FedEx Ground CrashES
We all see FedEx vans, trucks, and even airplanes. What you may not know is that there are different FedEx companies that all have slightly different delivery capabilities. FedEx Express can be faster and can involve air travel. FedEx Freight provides “less-than-truckload” or LTL services. LTL services are helpful for companies that need to ship large quantities of items, but not enough to require a full truckload. FedEx Ground, like the name implies, ships packages using primarily ground methods.
What is important to know about a crash involving a FedEx Ground van or truck?
FedEx Ground operates using a business model that involves independent contractors known as independent service providers (“ISPs”). These ISPs are responsible for providing their own vehicles and delivering packages on behalf of FedEx Ground. Typically, a company is set up that buys a FedEx Ground “route.” When the ISP enters into a contract with FedEx Ground, the ISP buys trucks or vans, and FedEx Ground allows the ISP to put the FedEx Ground label on the vehicles. The ISPs then deliver packages on FedEx Ground’s behalf.
How does the independent contractor or independent service provider model affect me if I’m hit by a FedEx Ground vehicle that’s owned by an ISP?
While an ISP arrangement may be beneficial for FedEx Ground for tax and payroll purposes, it is important to note that FedEx Ground is still responsible for the safety of its fleet under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSRs”). ISPs operate vehicles using FedEx Ground’s US DOT number and Motor Carrier (“MC”) Number. The FMCSRs still require FedEx Ground to make sure the ISPs and the drivers employed by ISPs are operating safely. There are a lot of requirements FedEx Ground must follow under the FMCSRs, but some notable requirements are:
Making sure drivers are qualified to drive large vehicles,
Making sure drivers are properly trained, and
Making sure the vehicles are safely maintained.
Many FedEx Ground drivers use an app called Groundcloud, which allows drivers and FedEx Ground to track and report deliveries in real-time. Groundcloud also allows drivers to get route and navigation information using the app. The app also can log driver hours, pre-trip inspection, and maintenance information.
How do the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations impact my case with FedEx Ground?
Believe it or not, the most important question to ask when a person is severely injured in a truck crash is “why did this crash happen?” Investigating how companies like FedEx Ground comply with the safety regulations is one of the most important parts of any case involving serious injuries caused by trucking companies. Since FedEx Ground is required to follow those regulations, taking a deep dive into what went wrong makes a huge difference in a personal injury case. Information from the Groundcloud app can play an important role in putting the pieces together.
What else is different between a regular car crash and a crash with FedEx Ground?
We now know a little bit about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, how FedEx Ground operates, and how those parts fit together. Because the vehicles operated by FedEx Ground are bigger and typically have different capabilities than a regular car, it is also important to inspect the FedEx Ground vehicle to see if there were maintenance issues with the vehicle and to document the condition of the vehicle after the crash.
If you have been involved in a crash with a FedEx Ground truck, it is important to speak with an experienced truck crash attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. We have handled cases involving FedEx Ground as well as other large trucking companies.
What Should I Do After Getting into a Truck Crash?
Check to make sure that everyone is safe. If there are injuries call for help to ensure those injured get proper care.
Check to make sure you are not severely injured at the scene of the crash. It may take a few days to feel pain from the crash, but if you can’t move any of your body parts or have severe headaches at the scene of the crash, get checked out by EMS and get transported to the hospital.
Take photos of the scene including areas around the crash site – if you can.
Swap insurance and contact information with the other driver.
You’ve determined there’s no immediate severe injuries, you’ve taken photos, and you’ve swapped information. Now what? Look around for witnesses to the crash. Responding police officers will not help you find witnesses or gather their contact information. That responsibility is on you, but that’s ok because a witness can be the difference between the crash being ruled your fault versus the other driver’s fault. Truck crash witnesses can be crucial to the case and can help sway the jury in your favor should your crash end in court. Don’t delay in gathering this important information, and don’t assume others will do it for you.
If you did not go straight to the hospital after a crash, you should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Since it can take a few days to feel pain, try to get out ahead of that and see a doctor. You should consider consulting an attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for making it difficult to receive payments even if it’s clear that the other driver was at fault for the crash. When it comes to crashes involving big trucks, trucking companies and their insurance companies often send people out immediately to investigate and sometimes offer less money to injured people in exchange for promising not to ever sue. By working with an attorney who has your best interests in mind, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have someone fighting to protect you from trucking and insurance companies. Whatever you decide, it is not a good idea to give an insurance company a recorded statement without first consulting with an attorney.
If you’ve been involved in a truck crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tepperman Law. We’re here to take the pressure away from you, and make sure you are treated fairly. We have experience fighting trucking and insurance companies and will fight for your best interests.