There are several things to consider if you were hit by a United Parcel Service (UPS) driver. First, you need to know if the insurance company thinks if you are at fault for the accident. This is important in Virginia because Virginia is a pure contributory negligence state. If you are even 1% at fault for the accident, you will be barred from recovering damages through UPS insurance.
Next, you need to know if the UPS driver was on-duty and within the scope of their duties as a UPS driver. This important distinction will tell you if you need to file a claim against the driver or UPS.
If a UPS Driver Caused the Accident, Do I Sue the Driver or the Company?
If a UPS driver caused a car accident during the normal course of their duties, you would technically sue the company. This is also known as respondeat superior; where an employer is liable for negligent acts caused by the employee while that employee was on duty.
To recover damages when you were injured by someone working for UPS, you need to prove:
- The at-fault driver was employed by UPS
- The at-fault driver caused the accident while “on-the-clock”
- The at-fault driver was engaged in their normal work activities when they caused the accident
The first two criteria are relatively easy to prove in a lawsuit, but the third criterion is a little more ambiguous. If the driver was taking a lunch break, or if they decided to run an errand while at work, UPS could argue that they weren’t responsible for the employee’s actions that caused the accident.
If your claim meets all three criteria listed above, you can begin the process of filing a claim with UPS’s insurance. You can read more about UPS’s auto liability insurance by visiting UPS.com.
Who Do I Contact if a UPS Driver Causes an Accident?
Ideally, if a UPS driver caused an accident, they would contact their superiors on the scene to start the claim process. If the accident was a “hit and run,” you will need to notify the police as soon as possible.
There are several key pieces of evidence you can gather at the accident to help your case including:
- Witness reports
- Police reports
- Footage from highway cameras or dashcams
- Pictures of the damage to your vehicle and/or debris on the road
Be sure to give a statement to police about how the accident happened. If you were taken from the scene in an ambulance, reach out to the police in the city or county where the accident occurred and give your statement over the phone. The accident report will record the facts of the case and can help when you are dealing with the insurance company.
As soon as you are able, contact UPS at 1-800-742-5877 and ask to speak to customer service to file a claim with the company’s insurance. See our article about speaking to insurance adjusters after an accident for more information about speaking with the insurance company.
Do UPS Accident Have a Higher Settlement Value?
The short answer is “no.” UPS has a decent auto insurance policy with higher-than-average limits of liability. There is more money available in the UPS policy to cover property damage and medical bills, assuming there is no dispute about liability for the accident.
However, your injuries are not “more valuable” because the accident was caused by a UPS driver. The insurance company will look at your medical bills and property damage and (ideally) make an offer that will cover these expenses plus pain and suffering.
There is no formula for calculating an accident settlement. If the insurance company isn’t making a fair offer, your best option is to contact an attorney to review your claim and help you negotiate a fair settlement.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney for My Car Accident Claim Against UPS?
There are 4 main things you should look for when hiring an accident attorney.
- Trial experience with personal injury cases: Any attorney can claim they take personal injury cases, but you should look for a lawyer with documented experience with auto accident cases.
- Positive reviews on Avvo.com and Google: There are many rating sites you can use to research potential attorneys for your case. Avvo and Google are the most popular, and Avvo has detailed information about most practicing attorneys.
- Licensed to practice in the state where the accident occurred: If you were in a car accident, you should look for an attorney in the state where the accident occurred. For example, if you live in North Carolina but your accident occurred in Virginia, you will need a Virginia attorney.
- Request books, whitepapers, or other informational information about the attorney: Take advantage of the free resources attorneys offer on their websites, including books about car accidents or settling your case without an attorney.