Tucson Pizza Delivery Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH OUR TUCSON PIZZA DELIVERY ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
Americans love pizza; the average American will eat around 6,000 slices in a lifetime. That affection comes at least in some part because of the convenience of the meal; there are over 75,000 pizza restaurants in the United States, averaging almost four per city, town, or village. Tucson pizza delivery accident lawyers also recognize the convenience of pizza, but they have seen the dark side of the industry in the shortcuts pizzerias take to ensure fast service.
Pizzerias and pizza delivery drivers who negligently harm others should pay for the accidents they cause. This article explores how victims of pizza delivery accidents can recover for their injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in a pizza delivery accident in or near Tucson, Arizona, call a Zinda Law Group lawyer at (800) 863-5312 for your free consultation.
What is a pizza delivery lawsuit?
There would not be pizza delivery lawsuits if not for the unparalleled popularity of delivered pizzas. Pizza deliveries took off in the 1950s as pizzerias began advertising their menus on television for customers to order and take home. Soon, the trend of pizza delivery skyrocketed; Domino’s Pizza started guaranteeing its customers that it would bring piping hot pizzas to their doorsteps within 30 minutes of their customers’ orders or the pizza would be free.
Once customers began taking advantage of the 30-minute guarantee—sometimes turning off their porch lights or refusing to answer their doors so that delivery drivers could not deliver the pizzas within the time limit—Domino’s adjusted its guarantee to provide a $3 discount to pizzas that did not enter the hands of customers within the 30-minute mark. The guarantee became something of a cultural legend, appearing in numerous American films and TV shows. Unseen by audiences, behind the scenes of these guarantees, Domino’s delivery drivers were causing fatalities by rushing to make the deliveries in time.
Those fatalities culminated in one giant lawsuit when a Domino’s delivery driver crashed into another motorist, Jean Kinder, and seriously injured her; this lawsuit ended with Domino’s paying $78 million to Jean as a penalty for its 30-minute guarantee that encouraged negligent driving by its employees. Today, pizzerias still must take responsibility for the negligence of their employees while their employees are working. If a pizza delivery driver crashes into you and injures you, that driver or the pizza company or both could be liable for your injuries and owe you compensation.
What should victims do after pizza delivery accidents in Tucson?
Victims of any kind of car accident have their lives disrupted in one way or another. In minor fender benders, the victim has to deal with insurance companies or at the very least bear the disappointment of driving a dented vehicle. In very serious accidents, victims have not only lost time and opportunities in their careers, but they may have also missed out on family events, had to replace their vehicles, and suffered physically from injuries.
The best thing you can do after the accident is contact a personal injury lawyer to see how strong your case is and whether you will be able to be compensated for your injuries. The following are the general steps you should take after the accident to try to restore your life to the way it was before the accident occurred.
Acknowledge Your Injuries
Your physical injuries might be the most expensive part of the accident. Even if you do not think your injuries are very serious, you should check with a doctor as soon as you can after the accident to ensure that you are not allowing injuries you did not realize you had to get worse with time. You might think you escaped the car crash with minor bruises, cuts, and sprains, only to find out later that you actually sustained a serious spinal injury.
When you begin visiting the doctor, start keeping track of your visits and what happens on them, what type of treatment you are receiving, and all of the costs attached. Even though a lawyer can request that your care providers release this information later, it will be most convenient for you to keep track of this early—especially if you have to see multiple care providers.
Find Evidence at the Accident Scene
If you do not have serious injuries right after the crash, you should gather information that will help you establish what happened. Prioritize getting the names, phone numbers, and addresses of the other parties involved in the crash and witnesses who saw the crash. Then, begin taking pictures of where the accident occurred and the damage that the vehicles received.
Someone should also call the police so that a crash report can be created. The officer will take down the information of everyone involved, and the crash report will become public record a few days after the accident.
After you have addressed your serious injuries and learned who was at the scene of the accident, you can begin your preliminary investigation into who was at fault for the accident; the crash report may be helpful with this, since there is often a diagram to show how the accident happened. You can start reaching out to witnesses to the accident to establish the facts of the case. At this stage, you can evaluate the strength of your case and start thinking about whether you should sue the pizza delivery driver so that you can get compensated for your injuries.
Begin Your Lawsuit
Now that you can explain with some certainty what happened at the accident, a lawyer can help you with your next steps. The lawyer can provide professional insight to your case and let you know what your chances of success might be if you choose to sue the pizza delivery driver. If you do choose to sue, you must bring your claim within two years of the accident to comply with Arizona’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
An attorney can help you both with the logistics of filing your claim and the strategy you should use to try to get a settlement; to get a settlement, your lawyer must negotiate with the defendant to show that you deserve the amount for which you are asking. Clients and attorneys on both sides (plaintiffs and defendants) prefer settlement to trial because a jury can be unpredictable. However, if the pizza delivery driver and/or company that negligently harmed you is not settling for an appropriate amount for your case, you want a lawyer who is skillful and knowledgeable enough to go to trial and present your case effectively to a jury.
