Amazon has changed how Americans shop. When people order online, they now expect their deliveries to be fast – overnight, or two days at the longest. While Amazon’s logistics infrastructure is formidable, it comes with a hidden cost. Their drivers are under tremendous to deliver on time, which means they sometimes push the boundaries of safety. When they crash, who’s to blame? What options does an injured person have?
A Tricky Legal Situation
Normally when a company’s vehicle crashes into someone, that company’s insurance pays for damages. However, Amazon doesn’t technically own the fleet of small vans that it uses for most deliveries. Instead, it hires contractors who are forced to sign an agreement saying that they will cover any related damages their drivers cause. Since the drivers aren’t technically employed by Amazon, they aren’t eligible for coverage under Amazon’s generous corporate insurance policies.
Some attorneys argue that Amazon is stretching the definition of who counts as a contractor, since many of the contracting delivery companies only have one client: Amazon. However, Amazon’s attorneys have fought that assertion vigorously in court. Anyone injured by one of their trucks faces an uphill battle to get the compensation they deserve, especially if the contractor is underinsured, as many of them are.
A Difficult Problem To Track
Compounding these legal problems is the fact that Amazon’s small delivery vans don’t have the same regulations that big trucks do. While 18-wheelers have to report their crash statistics and other information to the government, small delivery vans don’t. When a van crashes, the delivery companies have every incentive to keep it quiet.
Not only that, but it can be difficult to tell if a particular vehicle is even an Amazon contractor. Amazon is famous for not displaying their logo in public – not even on their headquarters – so Amazon’s involvement with the contracting vehicle may only be discoverable with a good bit of research.
What Should Someone Do After A Delivery Van Accident?
As you’ve probably guessed, the red tape surrounding Amazon’s delivery contractors can be quite a challenge. Though some states are starting to challenge big companies who escape liability through contractors, Pennsylvania is not yet one of them.
However, don’t give up hope. By enlisting a highly-qualified car accident attorney, you stand the best chance of recovering the compensation you need to get back on your feet and remain financially stable.