Colorado Car Accident Caused by a FedEx Delivery Driver 

Colorado Car Accident Caused by a FedEx Delivery Driver 

Car accidents can be a traumatic experience, and when they involve FedEx delivery drivers, the situation can become even more complex. In such cases, understanding insurance coverage and what steps to take immediately after the accident can make a significant difference. This is why the experienced truck accident lawyers at Bowman Law created the following comprehensive guide to help you navigate the aftermath of a car accident involving a FedEx delivery driver in Colorado. 

Is FedEx Liable for Car Accidents Caused by Delivery Drivers?  

The extent of FedEx’s responsibility for car accidents depends on the driver’s classification as an employee or independent contractor. The classification of FedEx delivery drivers is very important when discussing handling personal injury claims following a car accident.  As a primer, it is important to note employers are generally responsible for car accidents caused by their employees while performing job-related duties. This principle, known as “respondeat superior,” means if a delivery driver, who is an employee of FedEx, causes a car accident while delivering packages, FedEx may be held liable for any damages resulting from the accident. 

Proving Liability is Complex: Independent Contractors Vs. Employees 

Proving liability in such cases can be complex, and it often depends on various factors such as whether the driver was within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. FedEx may dispute liability by arguing the driver was not acting within their employment duties. Such arguments may contend the employee was engaged in personal activities or in violation of company policies when they caused the accident. In such cases, it is important to consult with experienced personal injury lawyers.  

You can also consider potential negligence directly attributable to FedEx. It is possible FedEx hired an unqualified driver or failed to appropriately train them. Perhaps the delivery truck itself was faulty, which could be FedEx’s responsibility if they knew or should have known about it. If direct wrongdoing on FedEx’s part can be established, the company could also be held responsible for an accident its driver caused. In certain instances, you may be able to sue parts manufacturers, maintenance facilities, or other companies that may have contributed to the cause of the accident.

A jack-knifed FedEx semi truck

Liability if the Driver is a Contractor

Whether FedEx accepts responsibility for a car accident changes if a delivery driver is considered an independent contractor. These independent contractors are individuals or businesses that provide services to FedEx under a contractual agreement. They may use their own vehicles and operate independently within the framework set by FedEx. This arrangement allows FedEx to leverage the services of independent contractors to expand its delivery network and provide more flexibility in meeting customer demands. Independent contractors are typically seen as self-employed individuals responsible for their own actions, including their driving behaviors. If an accident occurs with an independent contractor, the primary responsibility may fall squarely on the driver or on the commercial entity that is contracted with FedEx.

How Do You Know If They Are An Employee or Contractor?

Proving liability in cases involving independent contractors can be somewhat clearer than with employees, as the driver’s status generally reduces the employer’s responsibility. However, pursuing a claim against an independent contractor may still involve complexities, including sufficiency of insurance coverage, and it is advisable to consult with qualified personal injury attorneys to understand your options and hold the responsible party accountable. 

FedEx utilizes a combination of employees and independent contractors for its delivery services. While many of FedEx’s drivers are employees, especially those driving the iconic FedEx-branded delivery trucks, the company also contracts with independent contractors through its FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery services. There are currently over 40 commercial carriers in the United States working as contractors for FedEx. These contractors are individually responsible for their trucks’ maintenance and drivers and, therefore, may be liable if you are injured. 

Identifying which entities are responsible for the at-fault driver involved in a car accident can be very difficult. Most of these trucks bear the FedEx logo. It would be logical to think that any driver driving a truck with the FedEx logo is a FedEx employee, but this is not necessarily the case.

A wrecked gray car

Document the Incident and Seek Medical Attention

If you are involved in an accident with a FedEx delivery driver, it is crucial to document the incident thoroughly, gather essential information, and seek medical attention if needed. Contacting the authorities is also vital to create an official record of the accident. Whether you are pursuing a claim against the driver or FedEx, consulting with experienced personal injury lawyers is advisable to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your economic and non-economic damages, pain and suffering, impairment, lost wages, and other consequences of the accident. 

What Should I Do if I am Hit by a FedEx Driver?

