Amazon delivery trucks are ubiquitous—they are everywhere. The Amazon Prime logo has become the symbol of convenience and necessity for households and businesses. The technology behind the logistics of Amazon’s delivery system is tactical as are the delivery schedules of the drivers.
Most truck accidents occur on highways and major thoroughfares in cities and counties en route to an industrial area where the distribution warehouses are located. The issue with Amazon delivery trucks and vans is their location in neighborhoods throughout the day.
Although Amazon delivery trucks and vans are smaller in size and with a curb weight of 30% less than the delivery trucks of other package carriers, there are far more Amazon trucks on residential streets. Because of the smaller size and weight, many of the Amazon vehicles may fall outside of Missouri’s definition of a commercial truck.
Most injuries involving Amazon trucks and vans are not as severe due to the lower speeds, but there are more of these accident types due to the scale in numbers.
If you are involved in an accident with an Amazon truck, you cannot, and should not, assume that Amazon and its deep pockets will be responsible for your loss or damage.
The majority of the delivery drivers are hired by Amazon as independent contractors. As such, each driver carrie their own insurance policy, the coverages of which are based upon different limits and profiles. The delivery truck or van may not be owned by Amazon.
The insurance policies carried by the drivers may not be adequate to cover the full amount of a damage claim. If an accident occurs when the driver is not on duty or at a time outside of Amazon’s control, then the initial position of Amazon will be to refuse responsibility.
The Business Model
The sophistication of Amazon’s logistics technology records and provides detailed aspects of the delivery service. The platform records not only the number of packages delivered, but the driver’s adherence to the schedule and the expectations in service. The driving habits are recorded and monitored that include location, braking, speed, seatbelt usage and calls/texting. There are in-truck cameras and artificial intelligence for yawning and distractions.
It is the access to this proprietary information that will be crucial to defending a case involving an Amazon delivery vehicle. Amazon’s refusal to claim responsibility will not result in providing this information voluntarily.
Practical Advice After an Accident
If you are safe and able to do so, immediately call first responders. If it is practical to do so, the following information should be obtained from the delivery driver:
- all contact information, including name, address and insurance information
- license plate number of the delivery vehicle; and
- whether the driver is on duty.
If you are not able to obtain this information, then rely on the law enforcement officers to do so. This information will be a part of the accident report.
If you should be advised by a first responder to seek medical attention at the scene, or as soon after as practicable, then do so. Always follow the medical advice given at the scene and by the physician at the hospital and at the medical office.
The specifics about the accident should only be discussed with the personal injury attorney retained for your case. This advice extends to any conversations you may have with your insurance company.
It is imperative that an experienced personal injury attorney with the expertise on representing clients with a damages claim against Amazon be retained. This legal specialty is necessary to value the full amount of a claim, to represent the claim to the opposing attorneys, the insurance companies and to the court. The attorney must also have the experience and the resources to work through the layers and the technicalities involved with independent drivers, proprietary information and to position the case for Amazon’s responsibility.
The appearance of the Amazon logo, or the assumption that all personal injury attorneys have the specialty to handle this type of case, should not be taken lightly or at face value.
There are very few things that are as they appear. An accident involving an Amazon truck is not one of these things.