Amazon.com, Inc. is the largest internet retailer in the world, second in total sales to only the Alibaba Group with almost 1.5 million employees and $386.064 billion in revenue in 2020. Amazon delivery trucks are now a common sight on roads across the United States, and the frequency of such vehicles means accidents involving these trucks are common, and people hurt in such crashes will want to hire a Texas personal injury attorney.
On September 6, 2019, Business Insider reported that 10 people had been killed in Amazon-related delivery accidents since 2015, but the tech giant usually can evade legal responsibility because its drivers were not considered actual employees. On November 15, 2019, CBS News reported that an investigation by ProPublica and BuzzFeed News found Amazon delivery drivers had been involved in over 60 crashes causing injuries or death since June 2015.
Liability for Amazon Truck Accidents
Many people who suffer injuries in Amazon delivery truck accidents want to believe that the major company itself will be liable for all of its damages. The unfortunate truth, however, is that a person driving an Amazon delivery truck is usually an independent contractor, usually meaning that an insurance company for a negligent driver will be responsible for damages in the truck accident case, not Amazon itself.
Amazon Flex drivers must carry personal liability insurance on their vehicles equal to local mandates for delivery drivers, and Amazon Flex also offers an insurance policy that provides compensation for victims injured in accidents with their drivers. A victim will be required to show proof that a driver was working for Amazon at the time of the accident to recover compensation.
Certain situations can involve another party besides the Amazon driver or Amazon itself being liable. An accident resulting from vehicle defects or faulty maintenance can make a manufacturer or mechanic liable.
Drivers making deliveries for Amazon can also be working for other companies such as the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, or United Parcel Service (UPS). Even when all the packages on a truck are from Amazon, it can be other contractors or companies that are liable for crashes instead of Amazon.
Independent contractors mean that contract employment will involve multiple legal loopholes allowing Amazon not to be legally liable for their drivers, even though the company is responsible for determining driver routes, supplying their vehicles, and controlling their schedules. By classifying their employees as independent contractors, Amazon can legally claim the drivers were not acting on behalf of the company during their accidents.
One exception might involve certain trucks that Amazon actually owns because when a vehicle does not receive proper maintenance and Amazon was responsible for the necessary upkeep, Amazon can be at fault. In general, Amazon does everything it can to avoid any kind of liability for most motor vehicle accidents.
Common Types of Amazon Accidents
Amazon drivers have to navigate many different areas to get to their destinations, which means not only using Interstate highways but also using many smaller local roads. Drivers are not always familiar with these areas, so there is always the possibility that an Amazon driver may cause a collision because of simple unfamiliarity with their given routes.
A few of the most frequent types of accidents can include, but are not limited to:
- Intersection accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact or T-bone collisions
- Left or right turn accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Lane change or merging accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Work zone or highway construction crashes
- Multiple-vehicle accidents
- Blind spot accidents
Possible Causes of Amazon Accidents
When an Amazon driver causes a motor vehicle accident, you will likely be arguing that their negligence was the cause of the crash. You should know that the insurance company representing the driver is very likely to argue the driver did not do anything wrong and should not be liable for any damages.
It is important to understand that Texas is a state that uses a modified comparative negligence system, otherwise known as proportionate responsibility, which means that victims who are partially at fault for their injuries may later have their damages reduced by their degree of responsibility. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001 establishes that an individual cannot recover damages if their percentage of fault is more than 50 percent.
Some of the most common causes of Amazon crashes may include, but are not limited to:
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Failure to yield right of way
- Running stop signs or stop lights
- Improper lane changes or turns
- Vehicle defects
- Tire blowouts
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving or driver fatigue
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Wrong-way driving
- Inclement weather conditions
- Potholes or other dangerous road conditions
Types of Amazon Accident Injuries
Injuries stemming from Amazon vehicle crashes can be severe in some cases, with some victims being bedridden and hospitalized for several weeks or months. Major injuries can involve prolonged periods of recovery in which victims are unable to return to work while facing significant medical expenses.
Some of the kinds of injuries victims may sustain in these cases can include:
- Closed head injuries
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures or broken bones
- Herniated discs
- Sprains and strains
- Joint damage
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Leg injuries
- Neck injuries
- Arm injuries
- Internal injuries
- Permanent nerve injuries
- Burn injuries
When an Amazon crash causes a person to die, certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, a wrongful death action is for the exclusive benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased, but when none of the designated individuals begins an action within three months of the death of an injured person, an executor or administrator of the estate is allowed to bring an action unless they are specifically requested not to by all those individuals.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Texas Personal Injury Attorney
Did you or a loved one recently suffer injuries in any kind of accident involving an Amazon vehicle in Texas? You will want to be sure that you quickly get in touch with Mack Injury Attorneys for help recovering every last dollar of financial compensation that you need and deserve.
Our firm has offices all over Texas, including locations in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and McAllen. Call us at 888-978-9302 or contact us online for a free consultation that will let us examine everything involved in your case and help you explore what legal recourse you might have.