The Challenges of Bringing a Truck Accident Case Against FedEx

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December 10, 2020
Edward Smith

Why FedEx Truck Accident Cases are Complicated 

The more commercial vehicles that a trucking company has on the road, the more big rig crashes it is likely to be involved in, and FedEx has a lot of trucks on the road. FedEx is number two in size among package delivery providers in the United States, behind only UPS in overall size and number of vehicles.

FedEx has grown rapidly in size from a single delivery van in 1971 to a large shipping company with nearly $70 billion in revenues and a quarter-million employees in 2019. Only two years after its founding, the company moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where it remains headquartered today. In addition to its shipping work for corporations big and small, as well as individual shoppers, FedEx is also the top federal government contractor in terms of the number of jobs it completes per year, with more than $12 million in shipping orders for the government in 2018 earning the company nearly $1 billion.

Having formally changed its name from “Federal Express” to “FedEx” in 2000, the transportation company is well known for its many television ads and sports sponsorships, including professional motor racing, golf, rugby, soccer, FedEx Field where the NFL Washington team plays, and the FedEx Forum where the NBA Memphis Grizzlies play.

Statistics on Truck Accidents Involving FedEx Vehicles

Although FedEx overall has a relatively good safety reputation among trucking companies in the United States, a quarter-million or so employees using about 20,000 vehicles – from delivery vans to tractor-trailers to jet aircraft – to transport billions of tons of shipments worth trillions of dollars annually will inevitably be involved in a large number of accidents. The federal government’s data for 2018 and 2019, for example, records more than 700 big rig crashes involving FedEx drivers that resulted in serious injury or death, a little less than 1% of all such trucking accidents in the U.S.

Unfortunately, large commercial trucks involved in motor vehicle accidents are much more likely to result in fatalities. These vehicles are massive, develop huge amounts of momentum, especially when traveling at freeway speeds, and are correspondingly difficult to maneuver and brake in an emergency. Of the 700+ trucking accidents involving FedEx trucks from 2018 to 2019, for example, about 8% of the accidents resulted in fatalities — a far higher fatality rate than motor vehicle crashes in general, in which less than 1% result in fatal injuries.

What is Common in Federal Express Trucking Accident Injury Settlements and Verdicts?

Personal injury claims resulting from motor vehicle crashes with FedEx trucks tend to have a significantly higher value than motor vehicle injury claims in general for several reasons, including injury severity, available insurance coverage, and the nature of the defendant – FedEx – itself. The primary factor in determining the value of any personal injury is the nature of the injury itself. As we noted, large commercial trucking accidents in general – not just with FedEx – are much more likely to result in fatalities or very serious injuries than other types of motor vehicle crashes. This translates directly to typically higher settlement values and jury verdicts.

Additionally, many serious injury claims may be limited to recovering only an inadequate amount of bodily liability insurance coverage available for the negligent driver. FedEx, as a major corporation, has the deepest of “deep pockets” when it comes to resolving injury claims, and this potential inadequacy is not a problem.

Finally, because FedEx is one of the most well-known largest shipping companies that does find itself involved in a high number of serious trucking accidents – just due to the nature and size of its business – juries tend to be generous in their verdicts in cases where FedEx and its employees and contractors are found to be negligent.

Why are FedEx Truck Accident Cases Different and Complicated?

Sometimes it is obvious how a motor vehicle accident occurred and what caused it, and other times it is not. Trucking accident cases against large shipping companies like FedEx tend to require much more investigation and are much more “document-intensive” than personal injury cases in general.

Very often, the types of major multi-vehicle accidents that can be caused by large commercial trucks like FedEx operates require careful analysis and reconstruction to determine just what actions and physics produced the results. The initial law enforcement and regulatory agency investigation results – sometimes in the form of lengthy reports such as those produced by the California Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT) — must be carefully reviewed by an injury victim’s attorney and their professional consultants, such as accident reconstruction specialists.

Since most accidents result from human error, commercial trucking accident cases against FedEx tend to focus on the driver’s training, experience, fatigue levels, and other factors that may have contributed to a negligent action. Major trucking carriers like FedEx are required to thoroughly document these factors for their direct employees, and contracting drivers are responsible for doing so as well. Because FedEx uses a larger percentage of independent contractor drivers than most other major trucking companies, cases against them are often complicated by needing to investigate the individual drivers, whose documented records may not be as thorough and accurate as those typically kept by trucking companies for their own employees.

What to Do if You are Involved in a Truck Accident with a FedEx Vehicle

First, care for yourself and other people. Call for emergency assistance from police and medical personnel. Stay at the scene and be sure to make contact with the police when they arrive. Many commercial trucking accidents involve multiple vehicles and a large physical area due to the large vehicles’ stopping difficulties. As a result, these accident scenes can be very complicated. Keep your vehicle at the place where it came to a stop until and unless police direct you to move it. Try to take photographs showing the other vehicles involved and their positions related to each other. When you have sought medical treatment after the big rig crash, reach out to a FedEx attorney who is experienced in handling complicated Federal Express truck accident cases like yours for legal assistance.

Federal Express Accident Lawyer in Sacramento, CA

If you or a family member suffers an injury in an accident with a FedEx truck in Sacramento, seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. These types of injury cases are often much more complicated and difficult to resolve than more common types of car crash incidents. Call our law firm for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith – AutoAccident.com – has been handling major personal injury cases, including trucking accidents involving shipping companies like FedEx, since 1982.

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