If you are hit by a FedEx delivery driver, it is crucial to follow the standard procedures for any car accident. 

  1. Begin by documenting the accident scene, collecting essential information such as driver details, vehicle information, and insurance information. 
  2. Contact the authorities to create an official report of the incident and seek medical attention if there are injuries. 
  3. Furthermore, consider consulting with qualified personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accidents and liability. 

An experienced attorney can provide guidance on understanding your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim against the responsible party, whether it’s the driver or FedEx. 

Recommendations For After an Accident with a FedEx Driver

If you were involved in a car accident with a FedEx delivery driver, be sure to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Take photos of:
    • The scene of the accident, including all the damages sustained by the vehicles involved.
    • Nearby street signs.
    • The visible physical injuries that you suffered due to the accident.
  • Collect information:
    • all insurance information of all the drivers that were involved in the accident.
    • Collect all witness information, including names and contact numbers.
  • File an accident report with the police.
  • Report the accident to FedEx.
  • Note the truck number and license plate number of the FedEx truck
  • Seek medical attention, ensuring that you keep all records associated with the care received for your injuries.
The back of a FedEx truck as it drive down a highway

Vehicles Driven by Contractors

FedEx, and its independent contractors, use a variety of vehicles to conduct their deliveries. While this is not an exhaustive list, the most popular vehicles include:

These vehicles may be the responsibility of FedEx, another commercial contractor, or the driver itself. If you are involved in an accident with a FedEx delivery driver and believe that FedEx may be liable for your damages, you may have the option to pursue legal action against the company. The ability to sue FedEx largely depends on the driver’s employment status and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Bringing a Claim Against FedEx Delivery Drivers

For accidents involving FedEx employees, you may have a stronger case for pursuing a claim against FedEx. If the driver was working within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, FedEx’s liability for the damages becomes more apparent. 

However, for accidents involving independent contractors, it can be more challenging to hold FedEx accountable. In these cases, it is important to identify the appropriate parties who are responsible for the truck and driver that hit you. It is possible that a separate company instead of, or in addition to, FedEx will be liable for your injuries.

You must track down all potential insurance coverages available, which starts with identifying all the entities that may be responsible for the accident. If you do not identify and file a claim with the appropriate parties, you will be at risk of losing your opportunity to get compensated for your injuries. Identifying the appropriate parties can get complicated and their insurance carriers can be complicated. If you are hit by a FedEx-branded vehicle, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney who can provide valuable legal guidance and representation.

Are FedEx Ground Drivers Employees of FedEx?

FedEx created its FedEx Ground division in 1998 after its acquisition of Roadway Package Service (RPS). At that time, FedEx took the position that drivers operating for this division were not employees, as many of them owned their own vehicles and operated independently in most other aspects. However, FedEx Ground management governed most operational principles, such as vehicle requirements, delivery guidelines, and maintenance standards. FedEx also deducted fees from the drivers’ pay to cover operating costs but did not pay them overtime or contribute to any benefits.

An overturned car surrounded by emergency personnel

For over a decade, these drivers were considered independent contractors and compensated as such. Then, in 2014, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals made a crucial decision that certain FedEx Ground drivers had been misclassified as independent contractors and should have been considered FedEx employees. Importantly, this ruling applied to a limited set of drivers, about 2,300 in total. The ruling is not attributable to every FedEx Ground driver, though similar legal battles on drivers’ classifications continue to be fought.

While this ruling limits FedEx’s abilities to qualify its Ground drivers as independent contractors, the company continues to utilize contractors for its Ground division. Determining the classification of a driver involved in a car accident will require a case-by-case analysis. This analysis can be complex depending on the circumstances, and it is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to help navigate this situation if you are involved in an accident. 

Should I Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer?  

Whether FedEx drivers are employees or independent contractors plays a significant role in defining accountability. If you have been hit by a FedEx driver, consult with the experienced truck accident lawyers at Bowman Law to understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for economic and non-economic damages, pain and suffering, impairment, lost wages, and more. Our qualified personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of these cases and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Bowman Law today for a free consultation. We serve the entire Colorado Front Range including Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and the Denver Metro Area.