The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have resulted in more and more people switching to online shopping and grocery delivery, and this trend will likely continue even after the pandemic ends. Retail e-commerce sales grew 27.6% in 2020, and e-commerce is continuing to be crucial for businesses in 2021. Now, more than ever, companies like Amazon are a lifeline for essentials for millions of people rather than just a convenient option for online shopping. However, the increase in sales is also causing an uptick in Amazon driver accidents.
While convenient, the roads are now packed with delivery vehicles carrying Amazon packages and packages being transported by other delivery companies. We have seen a steady increase in injuries to pedestrians and the driving public, as well as to the delivery drivers themselves, due to Amazon driver accidents.
Every day, Amazon delivery drivers are logging millions of miles in high-risk environments like neighborhood side streets and driveways where people jog and kids play. This amount of driving in these types of areas would lead to a lot of accidents under any conditions. When you factor in the added pressure of making deliveries on time, it is little wonder that more people are getting killed and seriously injured by Amazon Prime trucks and other delivery truck drivers.
In addition to their usual Amazon delivery vans and trucks, the company has started a delivery service called Amazon Flex, where gig workers are hired (similar to Uber or Lyft) to deliver packages. With the added Amazon Flex drivers, this has only further increased the number of delivery drivers on the road.
Compared to collisions involving regular passenger vehicles, vehicle accidents involving Amazon employees and other delivery trucks tend to cause more serious injuries and damage. This is primarily because the delivery trucks are bigger and heavier than a typical car so the force of the impact is much greater. Imagine the potential damage if an Amazon truck crashed with a FedEx truck. Read The New York Times and ProPublica article to learn more about the real-life impact of these crashes.
The way Amazon does business allows for an efficient and very broad operation, but it also significantly complicates the civil litigation process following Amazon delivery truck accidents in Illinois. If you or a loved one were injured due to the recklessness and negligence of an Amazon delivery driver, working with a skilled truck accident lawyer who has experience dealing with the intricacies of a personal injury case involving Amazon may be essential if you want to effectively pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.
When you factor in the added pressure of making deliveries on time, it is little wonder that people are getting killed and seriously injured by Amazon and other delivery drivers
This explosive growth in online deliveries has led to an uptick in the number of auto and truck accidents involving Amazon delivery drivers. Every day, Amazon delivery drivers are logging millions of miles in high-risk environments like neighborhood side streets and driveways where people jog and kids play. This amount of driving in these types of areas would lead to a lot of accidents under any conditions. When you factor in the added pressure of making deliveries on time, it is little wonder that people are getting killed and seriously injured by Amazon and other delivery drivers.
It is also not surprising that more and more delivery drivers themselves are reporting injuries from auto accidents, slip and falls, and dog bite incidents. While these delivery jobs offer competitive pay, they can also be risky.
It is important that accident victims injured by delivery vehicles as well as the delivery drivers themselves know that they have the right to seek legal recourse, including compensation, for accidents and injuries that occur while a delivery is being attempted.
As is the case with most accidents, the vast majority of these incidents are entirely preventable.
What About The Delivery Drivers Who Are Hurt On The Job?
While all motorists take on a certain amount of risk whenever they get behind the wheel, due to the nature of their job, delivery drivers deal with additional risks. It is not unusual for them to be struck by passing vehicles as they get out to make a delivery. Similarly, delivery drivers also can get rear-ended by other vehicles when they slow down to make a delivery.
When an Amazon delivery driver is injured in a car accident, they can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party
Even when delivery drivers are independent contractors they have legal recourse available to them when these accidents happen. All drivers have a duty to those with whom they share the road, requiring they follow all traffic laws, posted signage, and operate their vehicle with care. When an Amazon delivery driver is injured in a car accident, they can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
Being independent contractors instead of employees can complicate matters, but in some cases, this contract driver classification may actually enable Amazon drivers to pursue an injury claim against Amazon.
While these drivers spend the majority of their time in a vehicle making deliveries, they also have to get out of the vehicle and physically carry packages to customers’ doors. For the majority of deliveries, this is a smooth process, but the potential physical hazards can include such obstacles as accumulations of snow and ice; broken, cracked, or uneven pavement; and defective or uneven steps.
Who Is Liable?
If a delivery driver trips, falls or is otherwise injured on another person’s property while making a delivery, the property owner may be liable for the driver’s injuries. Under general principles of premises liability law, property owners owe a duty of care to those whom they choose to allow onto their land. This includes postal carriers and delivery drivers.
Property owners owe a duty of care to those whom they choose to allow onto their land. This includes postal carriers and delivery drivers
It is generally assumed to be the homeowner’s duty to take reasonable steps to ensure their property is safe, including looking out for defects and dangerous conditions and correct them or provide sufficient warning.
When the drivers are independent contractors, they can pursue a personal injury claim against the homeowner, but in many cases, it won’t be easy to obtain a judgment.
As has been the case for postal workers throughout history, dog bites are another source of delivery driver injuries. Too often, homeowners who keep aggressive animals in their homes or on their property fail to take the necessary steps to protect delivery drivers. Allowing a dog to run loose on a property and not securing an animal when opening the door are two common examples.
While Amazon allows for its drivers to skip making a delivery if a vicious dog is present, not all delivery drivers are fortunate enough to notice the dog’s presence before it’s too late.
The animal’s owner may be liable for any resulting injuries and can be sued directly by drivers who are independent contractors. Dog bite laws vary substantially by state. In some jurisdictions, homeowners may be held strictly liable for their dog’s behavior, especially when the dog’s owner knows that the animal is dangerous. In addition, the dog’s owner may still be liable for their pet’s actions even if they don’t know the dog is dangerous.
Given the nuances of dog bite law, in Illinois these claims are best handled by an Illinois personal injury attorney experienced in animal attack cases.
Legal claims for injuries sustained while making deliveries—like other types of injury claims—must follow strict deadlines established by the state where they occur.
To avoid missing these deadlines, it’s important for any delivery driver who is harmed on the job to quickly take action. The delivery driver should report the accident to the authorities, seek medical care immediately, and promptly contact an experienced accident attorney to navigate the complex injury claims process for them.
When to Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
Following a crash involving a delivery truck, it could be difficult to determine what to do next. A dedicated attorney could help make the process easier. They could guide the injured party through each step of the legal process. An Illinois truck accident attorney can handle the legal portions of your claim while you focus on getting your life back on track. They can work to protect your case from aggressive insurance companies, gather evidence, and represent your interests in court.
Schedule a free consultation today with experienced truck accident attorney Mario Palermo and the law firm of Palermo Law Group at (630)684-2332 to determine your legal options.