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Sue the Company or Driver? Understanding Service Provider Accident Claims

man lifting boxes into a delivery truck

Filing Claims Against Company Vehicles

Every car accident is stressful, but being involved in a collision with some kind of service provider vehicle (delivery trucks, rideshare services) can add an extra layer of red tape and more obstacles to jump through if seeking compensation. From dealing with insurance companies to large corporations, it can feel overwhelming if you don’t have sufficient information at the start.

Here are some things you need to know when choosing to file a claim against a company vehicle.

Suing the Driver

There may be a couple of reasons why you would want to choose to sue the driver of the vehicle rather than the company as a whole. Here are a few questions that will likely be considered during the process:

  • Is there a specific license or training requirement for this company?
  • Are they an independent contractor?
  • Was the accident solely caused by driver error?
  • Was the driver distracted or fatigued?
  • What were the circumstances leading up to the crash?

The answers to these questions may be helpful in determining what exactly the issue is - driver negligence or something more. Depending on the circumstances, it may be that you can only sue the driver. As independent contractors are typically held to a different standard insurance-wise than a full-time employee, your options may vary.

Suing the Company

There may be other instances in which you can choose to pursue legal action against the company that hired the driver. One of the main reasons why someone may do this is if it appears the accident was caused by a training or company issue.

For example, when hiring a driver, the company will more than likely be looking into their driving record for any red flags. If it turns out that the company failed to do so and hired someone with an extensive driving history filled with accidents or tickets, hiring them may have been a negligent action.

Along with this, another factor that needs to be considered is who owns the vehicle that hit you? Since Uber drivers own their cars, the individual may have to assume sole responsibility, while a branded vehicle like the FedEx delivery trucks is very clearly owned by the company. The small details like car ownership or responsibility of maintenance (should the accident be caused by mechanical failure) could be the difference in where your legal action should be pursued.

What About a Third Party?

Another factor that needs to be considered is whether a third party was involved in the hiring or training process and during the accident. If a company chooses to hire a driver through an independent trucking company, the liability could fall on them as a training issue. Likewise, if another vehicle on the road started a chain reaction leading up to your accident, they may ultimately be at fault.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney

Car and truck accident claims against companies like Uber, Amazon, and FedEx can come with a lot of complications, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. Fighting for the best outcome possible may require the help of an attorney that specializes in these kinds of claims.

Not only will working with an attorney help you better understand the claims process, but they will also be beneficial should it need to be disputed in the courtroom. Ultimately though, hiring an attorney for cases such as this will help your rights be protected from start to finish.

How The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC Can Help

The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC has decades of experience in helping injured victims receive the compensation required to cover any accident-related expenses. If you or a loved one are the victim of an accident with a service provider vehicle, call (210) 807-3178 to get in touch with a member of our team.