Suffering injuries in an Amazon delivery truck accident can be a complicated situation. Know that you might have important legal rights, and what you do—or don't do—following the accident can impact any claim you file. If you've been in an accident with an Amazon truck driver, there are some steps you should take to ensure you get full compensation for your damages, including speaking to an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer during a free consultation.
Get a Diagnosis and Keep up With Medical Treatment
To recover financially for injuries, you must demonstrate that the accident caused your injuries. This means you'll want a medical diagnosis as soon as possible following the crash. If you're reading this, you likely already know what your injuries are. If you are feeling pain or discomfort in any way and you have not yet seen a doctor, the time to get an evaluation is now. Your injuries could be much worse than you realize.
Once you have a treatment plan, you should follow it as closely as possible. Doing so can help your physical recovery. Plus, failing to complete all prescribed treatments can call your injury claim into question.
Don't Speak to Insurance Adjusters
Amazon's insurance company or another insurer might reach out shortly after the crash. You might be focusing on your initial treatment and physical recovery, so you did not have time to call a lawyer yet. While you should be polite when talking to the insurance adjuster, never give them too many details about how the accident happened or your injuries.
The adjuster will likely try to convince you that you do not need an attorney. They will promise to be on your side, but they are not. They don't want you to have a lawyer because many unrepresented injury claimants accept settlements that are far lower than they deserve.
Tell the adjuster that you plan to hire a truck accident attorney and then call Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys for assistance. If your lawyer takes your case, they can speak to the insurance company on your behalf.
Never Accept a Settlement Without Legal Counsel
Adjusters might make a quick settlement offer, hoping that you will accept it before you consult a truck accident lawyer. This is a recipe for disaster, as you will likely end up with far less than you need or deserve. Always—always—consult with an attorney regarding the value of your claim before you accept anything. If you accept too little, you cannot request more in the future.
Call an Amazon Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck or van accident cases are complicated, especially if they involve Amazon delivery vehicles. You want a lawyer on your case right away so they can take steps to preserve evidence and begin an investigation. Having an attorney relieves you of stress and allows you to focus on your treatment while we focus on your claim.
Amazon Delivery Truck Accident FAQs
Many questions arise after a truck accident and injuries, but the good news is that you do not have to spend hours online researching possible answers. Instead, contact our truck accident lawyers, who can provide the answers you need.
Below are some questions that our clients frequently ask. For answers to questions regarding your specific situation, reach out to our firm directly for free today.
I Was Involved in an Amazon Truck Today. Do I Have a Case?
The online shopping giant ships over 66,000 orders per hour or almost 19 per second. The volume increased explosively since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as social distancing recommendations moved even more shopping online. People in Illinois count on Amazon to deliver everything from medication to car parts to vintage comic books.
Although their service may seem flawless and instantaneous, there's a genuine risk to drivers by the ground delivery system that sustains Amazon. To keep up with its massive volume of daily deliveries, Amazon holds drivers to long schedules and strict deadlines that can translate to dangers on the road.
If you suffer injuries in a car accident with an Amazon delivery truck driver, you may have grounds for a personal injury case. However, the legal resolution to these accidents is not always as straightforward as other auto collisions. Cases involving company-owned vehicles come with their own set of legal considerations.
Amazon has many tools available to avoid responsibility—especially if it means they're accountable for paying damages.
To that end, let's examine the legal factors that can affect your case after an accident with an Amazon delivery driver–along with how you benefit from entrusting your case to an experienced truck accident attorney.
What Are the Requirements to Be an Amazon Driver?
Amazon's massive operations require an equally massive workforce to sustain, and this means that they are constantly hiring drivers. In addition to the large number of employees needed to complete a single day of deliveries, Amazon also features a turnover rate that has some worrying implications.
With an average turnover of 3 percent per week, most Amazon facilities report an average turnover rate of 150 percent per year–spread across warehouse employees and drivers. If this number seems so high that it's almost impossible, there's a reason.
Staff at every level of Amazon's delivery operations report difficult work conditions and grueling daily quotas. The average driver must deliver between 250 and 300 packages per day, a number that increases even more during holiday surges.
Statistically speaking, most Amazon drivers you encounter on the road are within a year of both starting and leaving their position. As a result, a high volume of Amazon drivers on the road can pose risks to drivers for reasons we'll explore below.
What Risks Do Amazon Delivery Vans Pose?
High turnover and exhausting working conditions hurt drivers in many ways. Learning how to operate a delivery truck is a difficult task that requires weeks of extensive training. UPS requires drivers to have years of driving experience to apply before providing weeks of training. Likewise, the US Postal Service requires letter carriers to undergo two weeks of boot camp with ongoing training once they begin a route.
By contrast, most Amazon truck drivers have only a few days of training under their belts—if they even receive training at all. In addition, the Amazon Flex program intentionally leans into the legal ambiguities created by ridesharing apps to lower the requirements even further. You could theoretically start an Amazon delivery job the same day that you first receive your driver's license in Illinois.
A lack of guaranteed training and high turnover means that some Amazon drivers are behind the wheels of vehicles they are unprepared to drive. When combined with the stress caused by Amazon's strict delivery requirements, an image emerges of an intentionally undertrained workforce that is under-supervised and overworked.
While Amazon's policies are by no means the fault of any individual driver, these stressors mean that Amazon vans can pose risks that other delivery services work to minimize.
The size of Amazon delivery trucks and Amazon semi-trucks compound these dangers. Given their size, even a low-speed collision with these vehicles can be devastating–especially if they collide with the side of another car.
