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Amazon Delivery Accident Lawyer

Amazon Delivery AccidentHelping People in Accidents with Amazon Vehicles

Have you suffered injuries and other damages caused by an accident involving an Amazon delivery driver? If so, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your harm. These cases are complex because determining who is at fault or responsible for all or part of the collision can be difficult. For this reason, many people injured by Amazon vehicles hire an experienced personal injury attorney to work on their behalf.

Our lawyers will investigate the case, collect crucial evidence, speak to witnesses, and file your claims. While you are recovering from your injuries, our team will be building a strong case for your compensation. With our help, you can recover money to pay your medical bills, hospitalization expenses, lost wages, the cost of future medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.

Learn more about Amazon vehicle accidents below.

Table of Contents

Why So Many Amazon Delivery Accidents Lately?

Amazon is now the biggest retailer in the United States, complete with its own delivery network of vans and smaller delivery trucks and sub-contractors. Amazon provides quick delivery times to customers as part of its expanding business model. It is Amazon’s obsession with speedy delivery and low-operating costs that are at the root of a mushrooming problem - safety. In the past few years, Amazon delivery trucks have been involved in numerous fatal and non-fatal crashes across the country. The company refuses to adequately train its drivers and instead pushes for even faster delivery times, forcing the drivers to take risks. Let’s look at the way Amazon structures its delivery network, its failure to train drivers, and how this affects pedestrians and everyone who drives a motor vehicle. 

Amazon Delivery Network

In 2018, Amazon shipped nearly five billion packages. To do this, it had thousands of drivers around the country who picked up parcels at delivery hubs. Some of the delivery persons for Amazon are Flex drivers who are considered independent contractors and use their own vehicles. The majority of drivers work through contracts with delivery service partners (DSP) or third-party providers. Amazon controls the routes, the drivers, and the merchandise, while the DSP is in charge of the driver’s wages, health benefits, and vehicle maintenance.

Training and Tracking Packages

Amazon is responsible for training the drivers. The company also makes sure that drivers are moving the merchandise effectively. To keep tabs on deliveries, Amazon gives its delivery contractors “rabbits,” small devices that track the drivers. Aside from monitoring the driver’s movement along a route, the rabbits also scan packages and help with navigation. Rabbits are also used to weed out drivers who are not moving fast enough. According to Business Insider, drivers said they are pressured to make deliveries quicker and admitted they ran red lights and drove at high speeds to do this. 

In the following video, a producer from Inside Edition goes undercover to deliver Amazon packages and shows how drivers are pressured to deliver packages on time.

Amazon Faces Multiple Lawsuits

Because of the tight control Amazon has over driver routes and duties, the company’s insistence on having no legal responsibility is being challenged in multiple lawsuits. Many contractors deal exclusively with Amazon. Since Amazon controls operations and whether a driver will be fired, this intervention may place them in a position of liability when it comes to traumatic injuries and fatalities

Amazon is Ignoring the Need for Safety Training

Safety training is mandatory for most delivery drivers. Due to the number of fatal accidents involving Amazon drivers, in 2018, the company advanced a proposal to provide more training to drivers. The plan was for drivers to go through a five-day rigorous training protocol on the road, evaluated by an outside company with experience. The driving course never happened. Amazon vetoed the driving course because it would interfere with deliveries. Internal documents at Amazon showed that the company believed it would cause a “bottleneck” that would keep new drivers from making deliveries. Due to the more than one billion packages that would be delivered over the holiday season, the company needed drivers to start immediately, according to a logistics division manager. Unlike other carriers, Amazon is ignoring the need for safety training as its operational network grows. 

Amazon Drivers are Treated Shamelessly

Drivers complain about horrific treatment, according to Business Insider. One driver, who was injured on the job, told the news company that he was instructed to complete his deliveries before seeking care for a significant wound. Instead of sympathy, the wounded driver was told that Amazon was watching his behavior and to unload his truck before going to a doctor. 

The Pressure of Being an Amazon Delivery Driver 

To understand the pressures of being a delivery driver for Amazon, let’s get a feel for the number of deliveries they are expected to make each day. Drivers receive routes directly from Amazon. They are expected to deliver between 250 and 350 packages per day and up to 400 during peak periods. Drivers who call in sick or fail for one reason or another to deliver their packages say they are intimidated or denied work or fired. One driver said that as retribution, she was given trucks with poor brakes, bald tires, or broken mirrors. Using a vehicle with poor tires or brakes is considered negligent and can make the driver and company liable for damages. Even though a complaint was filed by the driver with the local labor department, it has yet to be resolved.

Drivers also complain about the volume of packages in a truck or delivery van. Some say that due to the number of boxes, they are piled in the front seat and packed in a way that causes them to move from the back to the front of the vehicle randomly. Loading cargo properly is an essential duty of the commercial driver and left undone one that could result in an accident. Due to the time constriction placed on the drivers, many complain they eat in their vans or find it difficult to stop at restrooms. 

