How e-Commerce Is Impacting the Trucking Industry

The growth of e-commerce over the past decade has been nothing short of spectacular. Data shows that in 1999, e-commerce sales accounted for only 1% of total retail sales in the country. By 2017, it had increased to more than 9%.

Over the past year or so, e-commerce sales have skyrocketed to unprecedented proportions – owing to the Covid-19 or Wuhan virus crisis. The number of people who shop online has never been higher before and it is only expected to increase in the coming days.

The astronomical growth in e-commerce sales has had a huge impact on the trucking industry, which forms the nerve center of the e-commerce supply chain network.

Impact of E-Commerce on the Trucking Industry

To ensure faster deliveries for their customers, retailers are decentralizing their distributions networks and are trying to bring their inventories as close to their customer base as possible. As a result, the average trip length for truck drivers in the e-commerce network has reduced significantly, but the number of intra-regional trips and last-mile trips has increased to a considerable extent.

The increase in e-commerce sales has resulted in an increase in demand for owner-operated trucks as well. It has, in turn, resulted in an increase in demand for young and skilled drivers. The trucking industry has always been one of the largest employment generators in the country – especially for non-college educated males. It has become even more of a lucrative career opportunity for young men, thanks to the proliferation in e-commerce sales.

The decline in average trip length, in particular, is appealing to many young drivers, as they can afford to spend less time on the road and more time with their family, which is not the case with long haul trucking.

The trucking industry – for its part – has responded to the increased demand by becoming more efficient. More and more trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices, driver assist systems, forward-looking camera systems, and other technologies that can reduce the risk of collisions to a significant extent.

At the same time, the impact of e-commerce on the trucking industry has not been entirely positive, as you can imagine. The gigantic rise of e-commerce has led to certain challenges in the trucking industry as well.

How E-commerce Growth Affects the Trucking Industry

E-commerce has always been a tremendously competitive environment, but it is more competitive now than ever before, as retailers are trying to outdo each other by offering better service and faster deliveries. Same-day delivery, one-day delivery, and two-day delivery are the norm for a vast majority of products that are ordered online – regardless of where you live in the country.

As a result, drivers are expected to comply with faster turnaround times than ever before. The pressure to meet shipping deadlines can put truck drivers under enormous pressure, as a result of which they might become prone to making mistakes that they otherwise might not make. The constant pressure to race ahead of time can also lead to fatigued driving, which is one of the most common causes of truck accidents in the country today.

Trucking companies might ignore or actively flout hours-of-service regulations in order to stay ahead of their competition. Truck drivers might also be tempted to break traffic rules in order to meet their deadlines, which can be disastrous for other motorists and pedestrians who share the road with them.

Sharing the Road with Trucks: What You Need to Know

Given below are some of the rules you need to follow while sharing the road with commercial trucks:

  • Never get into the blind spot of a truck.
  • Never, ever try to cut off a truck.
  • Do not try to tailgate a truck.
  • If you want to pass a truck, make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror and signal clearly so that the driver knows that you are trying to pass them.
  • Do not try to squeeze your way through while a truck is trying to make a turn.

Despite your best efforts, accidents might still happen – often through no fault of your own. If you are injured by a commercial truck driver, it’s crucial to contact a committed Georgia truck accident attorney right away, so that you can sue the driver and the trucking company if necessary and recover the compensation you are entitled to.

Injured by a Truck Driver? Our Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help!

At Stein & Fox, we know how devastating a truck accident can be. Over the last 40 years, we have represented several truck accident victims in Morrow, Georgia and helped them get the compensation they deserve.

We can investigate your case carefully, collect all the evidence needed to establish the liability of the driver as well as the trucking company, and fight hard to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries as well as other losses.

To discuss your trucking accident claim with one of our attorneys, call us today at 770-961-1700 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.

When Can Mediation Be Used in a Personal Injury Claim?

Not every personal injury claim in Georgia goes to court. In fact, the vast majority of these claims are settled out of court through what are called alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. One such mechanism is mediation, which is a highly effective method of resolving legal disputes.

How Mediation Works in Personal Injury Cases

The personal injury attorney who represents you will try to contact the at-fault party’s insurance company and find out if they are willing to resolve the claim through mediation. If the insurance company is willing to do so, your attorney will start preparing for the mediation process by putting together all the evidence they have against the at-fault party.

The mediation process will be overseen by the mediator – a neutral third-party whose goal is to facilitate a conversation, help the parties involved resolve their disputes in a civil manner, and help them reach a settlement. It should be noted that the mediator cannot take sides, favor one party over another, or advocate for a particular party. It is not their job to decide who is right and who is wrong. Their only job is to help the parties involved reach a settlement.

Generally, attorneys who have a background in personal injury law and are trained in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are chosen as mediators for personal injury related mediations.

The mediation process can be held at the mediator’s office, your attorney’s office, or the at-fault party’s attorney’s office – depending on the preferences of all the parties involved.

