When accidents occur using Amazon drivers, it can be a challenge to hold the company responsible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to pursue and successfully recover claims for personal injuries, property damage, and wrongful deaths. Like the mighty river it’s named after, Amazon’s service keeps growing and flowing freely across the world. As Amazon’s status as a retail outlet grows, so too does the number of accidents involving Amazon’s growing fleet of delivery vehicles. In particular, accidents involving the company’s new Amazon Flex that utilize independent contractors to deliver the company’s parcels have increased.
Amazon Flex Helps Amazon Grow
Amazon Flex hires drivers at a rate of between $18 to $25 an hour to deliver packages. Drivers use their own vehicles, which allows Amazon to avoid paying for fleet maintenance, insurance, etc. As with Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing and delivery services, Amazon shields itself from expenses and liability by “hiring” people who are not considered directly employed with the company. Many of these drivers lack the experience, training, and expertise required to safely operate a delivery vehicle.
Amazon Flex drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Amazon doesn’t have to pay taxes, unemployment insurance, or offer benefits to these individuals. Many of these drivers have minimal training, minimal supervision, and minimal experience operating a commercial delivery vehicle, which is essentially what their standard passenger vehicle becomes once they clock in.
Accidents Involving Amazon Drivers
Accidents involving Amazon drivers can cause the same injuries that occur with all motor vehicle accidents. This includes traumatic brain injuries, limb amputations, bone fractures, burns, toxic inhalations, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, and more. Because Amazon drivers are often “in a hurry,” many are traveling at high rates of speed and driving recklessly to keep to their busy delivery schedule.
The higher the speed, the greater the potential for accidents, and the increased chance that the accident will cause severe injuries when it occurs. Moreover, because Amazon drivers are frequently traveling down roads and routes they are unfamiliar with, there is a greater likelihood of sideswiped, rear-end collisions, and frontal collisions when drivers are distracted by GPS devices, road signs, and other distractions.
Liability for Accidents Involving Amazon Drivers
In most accidents, the FLEX driver’s personal insurance policy is responsible for any personal injuries, property damage, or wrongful deaths the motor vehicle accident causes. Amazon requires their drivers to carry personal liability insurance that is equal to that required by municipal governments for standard delivery drivers.
In addition, Amazon FLEX drivers have the option of carrying the company’s in-house insurance policy. This supplemental insurance policy is designed to supplement the driver’s own insurance, and it cannot be used as a replacement. For the coverage to apply, the plaintiff must prove that the driver was “on the clock” for the company at the time of the motor vehicle collision.
This can be done by reviewing the driver’s cell phone records, vehicle computer, emails, and Amazon’s delivery schedule assigned to the driver. This information can establish where the driver was at the time of the accident, where they were going, how fast they were driving, and where their next scheduled destination was on the map.
Compensation for Injuries in Nevada
Individuals who are involved in an accident with an Amazon FLEX driver can pursue compensation for a wide range of expenses and losses. These include medical expenses, including emergency medical care, ambulance rides, pharmaceuticals, surgery, long-term medical care, long-term rehabilitative care, and the purchase of at-home medical aids.
Accident survivors can also pursue claims for lost wages and lost earning capacity. This is crucial because many accident survivors are unable to work for days, weeks, months, and even years post-accident. In some instances, survivors may suffer long-term impairments that impede their ability to earn the same wage or pursue the same career opportunities.
Nevada statutes also allow plaintiffs to pursue compensation for pain and suffering. This can include physical and emotional pain such as PTSD, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, etc.
Other Liable Parties in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Multiple factors can contribute to a motor vehicle accident. More than one party may be partially responsible for causing a collision. This includes the manufacturer of the vehicle, any repair shop/mechanic that serviced the vehicle, the manufacturer of a defective component, and any retailer who knowingly sold a defective product.
A motor vehicle accident attorney in Nevada can help plaintiffs examine the causes of the accident and determine whether additional parties share in the fault for the collision. In some cases, multiple lawsuits can be filed so that the individual can recover the compensation they need to pay for their losses.