Injury Law Blog

Traffic safety advocates challenge FedEx business model

FedEx is a business. There is no question about that. It’s logo is well-known; its services are largely appreciated here in Roseville, other areas in California and beyond. A business, especially one that employs drivers and puts large trucks on the road, must put safety before success.

There are some who have faced tragedy who blame the large delivery company for delivering a severe blow to them and their loved ones. They claim that the business model that FedEx uses regarding hiring drivers is putting other motorists at risk.

 

For example, three years ago, a severe and preventable motor vehicle accident took place on a California highway. NBC reports that the fatal accident was caused by a driver of a FedEx truck, who had failed to stop for stopped traffic on I-5 and then proceeded to cause a multi-vehicle wreck. That negligence took the life of three people, including one child.

Based on the description of what happened, one might assume it would be easy to go after FedEx, whose driver’s speeding and apparent inattention led to the loss of life and injuries of several other California victims. Because of FedEx’s reliance on third-party contractors as drivers, however, a case against the big business is not so clear-cut.

Independent contractors are technically not employed by FedEx, giving FedEx an out when something goes wrong. Does the delivery giant rely on that hiring model to intentionally avoid being held liable for truck accidents? The company, of course, will never tell. But safety critics can most definitely question the business process and its impact on public safety.

Someone who has been injured or who has lost a loved one in a truck accident should speak with a California personal injury attorney. There are many complexities within a case involving working drivers, as the FedEx issue demonstrates. A local and experienced lawyer could explain the opportunities and limits of a case involving a driver and his or her employer.

Source: NBC Bay Area, “FedEx Says Not Responsible In Some Accidents Involving Its Independent Contractors,” Elyce Kirchner, Kevin Nious and David Burgess, Aug. 6, 2014