Experts predict that, by 2022, the last-mile delivery market will continue growing and exceed $50 billion in North America. The rise of online commerce has fueled much of this increase. Last-mile delivery is also rather perilous. Many delivery drivers load heavy packages into their personal vehicles and depend heavily on GPS navigation devices to get them to their destinations.
Because of these hazards, a Kona personal injury lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation in these situations. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. However, this process is usually not easy. These wrecks are often legally complex, as outlined below.
All successful claims are built on evidence. The victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case. Additionally, there is usually a connection between the amount of evidence a Kona personal injury attorney presents and the amount of damages the jury awards. So, evidence is not just valuable at trial. It also drives up a claim’s settlement value.
Traditionally, the police accident report, medical bills, and the victim’s own testimony are the three evidentiary pillars in a negligence claim. In many situations, that’s still the case. However, these sources are sometimes insufficient.
So, in many truck accident claims, Kona personal injury lawyers need additional evidence. Frequently, the delivery vehicle’s Event Data Recorder fills in the evidence gaps. These gadgets track and record operational data such as:
· Vehicle speed,
· Engine RPM,
· Steering angle, and
· Brake application.
Items like these help Kona personal injury lawyers piece together what happened. This information could be invaluable, but it is not always available.
Hawaii has very strict vehicle information privacy laws. So, an attorney must convince a judge to issue a court order.
Additionally, many insurance companies “accidentally” destroy physical evidence, such as the EDR. So, a Kona personal injury lawyer typically sends a spoliation letter to the insurance company. This correspondence creates a legal duty to preserve all potential physical evidence in the case. That includes the EDR.
Establishing Liability and Kona Personal Injury Lawyers
Evidence can usually establish fault, but it cannot establish liability. Fault is a fact question, and liability is a legal matter. Victim/plaintiffs must establish both these things to obtain fair compensation.
Contributory negligence is probably the most common defense in delivery driver crash claims. This legal loophole shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim. Pedestrian accidents are a good example. Drivers must normally yield to pedestrians.
But many walkers cross against the light, cross outside marked crosswalks, or are not paying attention to traffic.
In these situations, the Hawaii County jury must divide fault on a percentage basis. State laws vary in terms of distribution of damages. Hawaii is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. Therefore, even if the victim was 49 percent responsible for the crash, the tortfeasor is still responsible for a proportionate share of damages.
Other insurance company defenses in delivery driver claims include sudden emergency and last clear chance. However, these defenses usually only apply in limited situations.
Negotiating a Settlement
About 96 percent of these claims settle out of court. So, an attorney must be more than a good investigator, a legal scholar, and a good litigator. The best Kona personal injury lawyers are also good negotiators.
Settlement can occur at any time. But many times, cases settle during mediation. Mediation usually takes place after medical treatment ends and before the judge assigns a trial date. A neutral third party meets with both sides, and after listening to them, this person tries to facilitate a settlement.
Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith, mediation is almost always successful. Mediated settlements are usually better for everyone. These agreements reduce legal costs, save time, and give parties more control over the outcome.
How Can Kona Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Negligent delivery drivers often cause serious injuries. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Kona personal injury lawyer, contact Olson & Sons, L.C. at (808) 745-1565. We do not charge upfront legal fees in injury cases.