Fatal Amazon Delivery Accidents

On September 18, 2013, Joy Covey, Amazon’s first chief financial officer and mother of a young son, was killed when an Amazon delivery van struck her as she was bicycling in San Francisco. While saddened at the death of one of their own, company executives did not change their outlook on safety. Instead, they put profit over safety as they continued to hire drivers with little or no training. Amazon has steadfastly refused to say how many accidents its drivers have been involved in or how many fatalities have occurred. It is difficult to say how many accidents occur, other than the ones Amazon admits to since the trucks are frequently without an Amazon logo. In one case, a 9-month-old infant was killed by a 26-foot rented contractor box truck that was identified only as a rental and would not have been counted as an Amazon accident. The delivery driver said at the time that he was running late and did not react quickly enough to avoid hitting the vehicle. Because Amazon does not own the trucks, the number of accidents is difficult to determine. 

In addition, because they are small trucks, the Federal Motor Carriers Administration does not keep tabs on the number of collisions they are in. However, Amazon routinely tracks accidents and fatalities. Amazon cites the federal safety rate, which takes the total number of crashes and divides it into the total number of miles traveled, saying that their record is better. However, the federal safety rate takes into account all motor vehicles, including trucks. This misleading statement is indicative of the way that Amazon protects itself against criticism. 

Amazon Blames Contractors for Accident Injuries

In its effort to build a delivery network that can move billions of packages each year, Amazon has relied on contractors who, in some instances, provide meager safety methods. This decreases Amazon’s need for employees and provides a cost-effective network that moves packages quickly. In 60 accidents since 2015, 10 deaths have been recorded along with others that involve serious injuries. Many insiders feel this is a fraction of the actual number of accidents. Because of the layers of protection between the delivery service providers and Amazon, many times, the fact that the driver works for Amazon is hidden. The company argues that the driver works for the contracting company and not Amazon; thus, it is not liable for accident injuries. Yet, Amazon essentially controls every aspect of the drivers’ duties. The drivers may be paid by the delivery service provider, but Amazon handles everything else from assignments to how the workers do their job and what is expected of them. 

In the video below, a woman was hit and killed in an accident involving an Amazon driver. 

Amazon Fights to Be Held Harmless for Accidents

Amazon’s contracts with the delivery service providers state that Amazon should be held harmless if an accident happens. That means they are not liable. When Amazon signs an agreement with the delivery providers, it is freed from responsibility for property damage as well as physical injury and wrongful death due to the accident. For the most part, Amazon fights to ensure that the agreement is maintained. In one case, a contractor in New Jersey was forced to pay for Amazon’s legal bills when it had to defend itself in an accident case. When dealing with situations in California, Amazon reportedly told courts that the contracted delivery companies were responsible for any and all damages. It is still possible to file a claim against the delivery service provider for all costs associated with the accident. 

Who Pays in an Accident With a Subcontractor for Amazon?

This depends on who is transporting the cargo. For instance, a Flex driver is usually an individual who uses their own vehicle to pick up and deliver Amazon packages. The motor vehicle operator would be directly liable in this situation. However, personal insurance policies may not pay when the vehicle is being used for a commercial purpose. Amazon offers drivers the Amazon Flex Auto Policy, which covers them while they are making deliveries. This would mean the driver would need to carry two policies on their vehicle, one for personal use and one for commercial. Drivers need to check with their insurance company before assuming this type of work. 

Were You Injured by an Amazon Delivery Truck?

If you have been injured in an accident involving an Amazon delivery truck, it’s essential that you seek medical treatment immediately. Your injuries can range from whiplash to brain and spine trauma, which can be life-altering or deadly. After you see a doctor, consult with a Sacramento Amazon Delivery Accident Lawyer for help with getting full compensation for your injuries. An attorney will work on building a strong case against the at-fault party to get you monetary damages.

In all personal injury claims, there is a statute of limitations. In California, the deadline is two years from the accident. That’s why it is important to retain a personal injury lawyer right away who can guide you through these complications. Having a knowledgeable attorney by your side will likely increase your chance of being awarded the settlement you deserve. If we don’t get a fair offer from the other party’s insurance company, we are prepared to go to court to do so.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you are injured, or a member of your family is killed in an accident involving an Amazon delivery truck, it is essential to prove negligence on the part of the driver. While negligence may seem obvious when a delivery truck hits a motor vehicle or a pedestrian, in a civil court of law, it must be proven. Our firm uses our investigative and legal resources to do just that. Initially, we send our investigative team to the scene of the accident. There, they use accident reconstruction techniques and obtain videos from cameras on traffic lights or businesses to determine how the collision happened. Our investigators interview witnesses and check police reports for inaccuracies. Also, we check on vehicle maintenance, especially brakes and tires, both of which could lead to loss of driver control. Once all the data is amassed, our investigators release it to our lawyers, who use it to build a strong case for our client. 

Amazon Delivery Accident FAQ

How do I report a bad Amazon delivery driver?

Amazon's top priority is safety. If you've experienced or witnessed a bad on-road incident involving an Amazon delivery driver, you are encouraged to call Amazon's 24/7 emergency hotline at (844) 311-0406 to report the incident.

What are some of the common scenarios associated with an Amazon delivery truck accident?

Amazon delivery driver accidents can involve a wide range of factors, including speeding, DUI, sudden lane changes or reckless driving.

Amazon Delivery Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Amazon delivery accident lawyer. If you or a member of your family was injured by an Amazon delivery vehicle, I offer you my free and friendly advice. Please call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to reach me. You can also talk to me online using this convenient contact form.

I’ve practiced injury law since 1982 and have helped my clients receive the compensation they deserve in a carwrongful death, and pedestrian accident.

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.16.20]

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