Companies Avoid Responsibility for Crashes Involving Third-Party DriversOctober 11, 2019
Today, you can find just about anything on Amazon and have it shipped to your doorstep for free, in just two days. That fast delivery does not come without a price. According to an investigation by ProPublica, since June 2015, there have been over 60 accidents involving Amazon delivery contractors that resulted in serious injuries, 10 of which were fatal. The actual number is likely higher, but many people do not sue when they realize they will have to go up against Amazon. While many of these accidents are caused by drivers who are under intense pressure from Amazon to meet extremely tight deadlines, Amazon refuses to take any responsibility for the accidents, or the actions of its contractors.
To maintain its position as a leader in the world of e-commerce, Amazon has developed a massive logistics operation that allows them to deliver more goods to customers in less time. One way it has accomplished this is by using a network of contractors, rather than carriers like the United Parcel Service. Amazon has been able to hire contactors based on the current need. It also means that they can avoid paying insurance and other costs associated with hiring permanent employees.
Amazon Strictly Enforces Contractor Agreements
According to an operations manager from Amazon, delivery contractors must sign an agreement with Amazon, which states that the contractor will assume liability for any accident that occurs while making a delivery. Amazon is very strict about enforcing these agreements. For example, when a New Jersey contractor’s insurer did not pay Amazon’s legal bills involving a physician who was injured in a car accident, Amazon sued so that the insurer would have to pay. Amazon also sued contractors in California, arguing that damages resulting from car accidents should be billed to the delivery companies.
Amazon has a large-scale delivery network, the details of which the company keeps under wraps. Many of the cars, trucks, and cargo vans that deliver Amazon packages do not have an Amazon logo on the vehicle. One truck involved in a fatal accident that killed a nine-month-old baby had a Penske Truck Rental sign on it. Amazon declined to comment on the delivery demands placed on drivers, and the fact that so many of their contractors indemnify Amazon. However, an Amazon spokesperson commented that all delivery service partners must maintain auto liability insurance so that motorists are covered in the event of an accident.
Amazon sent a written statement to ProPublica, stating that Amazon is committed to taking the appropriate measures to ensure that packages are delivered safely and without incident. Unfortunately, Amazon does not disclose information about accident rates and safety records of its contractors, so the actual number of accidents that occur involving Amazon contractors is likely much higher. A man whose sister was killed by an Amazon driver, said that the two-day shipping is a wonderful convenience, but the human cost cannot be ignored.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Accidents Involving Amazon Delivery Vehicles
If you were injured in a car accident involving an Amazon contractor, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensure that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.