Delivery Truck Vs. Auto Accidents

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Between the recent surge of online shopping and the traditional uptick in retail sales that occurs around the holiday season, the fall and winter months see a major increase in delivery truck traffic on American roads and highways. Couple this with the typical weather hazards of winter driving, and we have the recipe for an increased risk in delivery truck-caused automobile accidents.

Between the recent surge of online shopping and the traditional uptick in retail sales that occurs around the holiday season, the fall and winter months see a major increase in delivery truck traffic on American roads and highways. Couple this with the typical weather hazards of winter driving, and we have the recipe for an increased risk in delivery truck-caused automobile accidents.

As delivery truck and auto accidents become increasingly common, we consider it our moral duty to keep you informed of the recent cases, the main players, who is liable for these car wrecks, and what to do if you find yourself in such a situation.

Overwhelming Demand Means Busy Drivers

Due to the explosion of online retail shopping in recent years, particularly from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, major online outlets have experienced overwhelming demand for speedy delivery of their goods. Amazon in particular has opted to increasingly rely upon their own and contracted delivery drivers rather than the overburdened USPS, UPS, or FedEx alone.

Between this and the promise of Amazon Prime shipping taking as little as one, even the same day to arrive, the roads are becoming increasingly congested with delivery drivers striving to meet demand. Amazon delivery drivers are often overworked and overwhelmed, especially during the busy holiday season. With the pressure on to deliver in nearly superhuman time, accidents are an unfortunate but expected occurrence.

When it comes to their own fleet of delivery drivers, Amazon conducts intensive monitoring of these employees’ activities while on the road. Braking, speed, acceleration, seatbelts, even cell phone use, and yawning can be monitored via AI and truck camera use. However, this activity does not necessarily preclude the event of accidents. Why? Amazon also texts its delivery drivers if they’re at risk of falling behind schedule, which can risk drivers speeding and driving under adverse conditions in order to comply with the company’s schedule.

Who is to Blame for a Delivery Truck Accident

You may think that if you were to experience a car wreck with a truck covered in Amazon decals, the company itself would be to blame. Or perhaps you would consider the driver of the vehicle itself to be responsible for the accident. Both assumptions are understandable, but unfortunately, things are rarely that simple when it comes to delivery truck accident liability. There are several possible scenarios we might look at when it comes to an accident involving a delivery truck driver.

The Delivery Driver

In many cases, while a truck may be emblazoned with Amazon or other company logos, the driver inside may not actually be employed by that company. Amazon frequently contracts out to third-party companies, which have exploded in recent years due to the surge in demand for delivery drivers. Contracting out to third parties, as well as classifying their own delivery drivers as contractors rather than employees, can actually allow Amazon and other companies to avoid liability for a driver’s mistake. If this is the case, then seeking compensation directly from the driver for their negligence or recklessness may be the only viable course of action.

The Delivery Driver’s Employer

If the driver is indeed an employee and not a contractor of the online retail delivery service, then in this case it may be possible to seek compensation from their employer in the event of an accident. If the driver at fault was on the clock and operating within the scope of work, of which the definition varies from state to state, then the company may be held responsible. Amazon can make this option less viable, again, by bypassing employer status in favor of a contracted delivery driver relationship.

The Delivery Driver Truck Owner or Manufacturer

In some instances, the delivery truck involved in an accident may neither be owned by the driver nor Amazon. Instead, the truck is lent out, and the owner of these delivery truck fleets is held responsible for their upkeep and maintenance. Additionally, a vehicle manufacturer may also be liable for mechanical failures and other safety-related issues that can be proven to cause an automobile accident. These types of cases typically rely on proving that something was wrong with the delivery truck itself which led or contributed directly to the injuries sustained in an accident.

Amazon

Pursuing a case against a massive company like Amazon is no simple feat. However, it is occasionally possible to hold the company accountable for their delivery truck accidents. Amazon Logistics has been the defendant in at least 119 motor vehicle injury lawsuits in 35 states in 2020 alone, while several major cases have broken against the delivery arm of the online retailer since 2021.

Another possible scenario? If Amazon carried insurance on the driver and/or the delivery truck in question, then their commercial insurance policy may come into effect in that case. Again, this is no walk in the park, and having trusted legal counsel at hand will benefit you greatly should you ever find yourself in this position.

What to do if You are in a Delivery Truck Accident

A car versus truck accident is beyond the scope of an average car-on-car accident. The added weight and velocity of a delivery truck can increase the damage of a wreck, for one. As we have covered above, adding in the extreme complexity of dealing with a contractor or employee of a major corporation like Amazon creates even more challenges in an already stressful situation.

If you find yourself in an accident due to a collision with an Amazon delivery driver or other delivery truck service, your top priority is to ensure your safety and seek immediate medical assistance. Even if you believe you are unhurt, you owe it to yourself to ensure that any unseen injuries are addressed and documented. Equally so, your priority should also be to call the police, who will do the important work of recording the accident on site, lending invaluable credence to your claim should you pursue one.

Finally, seek out experienced and caring legal representation as soon as possible. Delivery truck accidents are highly complex, but you should never have to pursue your rights to fair compensation alone. Contact us for a free case evaluation if you were the victim of a recent delivery truck accident.