Amazon Delivery Accident Attorneys Los Angeles
According to the New York Times, Amazon recently surpassed Walmart Inc. to become the world's largest retailer outside of China in 2021. During the 2021 fiscal year that ended in June 2021, customers spent more than $610 billion through the e-commerce site. In 2020, Statista reports that the company's logistics division delivered more than four billion packages in the U.S. alone, which was a 127% increase over the previous year.
In the past, the company has partnered with UPS, FedEx, and other carriers to complete its deliveries. However, it has amassed its own fleet of vehicles, partnered with local delivery companies, and opened fulfillment centers in locations across the country. It now estimates that it will deliver more packages than either UPS or FedEx in 2022 to become the largest delivery carrier in the U.S. As its logistics business has rapidly grown, so has the risks that people could be involved in accidents with delivery trucks operated by its drivers. If you have been injured in a collision caused by a truck driver delivering packages for Amazon in Los Angeles, California, you should speak with an experienced attorney at the law firm of Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC.History of the Company
Jeff Bezos founded the company in 1994 in Seattle, Washington. It originally sold books, videos, and music online and went public in 1997. It rapidly expanded to sell additional products and is now a multinational corporation offering a broad variety of services and goods. The company has numerous subsidiaries and also offers its platform to third-party sellers to advertise and sell their goods. To deliver packages to buyers, the company offers multiple Amazon-branded services, including its logistics, air, prime air, and flex divisions. It also hires independent contractors through its delivery partner services to deliver packages across the U.S. and around the globe.Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Most truck drivers exercise caution while they drive, but some ignore traffic laws and operate their vehicles negligently. Negligent driving behavior by truck drivers can result in serious injuries and death.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the most common causes of truck collisions include the following:
- Brake problems
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Lack of familiarity with the roads
- Driving while impaired
- Inadequate surveillance
- Fatigued driving
- Pressure to meet deadlines
- Illegal traffic maneuvers
- Inattentive driving
- Distracted driving
- Following too close
Part of the problem is that the company contracts with third-party drivers to keep up with its demands for delivering packages quickly. Drivers receive minimal pay and make more money if they can make multiple deliveries each day. This can place pressure on the drivers and cause them to speed, work long hours, and violate the traffic laws to make more deliveries each day.Driver Liability
Determining liability following collisions with the company's vans or trucks can be confusing. While employers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees while they are working, the e-commerce giant frequently contracts with drivers it calls its Delivery Service Partners (DSP). The company claims that its DSPs are independent contractors and that it is not responsible when a DSP causes a collision.
The company has an algorithm it uses to control the number of packages its third-party drivers deliver and the speed at which they make their deliveries. If a driver does not meet the company's expectations, he or she can lose the ability to deliver packages for the e-commerce giant.
One of the primary factors courts consider when determining whether a worker should be considered to be an employee or independent contractor is how much control the company maintains over the worker.
In the case of Amazon, plaintiffs might argue that the evidence of the control the company asserts over its DSPs should mean that the DSPs should be considered employees, and the company should be considered to be vicariously liable. The company micromanages its DSPs and requires them to wear uniforms. It monitors its drivers with cameras placed inside of the vehicles and monitors each vehicle's speed, location, and turns. Courts might consider this type of evidence as indicating that a driver should be considered to be an employee instead of a third-party contractor so that the company might be vicariously liable following a collision caused by one of its drivers.
However, if a driver is determined to be a contractor, the company will not be considered to be vicariously liable. In that type of situation, you will want to work with the experienced attorneys at the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC for help with your claim. Our attorneys can investigate your case and help to identify all potential sources of recovery to pursue full compensation on your behalf.Can You Sue the Company Following a Wreck Caused by a Driver?
If you've been injured in a collision with one of the company's vehicles, you might wonder whether you can directly sue Amazon for your losses. As previously described, the company will likely claim that it does not employ the drivers and so cannot be held liable for your collision and injuries. The driver's employer might instead be the DSP that hired the driver rather than Amazon.
While the court might find that the company is not directly or vicariously liable, the company does require its contractors to carry liability insurance called Amazon Flex coverage. This type of policy provides coverage for up to $1 million in damages suffered by third parties, but it is only available if the driver was on the clock at the time of the collision. If the driver had already clocked off at the time of your collision, the insurance will not cover your losses.What to Do Following a Collision Caused by an Amazon Driver
If one of the company's drivers wrecks into your vehicle, taking certain steps immediately following the collision can help to preserve your rights. Make sure to call 911 and summon the police and first responders to the scene of your collision. Check yourself and others for injuries, and provide first aid until help arrives. If you can, use your smartphone to take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the truck. You should also photograph the broader scene, making sure to document relevant details such as the weather conditions, road conditions, nearby traffic control devices, speed limit signs, tire skid marks, and others.
If any witnesses saw what happened, ask for their names and encourage them to stay and speak to the police. Try to get their contact information so that your lawyer can speak with them later. Exchange your information with the driver. After the police respond, tell them what happened, but do not apologize or accept responsibility.
You should seek immediate medical attention even if you are unsure whether you have been injured. You might have injuries that you do not immediately recognize. Some types of injuries do not show symptoms for hours or days after a collision, and if you wait to get treatment, the insurance company will likely dispute liability and try to claim that your injuries were caused by something other than the collision.
After you have sought medical attention and received treatment for your injuries, the next thing you should do is talk to an experienced Los Angeles, California personal injury lawyer. Retaining an attorney can make it much likelier that you will recover full compensation for your losses.Get Help From Our Experienced Los Angeles, California Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident with an Amazon delivery driver, you should consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The team of attorneys at the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC is experienced in handling complex delivery truck claims. Call us today to request a free consultation at 866-966-5240.