What Do I Do After an Accident With an Amazon Truck?
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Amazon and its subscription service Amazon Prime has been a saving grace for millions of Americans. Prime membership spiked to an all time high during the pandemic as more and more Americans stayed home and had everyday items shipped at lightning speed to their homes.
As the demand for Amazon’s amazing fast delivery services skyrockets, drivers have been put on tighter schedules, with drivers delivering over 500 packages per day. This creates a hazardous working environment that inevitably leads to a higher rate of car accidents involving Amazon delivery trucks. If you or your loved one were injured by an Amazon truck, you may be wondering if it is possible to bring a lawsuit against the driver, or the company itself.
Amazon Drivers Are Often Overworked
Amazon delivery drivers have reported working ten to fourteen hours in a shift at times. One of the reasons for this is that drivers are not allowed to return any packages from their routes, meaning drivers sometimes make over 160 stops per shift.
Amazon monitors and tracks drivers every move while they’re on the road, so every stop they make has to be accounted for. Drivers have reported having no time to stop to even use the restroom during a ten hour shift, with reports coming in of drivers using empty water bottles in their vehicles because they cannot afford to drive off their route to find a public restroom to use.
Amazon Avoids Responsibility for Crashes
A ProPublica investigation found that Amazon has been escaping responsibility for its own role in the serious injuries and deaths that have been caused by their delivery drivers. In the report, ProPublica gives examples of numerous crashes caused by delivery drivers who claimed to be on a nearly impossible schedule, leading to reckless driving and deadly crashes.
But the drivers that work for Amazon are actually third-party workers, meaning they don’t work directly for the company, allowing Amazon to side step their own culpability whenever something goes wrong. Amazon maintains a network of contractors around the United States that allows the company to avoid the cost of taking on permanent employees, while still maintaining strict control over working conditions.
How Many Accidents Have Been Caused by Amazon Trucks?
The ProPublica investigation uncovered more than 60 accidents in the four year period between 2015 and 2019 that were caused by Amazon delivery drivers that resulted in serious injuries, with 10 deaths reported in that number. But that number is likely only a fraction of the actual accidents that have occured.
That’s because many people injured by Amazon delivery trucks don’t end up suing, and if they do, they’re often not able to identify or prove that Amazon was involved in the crash. Amazon has stated repeatedly that it is not responsible for the actions of its contractors, and that the delivery service partners assume the liability and responsibility for all legal costs, covering “all loss or damage to personal property or bodily harm including death”.
Amazon doesn’t disclose information regarding accident rates or safety records for its contractors, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration doesn’t track crashes on the small cargo vans that Amazon uses as its primary delivery force. The director of crash and data programs at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance put it bluntly, saying that when it comes to reporting data on Amazon’s accident rates: “Nothing applies”.
What Should I Do After an Accident With an Amazon Truck?
The first thing to do after any accident is to receive prompt medical treatment and contact law enforcement to get a full police report made of the accident. You should exchange information with the Amazon delivery driver and get on record whether or not they were on duty when the accident occured.
After that, your next step should be to immediately contact an experienced Amazon Accident Lawyer. Proving liability in an accident involving an Amazon delivery truck is a complicated legal matter, and you will need the assistance of a skilled attorney. Richard Hollawell can help you determine how best to move forward with your case with a free consultation. Call our office today at 1-800-681-3550 or use the contact form on our website.