With millions of packages shipped every day and more than 150,000 delivery drivers on the road, it is no surprise that Amazon drivers are frequently involved in accidents with other motorists. But what can you do if you are hit by an Amazon delivery driver? Who is responsible for your damages? Does Amazon cover car accidents, or will you need to file a claim with a separate third party?
As with most other types of personal injury claims, the answers to these questions—what to do after the accident, who is liable, etc.—depends on various factors. Some of these include how the accident occurred, the type of Amazon vehicle involved, whether the driver was actively working for Amazon at the time of the crash, and more.
How Many Amazon Vehicle Accidents Happen Every Year?
Amazon is notorious for its demands on workers, specifically the requirement that workers must meet high rates of productivity. According to a report by the New York Times, Amazon drivers are expected to complete 999 out of 1,000 (or 99.9%) deliveries on time. Those who fail to meet these standards face significant disciplinary actions, from being reprimanded to losing bonuses to even being fired. This pressure on drivers can cause them to cut corners when it comes to safety.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon drivers have relatively high rates of on-the-job injuries. According to the Seattle Times, in 2020, Amazon drivers were injured at a rate of 13.3 injuries for every 100 drivers—significantly higher than the rate of 9 injuries for every 100 workers experienced by UPS drivers. Even more alarming, Amazon drivers were more likely to suffer more severe injuries than other delivery drivers.
So, what does this mean for others on the road?
An investigation by ProPublica found that, between 2015 and 2019, there were at least 60 crashes resulting in serious injury and at least 13 fatal accidents involving Amazon contract delivery drivers. Just like in any other motor vehicle accident, the risk of serious bodily injury or death is higher when motorists are speeding, distracted, or otherwise driving unsafely. When it comes to recovering compensation after an Amazon delivery truck or van accident, you may have several options.
Can You Sue Amazon After an Accident with a Delivery Driver?
The short answer is, most likely no, you cannot sue Amazon if you are injured in an accident with one of its drivers. Depending on the specifics of your situation, Amazon may offer insurance coverage for the accident, but in most cases, the company is not legally liable.
The same ProPublica investigation that uncovered the number of serious injury and fatal accidents involving Amazon delivery drivers also found that Amazon largely avoided liability for those accidents. The main reason for this is how the e-commerce giant classifies its drivers.
Most Amazon delivery drivers are not employees, despite the company’s strict standards and requirements for drivers. Instead, Amazon contracts national and local third-party delivery services, including UPS and FedEx, and utilizes independent contractors to carry out deliveries. Because of this, Amazon itself is not typically responsible for the conduct of those drivers.
That being said, some Amazon drivers are classified as employees. This includes drivers with the company’s own delivery service, Amazon Logistics, as well as those who deliver for Amazon’s grocery delivery service in partnership with Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh. Drivers who use their own vehicles to deliver packages for the company under its Amazon Flex program may also be covered by Amazon in certain circumstances.
So, depending on the type of Amazon vehicle involved, you may be entitled to compensation through Amazon’s insurance coverage, or you may have a claim against a third-party delivery service. In any case, filing a claim against a major commercial entity is extremely difficult, and you may face significant challenges in recovering the compensation you are rightfully owed.
What to Do If You Are Injured in an Accident with an Amazon Driver
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with an Amazon delivery driver, whether they were operating a delivery van or large semi-truck or 18-wheeler, the most important thing you can do to protect your rights and your recovery is to contact an experienced commercial vehicle accident attorney. Once you have made sure that you have received the medical attention and care you need, a lawyer can help you understand your legal rights, including your options for being compensated.
You can report the accident to Amazon by calling its 24/7 hotline at (844) 311-0406. You should also report the crash to your own auto insurance provider. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may be entitled to compensation from your insurance company. Your insurance provider may require you to report the accident within a certain timeframe, as specified by your policy, regardless of your coverage.
At The Womac Law Firm, we understand just how complex these types of cases are, and our attorneys have the experience, resources, and skills to help. If you or someone you love was injured in an Amazon delivery accident in New Orleans or the surrounding areas, reach out to our team today to discuss your legal rights and options with one of our commercial vehicle accident lawyers. We provide free initial consultations and offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Call (504) 470-3935 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary case evaluation today.