The Steps Involved in Mediation

  • The process usually starts with both parties signing a confidentiality agreement. It allows your attorney – as well as the representative from the insurance company – to discuss things candidly without worrying that what they say might be used against them at the trial.
  • Once the agreement is signed, your attorney and the insurance company’s attorney will be allowed to make an opening statement, in which they can mention why they are here and what they intend to prove.
  • During the mediation process, your attorney can choose to talk to the mediator in the presence of the insurance company’s attorney or privately. Similarly, the insurance company’s attorney can do the same.
  • Using the information gathered from both sides, the mediator will try to get both sides to agree to a settlement offer. Your attorney is free to reject the offer made by the other side. They are free to do the same as well.
  • Once an agreement is reached, both parties will be required to sign a settlement agreement, which details how much the insurance company is willing to pay you as restitution. Once the agreement is signed, both parties are required to abide by the terms of the agreement.

Benefits of Choosing Mediation to Settle Your Personal Injury Claim

If your attorney’s negotiations with the insurance company are going nowhere, mediation might be a good way to break the stalemate and reach a settlement.

In a negotiation, your attorney might be forced to take an aggressive stance against the insurance company in order to recover the maximum compensation possible. The insurance company, for their part, might employ all sorts of intimidation strategies to get you to agree to a lowball offer.

Moreover, the presence of a skilled and neutral third-party can make it easier for both parties to reach a settlement, which they otherwise would not have agreed to.

Importance of Being Represented by an Experienced Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

Insurance companies handle thousands of claims every year and go through mediation regularly. They know how it works and they know how to convince you into accepting a lowball offer. If you are not represented by an attorney, they will try to persuade you or intimidate you into accepting a settlement, which is likely to be a fraction of what you can get if you choose to take your case to court.

On the other hand, if you are represented by an experienced attorney, the insurance company is likely to act in good faith, since they know that your attorney can choose to take your case to trial if they want to. This is why it is important to have a capable Georgia personal injury lawyer by your side during the mediation process.

Looking to File a Personal Injury Claim? We Can Help!

If you have been injured by someone and want to file a claim, the personal injury attorneys at Stein & Fox can help. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in handling personal injury claims, and we have recovered over $130 million in compensatory damages for our clients.

We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, represent you at mediations and arbitrations, or take your case to trial to obtain the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim with one of our attorneys, call us today at 770-961-1700 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.

Seeking Compensation After a Crash with a Food Delivery Driver

Food delivery services have exploded in popularity in recent times – partly due to the pandemic. Data shows that between 2015 and 2020, the number of food delivery app users has nearly doubled – from 66 million to 111 million. The convenience of getting hot and fresh food delivered right at your door notwithstanding, the proliferation of food delivery drivers has increased the risk of accidents to a significant extent.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a food delivery driver, you might be able to sue the driver as well as the company they work for – depending on the circumstances.

How Food Delivery Services Increase the Risk of Accidents

Food delivery drivers are often in a rush to make their deliveries, as they could be penalized for slow deliveries. As a result, they are under tremendous pressure to make their deliveries as fast as they possibly can. Needless to say, it can cause them to make mistakes they otherwise might not make while driving.

Moreover, the pressure to make fast deliveries can force the drivers to speed or run a red light, which can increase the risk of accidents. Yet another important point to be noted is that most food delivery services do not have stringent eligibility criteria for their drivers. They only look for the following:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • A clean driving record
  • Basic auto insurance

Most of these companies do not bother to check if a person has the necessary driving skills or experience for the job or whether they are fit enough to drive for 10 to 12 hours a day.

Who Can Be Held Liable for an Accident Caused by a Food Delivery Driver?

Depending on the circumstances, you can hold the food delivery driver or the food delivery company liable for your injuries and other losses.

For instance, if the food delivery driver in question was off-duty (if their app was turned off) at the time of the accident or if they were on duty and waiting for a food delivery order, you can hold them personally responsible for the accident. You cannot hold the food delivery company liable under these circumstances.

On the other hand, if the driver in question was on duty and had accepted a food delivery order at the time of the accident, you can hold the food delivery company liable.

Third Party Liability Coverage Offered by Food Delivery Companies

Most food delivery companies carry third-party liability coverage on behalf of their drivers, so that they can compensate the victims in the event of an accident. These policies, however, are applicable only when the driver is on duty and is on their way to make a delivery.

For instance, DoorDash provides a $1 million third-party liability policy, which is applicable only when a driver causes an accident while they are on their way to make a delivery. If the accident happens at any other time, you can only sue the driver and seek compensation from their auto insurance provider.

Uber Eats has a slightly different policy with respect to third-party liability coverage. They carry a $1 million third-party liability policy, which is applicable from the moment a driver accepts a food delivery order to the time they make the delivery.

If a driver causes an accident while they are on duty, but between deliveries, Uber Eats will pay you up to $50,000 for bodily injuries and up to $25,000 for property damage.

If the driver causes an accident at any other time, you can only sue them – not the company.

How an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

The liability issues stemming from a food delivery accident can be complicated for you to sort out. Based on this, it’s essential to hire an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney who can investigate your case and determine who can be held liable for your injuries.

Moreover, a committed attorney can gather all the evidence needed to maximize the value of your claim and make sure you are adequately compensated for the tangible and intangible losses you suffered – including:

  • Injuries
  • Disabilities
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life

Injured by a Food Delivery Driver? We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve!

At Stein & Fox, we have been fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in Georgia for over 40 years. Over the years, we have recovered over $130 million in damages and have helped thousands of clients get the restitution they deserve.

We can investigate your case, determine whether the food delivery company can be held liable, and negotiate aggressively to recover the maximum amount of restitution possible. If needed, we will fight it out in the court to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.

To discuss your injury claim with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, call us today at 770-961-1700 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.