Pressured by time constraints and having to drive for long hours, delivery drivers are at high risk of getting involved in accidents whilst at work.
An in-depth study of data provided by the UK Department for Transport found that drivers of vans, pickups, large goods vehicles (LGVs), and company cars have a high blame ratio in accident involvement.
However, delivery drivers can also be victims of work-related accidents and not be at fault, even when they are not on the road.
Whether you are just another road user or the driver of a delivery vehicle, if an accident that leads to an injury occurs and it was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation.
The following guide provides answers to some of the common questions people have about delivery driver accidents at work. Read on to find out which parties can be held liable for such incidents, the protection you have under the law, and what to expect from the claims process.
What Type Of Delivery Driver Accidents At Work Qualify For Compensation?
Delivery and collection services are essential to both businesses and individual consumers. However, transportation is one of the most dangerous activities that can cause a variety of injury-inducing accidents.
To begin with, the hazards involved can lead to road traffic accidents (RTAs), which are the most common cause of work-related occupational fatalities in the UK.
Secondly, delivery drivers can fall victim to various manual handling injuries. For instance, this can cause back pain or crushed foot injuries when moving heavy loads by hand. Delivery drivers also face health and fire risks if flammable or hazardous materials ignite or spill.
Generally, those are the kinds of delivery driver accidents at work that may lead to a claim. Keep in mind that personal injury law requires the claimant that suffers harm to prove causation, which is the negligent act or inaction of another party that owes you a duty of care. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the cause of the accident to establish who is at fault.
Before deciding to proceed with a compensation claim, it is advisable that you first speak to a personal injury solicitor to establish the validity of your claim.
Who Is Liable For Delivery Driver Accidents?
Accidents involving delivery drivers can happen under a variety of different circumstances. Depending on how a victim incurs injuries, the following parties can be found liable to pay compensation if proven to be at fault.
Being a delivery driver has its occupational hazards, but you are still entitled to safe working conditions under the law. Employers owe you a duty of care as per provisions set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Delivery companies are legally required to take reasonable precautions to prevent accidents or injuries to their employees (including drivers). If you are a delivery driver that got injured at work or were involved in an accident, your employer may be held liable if you were:
- Pressured to complete a journey in severe weather conditions
- Assigned to operate delivery equipment without proper training
- Driving a vehicle that had developed a problem, due to lack of servicing or maintenance
- Denied off-days as per the Work Time Regulations Act 1998
- Given unreasonable deadlines to deliver too many parcels in a day
- Not given enough rest-time or made to stay behind the wheel for a long duration that exceeds the GB driver hours rules
- Not given enough training, supervision or assistance with manual handling tasks that involve the lifting and securing of heavy items
- Not given the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) required for the job, such as high strength work boots to protect your feet from dropped items or a helmet for drivers making deliveries to a construction site
Delivery drivers can also claim compensation against their employer if there was no thorough risk assessment carried out to ensure that all activities related to the job can get completed safely.
Keep in mind that not all road traffic accidents involving a delivery driver will be the fault of an employer.
Sometimes, car crashes can happen because of drunk or speeding drivers, as well as people distracted by their phones whilst driving. In such cases, you can bring a claim against the at-fault motorist and their insurer would be liable to pay compensation for your injuries.
Even in the case of uninsured or untraced drivers that fail to stop after causing an accident, you can still make a compensation claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
Besides reckless driving or negligent acts by employers, delivery driver accidents at work can be caused by poorly maintained roads or even animals that stray into the road.
For example, if a missing drain cover or pothole caused you to lose control of your delivery vehicle and crash, then your claim could be against the local council or highway authority that is responsible for that stretch of road.
You would have a strong case if the agency responsible failed to carry out maintenance and repair works, or provide adequate warning about the condition or surface of the road.
In the case of accidents caused by animals, it may be possible to bring a claim if it has an owner. Such liability is covered in the Animal Act 1971. However, litigation under this provision requires the claimant to prove that the unrestrained pet was the direct cause of the traffic accident.
What Will A Delivery Driver Accident Claim Compensate Me For?
Most people considering making a delivery driver accident claim are often curious to know what kind of compensation they can get for their injuries. Whether you were the driver or another road user at the time of the accident, your settlement (if successful) will include payouts for:
Pain, Suffering, And Loss Of Amenity
Compensation for pain and suffering falls under general damages. Both the physical and psychological impact of your injuries will be taken into account when deciding the amounts to award. Loss of amenity relates to any changes to your quality of life.
Your legal representative will help you to arrange for an assessment conducted by a medical expert, who will prepare a medico-legal report detailing all your injuries.
The final payout will depend on factors like the extent of your injuries, the time required to recover, future medical treatment or any lifelong care that would be needed.
Treatment-Related Expenses, Lost Wages, And Vehicle Damage
You can also claim for financial losses caused as a direct result of a delivery driver accident. Such compensation is known as special damages.
It can include expenses such as hospital bills, medication purchases, money spent travelling to and from doctor appointments, ongoing care, loss of current and future earnings, and vehicle repair costs or the write-off value of your car.
Will I Have To Go To Court For My Delivery Driver Accident Claim?
Unless the at-fault parties deny liability, most delivery driver accident claims settle through out-of-court negotiations. Processing of low-value claims (those below £ 25,000) takes place on the RTA claims portal.
Sometimes the insurer paying compensation might not agree with the amount (or quantum) being claimed. As a result, this can lead to a trial where a judge will determine the payout to award for damages.
Is There A Time Limit To Start Delivery Driver Accidents At Work Claims?
Delivery driver accident claims fall under personal injury law. Legally, victims have up to three years from the time the accident happened to start a compensation claim.
For minors, the timeline starts from their 18th birthday. Because of the limitation period to begin the claims process, it is essential to seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible if you or a loved one got involved in a delivery driver accident.
Need Help Starting A Claim?
Should you wish to discuss your delivery driver accident claim, starting the process does not have to cost you anything. You can get legal representation on a no-win-no-fee agreement, allowing you to settle the legal fees only after you get compensation.
Your solicitor will advise you on how to obtain the necessary evidence to support your claim and guide you through the process. To get in touch with an experienced claims advisor, use the contact form below and get free, no-obligation legal advice.