According to the Bank of America, Amazon is the fourth-largest delivery service in the U.S., and continues to grow. Amazon continues to use other delivery services, including the postal service, FedEx, and UPS but is taking a greater share of delivering packages using their own operations. This means there are a lot of Amazon drivers on the road in Denver, Boulder, and across Colorado.
With so many drivers spending so much time delivering packages across the country, there are bound to be auto accidents. In some cases, the delivery driver may be the victim of another driver's negligence. However, with such an emphasis on fast deliveries and strict timelines, Amazon may actually be encouraging dangerous driving. Unfortunately, Amazon is not always willing to accept responsibility for their driver's accidents.
Amazon Delivery and Driver Classification
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a lot of businesses to suffer but others, like Amazon, have seen record growth. In 2020, Amazon hired 275,000 full-time and part-time workers and 100,000 seasonal workers. However, not all workers are considered “employees.” Like a lot of other growing tech companies, Amazon knows that there are additional costs associated with hiring employees, like payroll taxes, workers' comp insurance, and healthcare benefits.
One of the liabilities most employers have involves negligent employees. Under vicarious liability, an employer may be liable for damages caused by a negligent employee when it occurred on-the-job. The company may try and classify workers as independent contractors as a way to shield the company from liability. However, calling an employee an “independent contractor,” does not always make it so.
Amazon Flex is a gig economy delivery job, like Instacart or DoorDash. Drivers use their own vehicles to deliver packages for Amazon. Delivery jobs like this are supposed to offer extra money and flexibility but they can leave drivers vulnerable in the event of an accident. Amazon offers a commercial auto insurance policy but the insurance does not cover passengers and only applies when the driver is actively delivering.
Amazon Delivering with 3rd Party Contractors
Amazon often uses delivery contractors to transport their goods to houses and businesses across the country. An investigation by ProPublica found more than 60 vehicle accidents since June 2015 involving Amazon delivery contractors that resulted in serious injury or death. However, the actual number of accidents may be much higher, with many accident victims unaware that Amazon was even involved.
Amazon directs the deliveries for many drivers but the driver simply gets a paycheck issued by another company. When the driver falls behind schedule or is delayed by traffic or an accident, Amazon contacts the company to find out why the package delivery is delayed. However, Amazon is very secretive about the requirements it places on delivery drivers and the number of actual accidents that have involved Amazon drivers.
Fatal Accident Caused by Amazon Delivery Driver
Just last month, 2 people were killed and 2 sheriff's personnel were injured by an Amazon delivery truck. A sheriff's patrol vehicle had responded to an accident, blocking the lane of an earlier accident. An Amazon Prime delivery truck collided with the unoccupied patrol vehicle, sending the wreckage into pedestrians, killing 2 and seriously injuring two others.
If you were injured in a delivery driver accident in Colorado, talk to our experienced Colorado auto accident attorneys who will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.