Compensation for Car Accidents Caused by Delivery Drivers in Georgia


December 16, 2013

When Atlanta drivers navigate the streets of Atlanta, there are many delivery vehicles that weave in and out of traffic. Drivers delivering pizza, parcels or other items have a reasonable probability of being involved in collisions because they log many mile behind the wheel. If the drivers are forced to conform to tight time schedules when delivering food or products, the rush to get to the next destination can play a factor in causing a serious car crash. Although someone who is injured in a collision caused by a delivery driver may have a right to seek legal compensation, the driver may be a teenage kid delivering pizza whose insurance has lapsed or who has inadequate coverage.

Under these circumstances, car accident victims may need to seek recovery against the company that employs the delivery driver to obtain full compensation for all harm suffered including both economic losses, such as lost income and medical bills and non-economic loss like pain and suffering and diminished enjoyment of life experiences. Businesses whose delivery drivers may cause serious auto accidents range from chain pizza stores like Dominos® and Pizza Hut® to parcel delivery services like the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Federal Express® (Fed Ex). When someone is injured because of the careless or distracted driving of a delivery driver, there are a number of legal theories that may permit recovery against the company that employs the driver.

Respondeat Superior: This legal doctrine imposes liability on an employer for the negligence of an employee acting within the course and scope of the employment relationship. The company that employs the driver may be held vicariously liable for the negligent driving of an employee who causes injury or wrongful death in an auto collision. The delivery driver must be traveling to a destination for the benefit of the employer, which includes business deliveries, rather than running a personal errand that is not relevant to the employment relationship. Because this doctrine is based on the employment relationship, other legal theories may be needed when the driver is an independent contractor.

Negligent Hiring: Even if there is no employment relationship, the company that contracts with a driver as an independent contractor may be liable for its own negligence in hiring of a driver. The business may be liable if it allows an independent contractor (IC) or employee to operate a vehicle to make deliveries while ignorant of a history of traffic accidents, moving violations, DUIs or other factors that suggest the driver cannot safely be entrusted to operate a motor vehicle.

Negligent Supervision or Training: If there are no red flags in the driving record or criminal or employment history of a driver, the company may still be financially responsible for the negligent driving of an IC or employee who is not properly monitored and trained. For example, the company might be liable for not correcting a driver who is known to be texting while traveling to make deliveries.

Negligent Retention: Sometimes delivery drivers develop a record of traffic accidents, traffic violations or unsafe driving practices while performing services for the company. A business that continues to allow such a driver to make deliveries might be liable for negligent retention of the driver.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years Experience to Work For You

If you or a loved one has been injured or loved one has died in a collision caused by a delivery driver, our Atlanta car accident attorneys have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.