects
- Improper cargo load
- Rural roads
- Weather conditions
Crashes that would result in minor injuries when two cars are involved can be devastating when a FedEx truck is involved.
Who is liable for damages after a
FedEx truck accident?
As of September 1, 2021, § 72.052 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code removed vicarious liability from commercial motor vehicle owners. Previously, the trucking company was liable for accidents caused by its drivers. Under the new law, the driver is liable unless it can be proven that the trucking company was also negligent.
If a case goes to court, the hearing will be bifurcated, or divided into two hearings: the first to establish who was negligent, and the second to determine whether to award exemplary (punitive) damages. If the driver is found negligent in the first hearing, this could be used as a basis to allege negligent hiring by the trucking company.
Who owns FedEx trucks?
In the case of FedEx trucks, the trucking company is not always FedEx. FedEx Express delivery trucks are owned by FedEx and operated by employees, but FedEx ground service trucks are owned by third-party service providers and operated by their employees.
Third Parties That Could Be Liable
Any party whose negligence contributes to a FedEx truck accident could be liable if negligence on their part causes or contributes to an accident, including the following:
- Truck or parts manufacturers
- Municipalities that fail to maintain roads or other public areas
- Premises owners who allow unsafe conditions to exist
What should I do after a FedEx truck accident?
Your first priority after a truck accident is your safety and well-being. As soon as you and others involved in the accident are safe and able, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Ensure a police report has been completed. If an officer has been called to the scene, this requirement has been met.
- Obtain the driver’s name and insurance information:
- Try to determine whether the driver is a FedEx employee or an independent contractor.
- If the driver is an independent contractor, try to determine who owns the truck.
- Write down the license plate number.
- Take detailed pictures of the accident.
- Keep your medical receipts, bills and documents that pertain to your diagnosis.
- Purchase a copy of the police report.
Houston Trauma Centers
Trauma centers are often better equipped than regular hospitals at managing multiple serious injuries such as those that often occur in truck accidents. The two level I trauma centers in Houston are as follows:
How much is my FedEx truck accident case
Every FedEx truck accident is unique, and the compensation available to you will vary based on the severity of your injuries, the insurance coverage available, the number of negligent parties and the collectible resources available to the negligent parties.
The types of compensation available include the following:
These are the objectively verifiable financial losses suffered as a result of the accident:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Projected future lost wages
- Costs associated with ongoing care or treatment
These are damages for intangible losses suffered because of the accident:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These are punitive damages awarded in cases where you can prove that the defendant’s acts of fraud, malice or gross negligence caused the accident.
- For example, if your accident was caused by an employee who was not properly screened by FedEx, this could result in a finding of gross negligence by FedEx.
- Exemplary damages are capped at the greater of the following:
- Two times the economic damages awarded plus an amount equal to any non-economic damages found by the jury, up to $750,000
Can I receive compensation if I am partly at
fault in the accident?
You can recover compensation for your injuries even if you are partly at fault in the accident if your share of the fault does not exceed 50 percent. However, your compensation will be adjusted in proportion to your degree of fault.
Our law firm works with highly qualified forensic investigators who can perform a detailed analysis of your accident, which is usually much more thorough than that offered by the local police department. This can not only refute the initial findings of the police department but also help us identify potentially liable third parties.
How long will it take to receive
Our compassionate attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm work strenuously to secure your compensation as quickly as possible. However, the process can take several months or longer. Our priority is to ensure you receive sufficient compensation to meet your ongoing medical needs and provide financial security in the event your injuries preclude a return to work.
What should I do if FedEx contacts me?
If FedEx or any other party associated with or representing the driver contacts you, it is imperative that you direct them to speak with your attorney without engaging in conversation. Anything you say could be used against you. No matter what they say, they are representing their own best interests, not yours.
How can The Lanier Law Firm help me with
my FedEx truck accident case?
The last thing you need when you are injured is the stress of trying to navigate the legal system on your own. Our attorneys have been consistently ranked among the best lawyers in the nation by prestigious outlets such as U.S. News & World Report, Thomas Reuters and Lawdragon. With The Lanier Law Firm on your side, you can trust that your Houston truck accident lawsuit or other litigation is in good hands.
Standing up to big companies on behalf of regular people is more than just a business for us. It is a calling that we are passionate about. Large companies have been using their financial resources to escape accountability for decades, and we pride ourselves on our ability to level the playing field for individuals who have been harmed by their negligence.
Established in 1990 by Mark Lanier, our attorneys have won billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. These results came about as a result of our compassionate care and determination to get justice. It is what we call redefining legal care.
We offer a free case evaluation, and we do not charge legal fees until we win you compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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