DHL is a global leader in the logistics industry, working in over 220 countries and territories to deliver an average of 1,668,000,000 parcels a year. With such impressive numbers, it makes sense why you see so many DHL trucks out on the roadways here in Atlanta.
Driving comes with some inherent risks, like getting involved in a DHL Atlanta accident with a delivery driver. If you experience that type of collision, then it’s important to know how to handle the situation to protect your physical safety and uphold your legal rights.
It’s equally important to prompt an investigation into the crash to determine what caused it. This single factor will have a major impact on your ability to later file a compensation claim. Learn more about DHL truck accidents, what causes them, and how to financially recover from your losses below.
Why DHL Trucks Become Involved in Accidents
There are several different factors that can lead to a DHL truck accident from careless driving to a malfunctioning car part. After your accident, it’s important to identify what caused it so that you can determine what your legal options are for recovering from your losses.
Immediately following your accident, it’s important to get the police involved. The authorities will start to investigate the crash scene while you get the medical care you need to recover. Below, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of DHL truck accidents in Atlanta.
Large Trucks Have Huge Blind Spots
Large trucks have massive blind spots on both sides of their big trailers as well as a part in the front of their trailer, too. For that reason, truckers need to be extremely cautious of these blind spots when on the road. One small miscalculation can lead to a massive DHL accident.
For that reason, it’s crucial that typical motorists avoid a trucker’s blind spots, too. Typically, big trucks will have posted warnings asking motorists to be wary of blind spots. In general, if you can’t see the trucker’s side mirror, then they can’t see your car, either.
In addition to that, truckers should do their best to check traffic regularly and be wary of cars that could be hiding in those blind areas. Liability in these situations can get complicated because there may be a debate over who was at fault.
Turns Are Difficult with DHL Trucks
A DHL truck accident can also happen at tricky turns or challenging intersections. DHL trucks are much bigger than typical cars, so they need a much wider area to be able to make a safe turn. Unfortunately, some truck drivers wind up on narrow, small back roads that aren’t equipped to handle big turns. On the flip side, an inexperienced driver might simply not know how to navigate a sharp turn in a big truck.
DHL Drivers Have Tight Deadlines
Another very common cause of delivery truck accidents is strict deadlines. DHL delivery trucks are obligated to follow strict regulations that make them take breaks at certain times, but even with these rules, it can still be very difficult for delivery drivers to meet strict deadlines. As a result, they may experience fatigued driving symptoms, fall asleep at the wheel, make risky driving decisions to save time, or even speed in an attempt to meet an unrealistic deadline.
All of those driving decisions could result in a collision. In these cases, it’s necessary to speak with a lawyer about what happened. The truck driver could be held liable, but the trucking company might also share some responsibility if the truck driver wasn’t following federal safety standards or was being pushed to meet impossible standards.
Some Drivers Lack Training
Since trucks are so massive and tricky to maneuver, it makes sense that you need special training to legally operate these vehicles on the road. In general, truck drivers will first need to obtain a CDL, or commercial driver’s license, before being able to become a DHL delivery driver. To obtain a CDL, the driver must have gone through some basic entry-level training with a registered training provider, passed a skills test, and aced a road test.
In today’s economy, some businesses are attempting to cut corners and hire drivers who lack the proper experience and training. This can easily lead to a collision when an unqualified driver is on the road.
Faulty Truck Parts
Another common cause of truck accidents is faulty truck parts. Truck manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure that the products they design are safe when they’re used as intended. Unfortunately, some products wind up on the market that are defective or faulty. When a critical truck component fails while the truck is in motion, it can easily lead to an accident. In these situations, the truck part manufacturer might be considered legally at fault for the crash.
Your Rights After a DHL Truck Accident in Atlanta
Under the law in Atlanta, you have specific rights after experiencing a truck accident. If the accident was not your fault and it led to losses, then you can file a claim with the responsible party for compensation to cover your losses. This right stems from the legal doctrine of negligence, which states that someone will be legally liable in situations when they had a legal duty to provide for the care of someone else and failed to do so.
Contacting DHL to file a claim isn’t your best move after an accident, though. Instead, reach out to a lawyer first to build up your case.
Who Might be Legally Liable for a DHL Crash?
A DHL lawsuit can get complicated quickly, especially when there are multiple parties that could potentially share responsibility and fault after an accident. Below, we’ll go over a few different parties that might be considered at fault for your accident depending on the circumstances of your crash.
