Amazon’s latest delivery option, Amazon Flex, uses third-party delivery drivers to deliver packages. Many of these drivers also drive for Uber, Lyft, and other services throughout the area. These drivers do not work directly for Amazon. This raises a particular area of concern, however, when an Amazon driver injures another person; if you suffer injuries in a collision with a contract delivery driver, what options do you have?
Common Injuries from Amazon Delivery Driver Accidents
Delivery drivers have to stop-and-go regularly. Since Amazon contract drivers may need to pick up shifts in different areas based on availability, they may not deliver to the same properties each time they head out. As a result, they may have a higher risk of accident than UPS, USPS, or FedEx drivers, who often drive relatively consistent routes and get to know the hazards around them. Amazon delivery drivers may often need to operate on a tight timeline as they push to deliver as many packages as possible within Amazon’s pre-determined time frame.
Accidents can occur involving pedestrians, other drivers and their passengers, and cyclists alike. Oftentimes these accidents are similar to some types of personal injury accidents. Victims could suffer:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Severe lacerations and contusions
Who Can You Pursue for Damages After a Collision with an Amazon Delivery Driver?
You may have to deal with substantial injuries, which usually lead to high costs, following a collision with a contract Amazon delivery driver. Who bears liability for those expenses?
As in most auto accidents, the driver’s insurance policy carries liability for any injuries suffered during an accident with that driver. Amazon Flex drivers must carry personal liability insurance on their vehicles equal to their local mandates for delivery drivers. Amazon Flex also offers an insurance policy that provides compensation for victims injured in accidents with their drivers. Amazon Flex insurance requires proof that the driver was working for Amazon at the time of the accident in order to provide compensation.
Amazon does consider Its drivers’ contractors. They choose the shifts they want to work and when, and bear responsibility for their own vehicle maintenance and performance. As a result, Amazon does not typically share liability for accidents caused by its drivers.
Other factors, however, can contribute to accidents with Amazon delivery drivers. Sometimes, mechanical failure may cause the accident, either due to the failure of the driver to care for his vehicle or an error made in the manufacture or repair of the vehicle. In the case of mechanical errors caused by manufacturer error, the vehicle manufacturer may share liability for the accident, while, in the case of an error caused by a mechanic, the mechanic may share liability for the accident.
How Much Compensation Can You Expect from an Accident with an Amazon Flex Driver?
Even prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon pushed its drivers heavily to meet shipping deadlines. The COVID-19 surge caused an additional increase in deliveries that substantially increased the need for those drivers, and accordingly increased the risk of accidents. No attorney can guarantee the results of your claim. However, most auto accident victims, including victims of Amazon contract delivery driver accidents, claim similar damages following an accident.
Most victims of serious accidents base their claims on their medical costs. Medical costs following a severe accident can mount considerably, especially if the victim has long-term or permanent injuries like traumatic brain damage or spinal cord injury. The victim may need to consider the costs of elements like:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Long-term medical treatment, including a stay in the hospital or a long-term treatment facility
- Durable medical equipment, like a wheelchair or prosthetic device, if needed
- In-home medical care or assistance, if needed following the accident
When you suffer serious injuries in an accident, it can prevent you from returning to your usual job duties. As a result, when medical bills pile up most, you may not have income coming in to help support those expenses. You can include wages lost immediately after the accident, as well as wages lost due to continuing inability to work or the need to work on a limited schedule for some time throughout your recovery.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to the tangible losses associated with your injuries, accidents with a contract Amazon delivery driver can leave you dealing with considerable pain and suffering. You may include pain and suffering as part of your personal injury claim. Typically, the insurance company bases its offer for pain and suffering off of a percentage of your medical bills: generally 1.5-4 times the amount of your medical costs. An attorney can help you determine how to include those costs as part of your personal injury claim, including evaluating how both physical pain and mental and emotional anguish can contribute to your pain and suffering.
Amazon Flex insurance, much like Uber and Lyft insurance, offers up to $1 million to victims involved in an accident with a driver working for the company at the time of the accident. You may also seek compensation for other parties that may have contributed to your accident, which may increase the settlement you can receive.
What Should You Do After an Accident with an Amazon Contract Delivery Driver?
Following an accident with an Amazon contract delivery driver, take these steps to help protect yourself:
1. Pursue medical care immediately.
Seek medical care from an emergency room or urgent care facility any time you suffer injuries (even minor injuries) in an auto accident, including an accident with an Amazon Flex driver. Keep track of all medical records, since they serve as evidence of the injuries you sustained and when they occurred.
2. Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can after your accident. An experienced delivery driver accident attorney can help you better understand what compensation you deserve and how to pursue it following an accident.