amazon truck accident

Picture this: you’re driving home, thinking about dinner or weekend plans, when unexpectedly, an Amazon delivery truck merges too quickly and collides with your car. Your vehicle is damaged, you’re startled, possibly injured, and now faced with the question, “Who do I sue?”

 

Amazon has transformed shopping, providing everything from basics to tech gadgets swiftly. However, the surge in its delivery trucks has contributed to increased traffic accidents. 

 

In incidents where an Amazon truck causes an accident that results in serious injuries and property damages, what liability does the company have? Do accident victims have a claim against Amazon?

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Accident With an Amazon Delivery Truck:
Is The Company Liable?

Amazon’s operational structure makes use of third-party contractors for its package delivery service. These contractors, known as Amazon Delivery Service Partners (DSPs), operate under the Amazon brand and are responsible for hiring and managing their own employees, as well as providing their own delivery vehicles.

 

These DSPs operate independently of Amazon but under strict guidelines and contracts set by Amazon. This arrangement complicates liability issues because, traditionally, Amazon has attempted to insulate itself legally by maintaining that DSPs are entirely separate entities.

Amazon Truck Accident California: Company’s Control Over Operations and Delivery Truck Crashes

A key aspect in legal cases involving Amazon pertains to the degree of control Amazon exercises over the operations of these contractors.

 

If it can be demonstrated that Amazon maintains significant control over the working conditions, schedules, routes, and other operational aspects of these DSPs, Amazon can potentially be held liable for accidents.

 

The degree of control can suggest that Amazon is more akin to an employer rather than a mere client of the DSPs, thereby implicating Amazon directly in liability cases.

Various legal cases have tested Amazon’s liability with mixed outcomes.

 

Courts have sometimes leaned towards finding Amazon liable for negligent behaviors by Amazon drivers, such as speeding or other unsafe driving practices. This liability is considered if it can be established that the company’s business practices and tight delivery schedules indirectly contribute to these behaviors.

Negligent Hiring and Supervision Claims

In cases where Amazon directly hires drivers or if a DSP fails in their duty to properly hire and train safe drivers, Amazon could be held liable under theories of negligent hiring or supervision. These claims depend on showing that Amazon or the DSP knew or should have known about a driver’s potential to drive negligently.

Vicarious Liability in Amazon Delivery Truck Accidents

Vicarious liability, where an employer is held responsible for the actions of its employees while they are working, is another legal avenue through which Amazon could be held accountable.

 

However, the independent contractor model Amazon uses with DSPs typically shields it from this type of liability unless it can be shown that the DSPs are not truly independent in their operation from Amazon.

Direct Liability for Amazon’s Policies

Amazon might also face direct liability if specific corporate policies or practices directly lead to accidents. For instance, if Amazon imposes unrealistic delivery quotas that necessitate unsafe driving behaviors, it could be argued that Amazon has created a hazardous work environment that promotes accidents.

Common Causes of Amazon Truck Accidents in California

  • Fatigued Delivery Truck Drivers
  • Improper Training
  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driving or Driving Under the Influence
  • Poor Vehicle Maintenance
  • Overloading
  • Inadequate Route Planning

Amazon Truck Accident California:
Examples of Actual Cases

Amazon Settlement After a Deadly Accident

In January 2021, Amazon agreed to settle a lawsuit related to a fatal accident that occurred in January 2019. This incident involved an Amazon delivery driver in Chicago who struck and killed a 9-month-old baby in a stroller at an intersection.

 

The delivery driver was reportedly working for an Amazon DFS. Despite this, the lawsuit targeted Amazon directly, arguing that the company was responsible for the actions of its contractors. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed publicly, but the case highlighted issues related to Amazon’s responsibility for its network of delivery drivers and their actions.

Amazon Settles Case Over a Delivery Driver Accident

In 2024, Amazon settled a lawsuit for an accident that happened in Dallas in 2018, where an Amazon delivery truck caused death to a motorcyclist. The tragic incident involved a devastating rear-end collision, where it’s reported that the truck hit the victims’ bike from behind, leading to a deadly accident.

 

The impact of the collision with the Amazon DSP truck allegedly caused the victims’ vehicle to rotate approximately 90 degrees, subsequently rolling onto its driver’s side. This resulted in the driver being trapped and left hanging in a precarious position until emergency services were able to free him. Tragically, he was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, who was also involved in the accident, sustained severe injuries.

 

The jury awarded the plaintiff $105 million (over $42 million in compensatory damages and over $63 million in exemplary or punitive damages).

But I Was Severely Injured; Can I File an Amazon Truck Crash Lawsuit?

can i file an amazon truck crash lawsuit

If you were severely injured in accidents involving Amazon delivery trucks, you may indeed have the right to file a lawsuit. This is especially true if the accident resulted from the driver’s negligence or other contributing factors linked to Amazon’s operational practices.

 

For this, you will need the help of an Amazon truck accident lawyer. Here’s how you can proceed and what to consider:

Establishing Negligence in a Commercial Truck Crash

To file an Amazon truck crash lawsuit successfully, you will need to demonstrate that the driver or Amazon was negligent. This involves proving:

  • Duty of Care: The driver (and by extension, Amazon, if applicable) had a duty to operate the vehicle safely.
  • Breach: This duty was breached due to careless actions like speeding, distracted driving, or failing to adhere to traffic laws.
  • Causation: The breach directly caused the accident.
  • Damages: You suffered injuries and financial losses as a result of the accident.

Investigating the Relationship Between Amazon and the Driver

Understanding whether the truck driver was an Amazon employee, an independent contractor, or employed by a third-party DSP is crucial. The legal strategy might differ based on these relationships. If the Amazon truck driver is a direct employee or if Amazon exercises significant control over the DSP and its drivers, the company could potentially be held liable.

Collecting Evidence

Gather all possible evidence to support your claim for compensation after a truck accident. These include:

  • Police accident reports
  • Witness statements
  • Photos of the accident or videos from the accident scene
  • Medical records relating to your injuries
  • Expert testimonies (e.g., accident reconstruction experts)

Possible Recoveries from an Amazon Truck Accident Case

You can seek compensatory damages from insurance companies (or possibly Amazon itself) for:

  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Property damage
  • If the negligence was egregious, punitive damages might also be pursued.

Statute of Limitations for Amazon Truck Accidents Resulting In Injuries and Damage

The deadline to file a personal injury claim in California is typically two years from the date of the accident.

 

If you suffered injuries from an Amazon truck accident California and then missed this deadline, it is likely that your case will be dismissed by the court. Act quickly and seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you have a valid claim.

Consult With an Experienced Amazon Truck Injury Attorney. Call RTM Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation.

Involved in an accident with an Amazon truck and suffered injuries?

 

Consulting a personal injury attorney who has experience with commercial truck accidents and understands the specific challenges of cases involving large companies is critical.

 

RTM Law can help you handle an Amazon truck crash lawsuit, deal with Amazon’s legal team, talk to insurance companies, and advocate for your best interests. Insurance adjusters will always seek to minimize the value of your injury claim. Having a lawyer by your side will increase your chances of securing the maximum amount.

 

Call our personal injury law firm today. We don’t charge any fees until we win.

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