Across the country, scores of delivery vehicles, including semi-trucks and trailers, box trucks, and vans set out day and night to deliver Amazon orders. Besides seeing various delivery trucks on our highways, it is common to share neighborhood streets with trucks bearing the Amazon logo. Unfortunately, some of the Amazon delivery trucks that you regularly interact with will be involved in accidents that result in life-changing injuries or the loss of the life of a loved one.
While Amazon’s business model relies on faster delivery for customers and the opportunity for its drivers to earn extra income, a troublesome trend is emerging – Amazon delivery truck accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities.
Why are We Seeing This Trend?
Is it because of the increased volume of vehicles on the road delivering Amazon products? Certainly, that is part of the equation. But lawyers across the country are seeing a more fundamental problem at play: the increased pressure on Amazon drivers to meet deadlines and delivery quotas. Hurried drivers doing their jobs as quickly as possible is a major factor contributing to the increase in accidents.
Rushing is human nature. Once you complete a task, you can move on to the next one sooner. But rushing can distract our attention from hidden dangers. It translates to mistakes, carelessness, and road violations. Speeding and reckless driving is often the cause of accidents. In addition, drivers are often fatigued and cannot take necessary breaks because they must complete their runs within specific time frames or follow set guidelines. It is commonly known that drivers, at times, are unable to take bathroom breaks because deliveries must be made within specified time frames.
The pressure placed on delivery drivers is a recipe for creating unsafe conditions. When safety fails to be the most critical priority, the result leads to an increase in accidents. Amazon’s promise of speedy delivery above road safety comes at a price – serious injuries and fatalities.
Amazon, like many companies, works hard to deny liability, and insurance providers resist providing compensation to victims of accidents involving Amazon delivery trucks. One tactic is the use of independent contractors by companies. Within this common business model, issues of liability and accountability after accidents become murky and often contentious. Amazon uses various legal means to claim that drivers involved in tragic accidents are not Amazon’s responsibility.
In its relentless pursuit of e-commerce dominance, Amazon has undertaken the effort to build a huge logistics operation to get more goods into the hands of customers in shorter amounts of time. To keep shipping costs in check, Amazon has pushed to reduce its reliance on delivery carriers such as United Parcel Service and FedEx. Its delivery operation includes a network of contractors across the country that allows it to control the delivery force as needed.
The operation that Amazon has created also allows them to avoid the costs incurred from employing permanent workers.
Even as Amazon argues that it bears little to no legal responsibility for the personal injury losses caused by delivery truck drivers, the company appears to maintain a tight grip on how the delivery drivers do their jobs. Although it claims little to no responsibility for the delivery drivers, Amazon often controls the order of deliveries and the routes. Essentially, Amazon asserts control over certain aspects of their jobs but not others. Drivers hungry for work, willingly sign agreements to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless Amazon” from liability. As the world’s largest retailer, Amazon has an enormous amount of power in the marketplace.
As reported, there have been many killed by Amazon delivery drivers, including a young woman killed in a San Diego office park, a 22-year old former Temple University student crushed when a contractor turned left into his motorcycle, an 89-year-old former Macy’s Herald Square saleswoman stuck as she crossed a New Jersey street and an 89-year-old Pennsylvania grandmother hit in front of an Outback Steakhouse. Many similar accidents go unreported. As a result, it is difficult to accurately determine the accident rate and safety records of Amazon’s army of contractors. Amazon does not disclose that information and much of its delivery operation falls outside regulatory requirements.
It is clear that more and more accidents involving Amazon delivery drivers are occurring and that Amazon continues to fight claims of liability and accountability. Fortunately, skilled lawyers, with knowledge of the trucking industry, can help. If you or a family member are involved in an accident with an Amazon delivery truck, it is important that you consult with an attorney as quickly as you are able.
Coluccio Law has the only Washington State Board Certified Truck Accident attorney and is committed to providing those suffering losses from Amazon delivery accidents to obtain justice and accountability. Call Coluccio Law at 206-594-5185 now!
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