As one of the dominating online marketplaces and technological developers in e-commerce, Amazon has quickly become a giant over the past two decades. Its focus on growing a logistics service that can get packages to a customer’s doorstep in just a few days has made it famous. But, unfortunately, behind the scenes, delivery accidents are quickly becoming an increasing issue for the company.
Because their delivery force consists of mostly independent contractors using personal vehicles and insurance, Amazon has maintained its distance in matters of legal liability when accidents occur.
Amazon Delivery Drivers Face Significant Company Pressure
One of the biggest reasons an Amazon delivery accident occurs is because the driver is in a hurry. This is because they are expected to deliver anywhere between 250 to 350 packages a day. During busy holiday seasons, this expectation can go as high as 400 a day. Having such high quotas requires them to work quickly, which can be tragic if they aren’t looking while pulling in or away from a curb.
A driver’s work environment adds to this stress because many subcontractors use their own personal or rented vehicles. This means their view might get obstructed by the hundreds of packages due for delivery on their route that day. Worse, with the time crunch they are under, contracted delivery people often struggle to find time to enjoy a lunch break and rest for a brief period. Basic functions like going to the bathroom are also stressful because taking a restroom break eats into the allotted delivery time.
Amazon Makes It Difficult to Establish Their Liability
When you are in an accident caused by an Amazon delivery driver, it can be challenging to establish the company’s liability. Of course, you can pursue the at-fault driver for your injuries and damages, but if the crash was caused by poor maintenance or the defendant wasn’t legally licensed to drive, this could open up a third-party action against Amazon.
The reason large distribution companies and retailers rely on outsourced transportation services is the cost savings involved. Not only does Amazon avoid paying for insurance and costs related to worker’s compensation, but it minimizes the fleet it has to maintain. It also helps this corporate giant get past the doctrine of respondeat superior (let the master answer). Normally, employers are vicariously liable for any negligence by their workers, resulting in injury or damage to another person. However, in Florida, this doesn’t apply to contracted employees.
Additionally, Amazon escapes dangerous instrumentality doctrine for many of these accidents. That’s because a vehicle owner is liable for the actions of those they entrust to use it. Since many of their delivery drivers are independent contractors using their personal vehicles, Amazon often skirts liability for accidents in this regard, too.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident with an Amazon Delivery Vehicle?
If you or someone you know were recently hurt in an accident involving an Amazon delivery driver or truck, your first step is to seek medical assistance. Depending on how violent an impact you experienced, you could have whiplash, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or be fighting for your life.
If you are able, photograph the scene with your cell phone. Make sure to get shots of where the vehicles are positioned, a larger image of the entire crash scene, and any damages or injuries you’ve sustained. You should also try to find out if the driver is actually employed by Amazon or a contractor. Whether they are in one of Amazon’s official company vehicles or their own, make sure to get pictures of any relevant license and insurance information. Don’t forget to snap photos of their license plate and any identifying fleet numbers that might be present, as well. ,
You should also consult with a highly experienced car accident attorney who has successfully represented this type of case before. Amazon will likely have a team of attorneys arguing on its behalf, so be sure you are adequately represented.
How an Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Amazon Delivery Accident Case
Sustaining injuries in an accident involving an Amazon delivery driver and/or truck can quickly turn contentious when they try to shirk their responsibility for their negligence. Florida law allows victims of these situations to pursue personal injury compensation. Still, your attorney must prove that recklessness by the driver or Amazon led to the crash that harmed you. Don’t take this step for granted, and contact the expert accident attorneys of Jordan Law today for a free consultation about your case.