When a delivery driver is injured on the job, determining who may be liable for your injuries and other damages may be complicated. While we encourage you to contact an experienced attorney after suffering an injury caused by another's negligent actions, there are a few important facts that can be helpful to get you started.
The knowledgeable lawyers at Greg Coleman Law discuss some of the basics every delivery driver should know before getting behind the wheel of a delivery truck, or even a personal vehicle that is being used for a business purpose.
If you are injured while making deliveries, we strongly recommend that you contact our firm to arrange for a personal injury consultation as soon as possible. There is no cost or obligation for this free claim review, and it is also an opportunity to learn more about your legal options. If we represent you, your case will be on contingency. This means all attorney costs will come out of your compensation at settlement, so there is nothing for you to pay unless you get paid first.
Employed Drivers Versus Sub-Contracted Drivers
Before determining who may be liable for the damages when a delivery truck driver is injured on the job, we must first understand how your employment is classified.
Liability for injuries and other damages works differently for drivers who are employed by a company. Employed drivers, who typically have to wear a uniform, drive a company vehicle and are supervised by the company, will be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries sustained while working.
In Tennessee, if you are injured at work, you are eligible to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, even if you may have contributed to the accident. However, you are not permitted to sue your employer. If you are unsure about your employment classification, you can speak with one of our attorneys to discuss the options that may apply to your situation.
There are some exceptions when an injured delivery driver may be eligible to pursue a third-party claim in addition to receiving workers' compensation benefits, such as if another driver's negligence caused an accident. Your attorney can explain more about other times a third-party claim may apply, but here are some additional examples:
- A negligent driver who collided with your delivery vehicle
- Poor maintenance of the vehicle, if owned and maintained by a third party
- A manufacturer of a faulty product, such as defective tires, if it led to an accident
Subcontracted or Independent Drivers
If you deliver goods for a company, but you are not classified as an employee because you manage your own hours and, in some cases, drive your own vehicle, then you will likely not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may be able to pursue damages by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
If you contributed to the accident, or if the other party is not insured, you may still be able to pursue compensation for your damages through your own insurance carrier if you have purchased the appropriate insurance to operate your vehicle for commercial use.
Know Before You Go
Before you get behind the wheel of your car or any company’s delivery vehicle, it is important that you make sure you are covered by auto insurance as required by state law. Avoiding this important step could be an expensive mistake if you get into an accident.
Will My Personal Auto Insurance Policy Cover Me?
Insurance companies classify cars used for business purpose as a higher risk than a car purchased for personal use only. So, if you are doing deliveries with your car or using it for some other type of business purpose, then your personal auto insurance policy will likely not cover you. In fact, if you have an accident and you did not tell your insurance carrier that you use your car for business, your claim may simply be denied. and your policy canceled.
Be straightforward when you speak with your insurance company to find out what type of coverage you need. It is the only way to make sure you are covered in the event of an accident. Be aware that not all insurance companies provide policies for business use purposes, so you may need to shop around to get the insurance you need at the price you want.
How an Attorney May Benefit Your Claim
If you are involved in an accident while working as a delivery driver, we encourage you to contact one of our Knoxville personal injury attorneys for legal assistance as soon as possible.
At Greg Coleman Law, we have extensive knowledge of Tennessee injury laws. We welcome the opportunity to review the circumstances of your injury and discuss your legal options. We take personal injury cases on contingency, which means there is nothing for you to pay up front. We collect our fees when your claim settles, so we do not get paid unless you do.
Call our firm for legal help today: (865) 247-0080