The appropriate amount of compensation for your settlement will depend on what kind of harm you suffered. In personal injury claims, the victim is usually entitled to economic damages and noneconomic damages. As we saw in the Domino’s lawsuit, sometimes at trial a court will award punitive damages to deter the dangerous activity in which the defendant engaged.
Whom should victims sue after pizza delivery accidents?
We have discussed some of the procedural steps that victims take with lawyers, but determining some of the substantive and strategic steps can be slightly more complicated. One of the first and most important decisions you must make is whom to sue. Attorneys help victims of pizza delivery accidents in Tucson by using their experience with similar cases to see whether you are likely to recover from the pizza delivery driver, the driver’s employer, or both. This will depend on who was at fault in the accident.
Employers are responsible for the torts that their employees commit while they are working, and such torts include negligence, which we will discuss in more depth later. Vicarious liability is the legal responsibility that employers take for their employees, and employers must put themselves in the place of the employee for lawsuits against the employee.
However, there are ways that employers attempt to wiggle out of their vicarious liability. The employer might say that the driver was responsible for the crash because she was not working for the employer at the time the crash happened; this could be the case if the employee was on a personal errand, or a frolic, instead of working for the employer. If the employee was running an errand but still working for the employer, this is called a detour.
It can be difficult to distinguish between a frolic and a detour, but experienced personal injury lawyers can help you show whether the employer is liable for the driver’s actions. Our Zinda Law Group attorneys in Tucson have investigated numerous auto accidents, including plenty involving pizza delivery drivers, so you can trust that we can conduct thorough investigations and determine exactly who is liable for your injury.
The pizzeria is vicariously liable for the driver if the driver was working for the employer when the accident occurred, but there are other ways that the pizzeria may have negligently caused the victim’s injury. Pizzerias can negligently hire employees by not filtering applicants for certain requirements. If a pizzeria hired an employee who was not insured or who did not have a good driving record, then the pizzeria probably is not taking the appropriate amount of care.
After the hiring stage, the pizzeria could still fail to meet industry standards of care when training its employees. Employers often have peers train each other on how to perform a particular task. If the pizzeria had poor supervision and allowed the driver who caused the accident to be inadequately trained for the job, it may have been negligent.
There are countless other ways that a pizza company employer can fail to meet the necessary standards to prevent foreseeable harm. Just for starters, there are safety procedures and checks that pizzerias can enforce to discourage employees from driving carelessly.
Under What law should a pizza delivery accident victim sue?
You have seen us mention the word “negligence” a few times throughout this article. That is because that is the legal theory under which you would likely sue as a victim of a pizza delivery crash. Victims of negligence must show four things to have a valid claim upon which relief can be granted.
1. The pizza delivery driver or company owed the victim a duty of care.
2. The pizza delivery driver or company breached that duty of care.
3. The victim sustained an injury for which he or she can receive compensation.
4. The injury the victim sustained was directly and proximately caused by the pizza delivery driver or company.
The Delivery Driver or Company’s Duty of Care
A legal duty of care develops out of certain kinds of relationships, and usually that duty of care is defined as the amount of care that a reasonable person would take under the same circumstances. A reasonable person attempts to prevent foreseeable harm; for example, a reasonable driver drives slower in icy weather in order to avoid sliding on the road and colliding with other vehicles. An unreasonable driver does not make adjustments for the weather and risks harming fellow motorists.
The pizza delivery driver is not the only one who owes the general public a duty of care: The pizzeria also must ensure that it is meeting industry standards of safety for its employees. That is, they should be aware of what other pizzerias are doing to avoid accidents and conduct similar procedures. For example, if other pizzerias limit the number of hours a delivery driver works in a week to prevent the driver from driving while fatigued, then that is likely the standard of care expected of the pizzeria involved in the accident.
When pizzerias and delivery drivers fail to keep up with the standard of care expected of them, they are said to have breached the standard of care.
The Victim’s Injury
The standard of care and the breach of the standard of care cover the first two elements of negligence, and the final two elements relate to the victim’s injury. The victim must have suffered an injury for which he or she can be compensated; typically, a physical injury will meet this element. Last, the victim must show that it was the pizza delivery driver or the pizzeria that caused the victim’s injury.
Learn what Tucson Pizza delivery accident lawyers think about your options for recovery
In this article, we have discussed several legal issues surrounding pizza delivery accidents, including the legal theory under which you will likely proceed, how to determine whom to sue, and what to do after the accident. A Tucson injury lawyer can help with each of these issues. The lawyer can learn about your specific case in an intake, gather more information, and put together a legal strategy to help you get compensated for your injuries.
The Tucson personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group want to take the burden of litigation off of your shoulders without taking away your control over the case. They can offer professional advice while respecting your goals in the suit. One of the ways that Zinda Law Group takes away some of its clients’ stress is by offering a No Win, No Fee Guarantee to ensure that you do not have to pay anything unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.