From the pandemic to the holidays, Amazon deliveries are ubiquitous across America. During the holiday rush, it’s especially common to see Amazon delivery trucks rushing from house to house. In 2020, Amazon Logistics delivered 4.2 billion packages—more than USPS, UPS and FedEx. What happens when their drivers engage in unsafe practices? Worse, what happens when they’re encouraged to drive recklessly?
Who’s to blame for Amazon deliver driver accidents?
The problem is that when Amazon drivers cause accidents, it can be difficult to know who to hold responsible. Amazon offers delivery contracts to gig workers and delivery service providers. In fact, if you have $10,000 and want to deliver packages, you can apply to be an Amazon delivery service partner. While Amazon provides logistics support, training and technical support, they’re not technically employers. Similarly, Amazon Flex offers gig work to independent contractors.
What does that mean for personal injury and liability? Unfortunately, if the driver involved in the accident wasn’t directly employed by Amazon, you might have a harder time getting compensation. Typically, when an employee is involved in an accident on the job, the employer is responsible under a theory of vicarious liability. However, vicarious liability doesn’t apply to independent contractors. It also doesn’t apply when Amazon contracts with other delivery service provider companies to deliver their packages. Those providers are considered responsible.
That means that although Amazon has deep pockets—and they may be encouraging unsafe driving practices—it could be difficult to hold them responsible. However, the more control Amazon exerts over the process, the more likely you are to succeed on a negligence claim against them.
What to do if you’re injured by an Amazon driver
Just because it might be difficult to hold Amazon responsible for your injuries doesn’t mean that you won’t receive fair compensation from at least one employer. As always, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention and document the accident and injuries. Then call a personal injury attorney to review your claim.
In some cases, even if the delivery drivers are contractors or employees of a different provider, Amazon may still bear some liability. The court will consider how involved Amazon is in their work process. Be sure to write down whether the employee was driving an Amazon truck and/or wearing an Amazon uniform—those facts can help support the claim that Amazon was in fact vicariously responsible for the accident.
Contact an Ohio personal injury lawyer today
Were you hurt in as a result of an Amazon driver’s negligence or recklessness? No matter who their legal employer is, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.483.2298 for a consultation, and we’ll discuss your options.