The DHL Truck Driver
The truck driver might be considered the at-fault party in situations where they caused the crash through their negligent behavior. For instance, if the truck driver was engaging in aggressive driving maneuvers like brake checking or intentional tailgating, then they might be held personally accountable for a crash.
Under the law, truck drivers are also responsible for ensuring their cargo is safely loaded, their trucks are maintained properly, and they remain vigilant on the road. If the driver fails to uphold any of these duties of care, then they could be considered the at-fault party.
The Delivery Company
While drivers are sometimes personally held accountable for negligent behavior, it’s more common for the delivery company that hired the driver to be held responsible for the accident. That’s because the trucking company is ultimately legally responsible for the drivers that they hire to deliver their cargo. So long as the truck driver was on the clock and performing their driving duties to the best of their abilities, then the company itself might be held liable for the accident through vicarious liability.
The delivery company might also be held accountable when they were negligent in hiring a dangerous driver, failed to properly maintain their trucks, or failed to ensure their employees were following safety regulations.
Truck Drivers as Employees vs. Independent Contractors
Under the legal standard of vicarious liability, trucking companies can only be held responsible for a truck driver’s negligence when the driver is classified as an ‘employee’ of the company. Some delivery companies avoid this type of liability by instead hiring independent contractors. Independent contractors are responsible for their own negligence even if they’re on the clock and doing a job.
The Truck Manufacturer
A truck manufacturer or truck part manufacturer can also be held liable for a DHL accident when it’s determined that a faulty or defective part contributed to the crash. Faulty parts, like wires, tires, brakes, and other crucial components, are created by manufacturers who have a legal duty to ensure they are creating safe products for their customers. When their products fail, they are responsible for the losses associated with the accident.
In some cases, part failure may be attributed to a maintenance mechanic rather than the part manufacturer. This can happen when the part itself isn’t faulty or defectively designed but was damaged during routine maintenance. The part might also fail when it isn’t maintained correctly, which could be the result of negligence on your mechanic’s part. If a truck part failed and you know you’ve done your best to keep up with regular truck maintenance, then it might be worth your time to investigate whether negligent maintenance work could’ve contributed to the crash.
Talk to an Atlanta DHL Truck Accident Lawyer for Free Today
If you recently experienced a truck accident, then it’s paramount to ensure your physical recovery is priority number one. While you heal up, it might be a good idea to talk to an Atlanta DHL truck accident lawyer about what happened. Your attorney can work on the legal aspects of securing your case, building up strong evidence, filing your paperwork, negotiating with the responsible parties, and more.
DHL Express Truck Accident FAQs
Do you have more questions about your trucking accident and filing a claim? Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.
1. What Do You Do When a DHL Express Truck Hits Your Car?
If you get hit by a DHL truck, then immediately pull over and call the police. Let the authorities document what happened in an official police report while you get the medical care you need to physically recover from the accident. If you determine that you are injured and your losses are significant, then your next step should be to contact a personal injury attorney who can help you with the next steps.
2. What Damages Can my DHL Accident Lawyer Recover in My Case?
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages in the form of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more depending on the extent of your losses and the circumstances of the crash. In fatal accidents, the surviving loved ones can seek out damages in the form of funeral costs, burial expenses, a loss of financial support, emotional distress, and more.
In general, your lawyer will seek to help fully financially restore you to where you were prior to the crash.
3. Are DHL Express Drivers Insured?
In short, the answer to this question varies on the driver. That’s because DHL Express hires independent contractors to fulfill their deliveries. All truck drivers are required to carry their own insurance, but a driver can be underinsured or even uninsured in some cases.
4. How Do I Make a Claim Against DHL?
The claims process is fairly straightforward, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve built up a solid case before you initiate your claim. That way, you won’t get caught off guard by being unprepared, not knowing what your claim is worth, or accepting a settlement that’s far less than what you actually deserve.
To file a claim, you’ll want to reach out to a lawyer. From there, you’ll document all your losses to properly value your claim, file the proper paperwork with DHL or the responsible party, and begin negotiating.
Are You Ready to Get Started on a DHL Truck Accident Claim?
A DHL Atlanta accident can lead to substantial losses. If you know your accident was the result of someone else’s carelessness and your losses are adding up, then it might be time to get in touch with a lawyer.
Here at Don Singleton Law Firm, we can help you unpack exactly what happened during your crash and who might potentially be liable for the financial losses you’re experiencing. We’ll help you properly value your losses and get the documentation to back up your claims. Once you file your compensation claim, our team is prepared to negotiate with the other party to reach a reasonable settlement that everyone is happy with.
Are you ready to get started? Schedule a meeting with attorney Don Singleton now.