Each Amazon delivery center introduces approximately 1,100 delivery vehicles into the nearby area. As noted about Amazon's high turnover, this number is mainly limited by how many employees they can hire and retain. This number can quickly increase whenever Amazon experiences a hiring surge.
What Should I Do if I'm in an Accident With an Amazon Delivery Truck?
If you're ever in an accident with an Amazon delivery driver or Amazon tractor-trailer, the first thing you should do is contact law enforcement. In addition to assessing damages and injuries, officers will also compile these findings into a police report, which is vital for your case.
If you suspect that anyone was injured, notify first responders as well. From there, you will need to exchange information with the Amazon delivery driver. In addition to their name and contact information, you should also get the license plate of the Amazon delivery truck or Amazon delivery car and information on their insurance policy.
During this time, you should also ask if they were on duty during the accident. If they were, then Amazon may face liability.
From there, you should also collect any information at the scene that you feel might have a bearing on your case. Documenting the scene includes photos of both vehicles and any damage they may have sustained. If other people were present at the accident scene, collect their statements and contact information. Any context about the accident that you're able to later provide to a lawyer, such as the time and location, is also valuable.
Once you've collected this information, you need to decide whether or not you want to hire a lawyer. A truck accident lawyer will help you assess your options and determine the best path forward to paying your medical expenses (and other costs of recovery).
The Amazon Driver in My Case Is Classified as a Contractor. What Does That Mean?
Although an Amazon driver's truck and uniform are Amazon-branded, they probably do not work directly for Amazon. If this sounds counterintuitive, it's because it is.
Many of Amazon's drivers are classified as independent contractors, meaning that Amazon does not directly employ them. Contract employment runs through a series of legal loopholes that make Amazon not legally liable for these drivers, even though it determines their routes, supplies their vans, and controls their schedules.
By classifying employees as independent contractors, Amazon can legally claim that they weren't acting on behalf of the company during the accident, thus limiting their involvement in personal injury cases.
As a result, you may need to file with the private auto insurance policy held by the Amazon driver instead of the company itself. Various factors can impact whether or not you're able to pursue compensation for your injuries through Amazon's massive insurance policies, and these cases can hinge on relatively minute details.
Thus, it's a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer to level the playing field against the massive arsenal of legal tools that Amazon has at its disposal.
How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
As we noted above, a personal injury lawyer can help your case in various ways. From the moment you first hire a lawyer, they will begin collecting any information that can have a bearing on your case and your settlement. The information can include everything from your medical bills to the Amazon driver's delivery logs and pay stubs.
While collecting large amounts of data might not sound glamorous, having the proper documentation on hand can be the tipping point for a personal injury case—especially when an entity as legally protected as Amazon is involved.
From there, your truck accident attorney will help you find the best path toward getting the settlement that you deserve.
Determining liability in a case that involves Amazon delivery drivers can be challenging. Whether or not Amazon is potentially liable for the accident can affect whether you're able to pursue a claim against them directly or if you need to instead go through the driver's insurance.
Additionally, having a lawyer on your side works as valuable protection against lowballing by insurance companies. If you sustained injuries in an accident with an Amazon driver, the liable party will have a strong interest in paying you as small of a settlement as possible.
Aiming for a small settlement is especially the case if Amazon itself is involved. After all, if the company is unwilling to spare additional expenses to train its drivers properly, it will try and minimize its responsibility for your medical bills.
Hiring a lawyer levels the playing field by giving you answers to the legal loopholes that the liable party might try to use. Often, this translates into a higher initial settlement—one that's more likely to cover all of your medical expenses.
If all of their offers are inadequate, a Chicago truck accident lawyer will be able to pursue the matter in court.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Amazon Truck Crash Cases?
Simply put, the statute of limitations for an accident with an Amazon truck is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit or claim. This deadline is the same one for other personal injury cases in the state of Illinois, which is two years from the date that you first discover your injuries.
If you suffered injuries in the crash, your deadline for filing is likely two years from the exact date of the accident. Some factors can extend or shorten the statute of limitations.
For example, if you were under 18 years of age at the time of the accident and your parents neglected to file on your behalf, you may be subject to an extension. In any case, your lawyer will be able to provide further context about the statute of limitations on your case.
Who Files a Case in Court?
While you can pursue a personal injury claim on your own, there are countless hurdles in place that make it difficult to do so successfully. Collecting all of the elements of an effective auto accident claim against an Amazon delivery driver is challenging on its own. That challenge increases significantly if you're still recovering from an injury.
If your truck accident claim escalates to court, you will find yourself in a much stronger position if your lawyer files it. Having a reputable law firm standing behind your claim gives it a much stronger legal weight, in no small part because of the work that a lawyer will have already done for you.
As a result, the decision to hire a lawyer has a massive impact on the trajectory of your case and your recovery.
What are the Average Case Settlements for Amazon Case Accidents?
The exact settlement amount for an accident with an Amazon delivery truck can vary greatly, based on many factors. Ultimately, a settlement should cover all of the expenses that you incurred in the accident, which includes both the cost of your recovery and any lost income.
It's worth noting that the medical costs of your recovery can extend beyond your initial hospital bills. They can also include any costs that stem from rehabilitation, which can include physical therapy and trauma counseling.
If injuries from the accident cause you to miss work, your settlement should also include compensation that reflects the income you lost.
In addition to offsetting lost wages, your settlement may also need to compensate you for lost future earnings as a result of lifelong or debilitating injuries.
Final Recap on How to Hire an Amazon Delivery Truck Accident Attorney
We believe that every driver deserves a degree of care and safety on the road, and we fight tirelessly to make our clients whole when someone else violates that degree of care.
If you have injuries from an accident that involved an Amazon delivery truck, contact us today to see how we can make a difference in your case.