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Written by: J. Todd Tenge

Amazon Delivery Van Accidents: More Prevalent Than You May Think

| Read Time: 3 minutes

It seems Amazon is everywhere. The e-commerce site is in our grocery stores, our smart TVs, and in nearly every pop-up add we see while browsing the internet. Sadly, that prevalence can be incredibly dangerous. An accident with an Amazon van or truck, like an accident with any delivery truck, can be debilitating both for your health and for your wallet. But unlike other vehicle accidents, it can be much harder to recover damages from Amazon.

Unchecked Growth and Strict Delivery Guidelines

Amazon was once a small startup company that few people had heard of. These days, however, it is the biggest retailer in the United States, and its delivery rates reflect that fact. According to Business Insider, Amazon shipped roughly 3.5 billion packages in 2019 alone. While FedEx still delivered more, at about 5.2 billion, the company is still growing quickly and will likely continue to ship more and more packages as its hold on the country gets tighter and tighter.

As the number of packages delivered grows, so do the number of accidents. With 3.5 billion packages going out in one year, it stands to reason there are countless Amazon delivery vans on our streets every day, in addition to the massive fleet of trucks that connect their distribution centers along major highways. The chances of an accident happening are compounded by the fact that delivery drivers working under Amazon are expected to comply with strict guidelines. In a report by The New York Times, Amazon delivery drivers are expected to drop off 999 out of 1,000 packages on time. That is intense pressure to place workers under. These delivery drivers must have a success rate of 99.9%. If they don’t, they could lose out on bonuses, be reprimanded, or even lose their jobs.

With such intense pressure, is it any surprise that many delivery drivers will speed, ignore stop signs and lights, or make dangerous left-hand turns when rushing in the last mile? This sort of negligent driving, added to the sheer number of Amazon delivery vans driving around the country, means that accidents with Amazon are practically unavoidable.

Recovering Damages from Amazon: Is It Possible?

After an accident caused by negligence with an Amazon delivery van, you may assume recovering damages is as simple as filing a claim against Amazon’s accident insurance policy. Well, the truth is slightly more complex. Despite rigidly controlling their delivery drivers, Amazon does not count them as employees. Nearly all of the delivery drivers dropping off packages for Amazon work under a third-party company that Amazon hires, including competitors like Fed-Ex, UPS, and DHL Express.

This means that a claim directly against Amazon following an accident with one of their vans is likely to fail. However, you may still be able to file a claim against the third-party company that hired the driver. FedEx, for example, offers a $1,000,000 accident liability policy for all drivers, even if they are handling Amazon orders.

There is one caveat to Amazon not offering compensation after an accident, however. If your accident was with an Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service for Whole Foods, then the driver does count as an Amazon employee, and you can file a claim against the company. In that case, they, like FedEx, offer a $1,000,000 accident liability policy.

Getting a Skilled Attorney

Going up against a massive company like Amazon, or one of their third-party delivery companies, is no easy task. As a business, they care more about their bottom line than doing what is right by those victimized in accidents with their drivers. They will offer lowball settlements, or they will try to deny the claim altogether and put the blame on you.

At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our Boulder delivery accident attorneys are experts in their field and have seen all the tricks that companies try to pull once they’re in the hot seat. We know how to negotiate against their underhanded tactics and what evidence will break their case down until they have no choice to pay you the compensation you are owed. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with an Amazon delivery van or truck, don’t go into your claim alone. Call our firm at (303) 665-2929 and find out how to move forward with a claim.

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