Compared to industry mail delivery services like UPS and FedEx, Amazon is a relatively new player in the delivery services game, but their lack of experience has hardly slowed their growth. Where Amazon once depended on UPS and the United States Postal Service for home and business delivery, their shipping division Amazon Logistics now dominates the market with 3.5 billion deliveries per year—more than FedEx, and quickly approaching the numbers of industry leader UPS.
The way Amazon does business allows for an efficient, scalable, and country-spanning operation, but it also significantly complicates the civil litigation process following Amazon delivery truck accidents in Alpharetta. If you or a loved one were injured due to the recklessness and negligence of an Amazon delivery driver, working with a skilled truck accident lawyer may be essential if you want to effectively pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.
Who Could Be at Fault for an Amazon Delivery Truck Wreck?
One of the most important things to understand about the way Amazon Logistics works is that drivers who makes deliveries for Amazon are very rarely Amazon employees. Instead, the vast majority of Amazon delivery drivers in Alpharetta and elsewhere are independent contractors who own their own delivery trucks and contract with Amazon Delivery Partner Services to make deliveries on behalf of Amazon.
Accordingly, when an Amazon delivery truck driver causes a crash, it is generally not possible for a person injured as a result to file suit against any division of Amazon. The legal doctrine of respondeat superior allows accident victims to hold employees liable for the negligent actions of their employees, but it does not allow liability to be transferred in the same way from independent contractors.
Fortunately, Amazon requires all their contracted drivers to carry Amazon Flex Insurance coverage, which provides up to $1 million of coverage in the event of an accident that occurs while a driver is “on the clock” making deliveries for Amazon. Through this insurance, it is generally possible for victims of Amazon delivery truck wrecks in Alpharetta to pursue sufficient restitution for their injuries with help from a seasoned attorney.
What If an Amazon Driver Gets in an Accident Off the Clock?
Importantly, Amazon Flex Insurance coverage only applies to accidents involving delivery drivers who are performing work-related tasks at the time of the incident. In other words, even if a delivery driver gets in an accident in an Amazon truck, the $1 million of insurance coverage would not be available if they were not “on the clock” making deliveries. In this kind of situation, an accident victim who wishes to seek compensation for their injuries would need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s personal insurance provider.
Filing Suit Against Amazon Directly
Unfortunately, $1 million of insurance coverage is not always enough to cover every injury and loss an accident victim suffers, especially in crashes involving large tractor-trailers and/or catastrophic injuries like brain damage and spinal cord trauma. It can be extremely difficult proving liability for an Amazon delivery truck accident without the help of a seasoned attorney.
The only situations in which Amazon could bear liability for the actions of an independent contractor include:
- If the contractor is effectively an Amazon employee due to the amount of control Amazon maintains over how they perform their work
- If Amazon exhibited negligent hiring practices that resulted in them hiring a driver who was likely to cause a wreck
A qualified Amazon accident lawyer could clarify whether either of these unique scenarios may be applicable to a particular delivery truck crash in Alpharetta.
What Damages Could be Recoverable for Amazon Truck Crashes?
The damages that a plaintiff could seek restitution for through an insurance claim or third-party lawsuit will vary depending on the circumstances. Generally, an Alpharetta resident injured in an Amazon delivery truck accident could recover for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses for both past and future care
- Lost work income
- Loss of future ability to earn income
- Damage done to personal property
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
If a defendant engaged in willful or wanton misconduct, a court may also assess additional punitive damages. However, this is an extremely rare occurrence in this type of incident.
Are There Any Time Limits on Amazon Truck Collision Claims?
Regardless of how severe a plaintiff’s injuries are or who bears legal liability, there is a strict time limit on their right to file suit and seek civil compensation for damages. According to Official Code of Georgia §9-3-33, anyone who fails to litigate within two years of the date of their injury may be barred from seeking any civil restitution for that incident. Furthermore, since insurance companies are aware of this legal deadline, failing to pursue an insurance settlement within this period will often result in a rejected claim as well.
Discuss Legal Options Following Amazon Delivery Truck Accidents with an Alpharetta Attorney
Recovering compensation following a crash involving an Amazon delivery driver can be a deceptively complex ordeal. Since Amazon Logistics depends on independent contractors for delivery services, it is exceedingly rare for recovery following an accident to come from anywhere except the Flex Insurance that Amazon requires their drivers to carry.
No matter the circumstances of your case, though, a knowledgeable attorney could help you effectively pursue the financial restitution you need for your damages. To learn more about your legal options following an Amazon delivery truck accidents in Alpharetta, call today to set up a consultation.