If an Amazon delivery truck accident in Atlanta hurts you, you may think the driver must pay for your injuries. Or you might think the company Amazon should pay for your damages. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. This article looks at the confusion that may occur after an Amazon truck accident. Reach out to an Atlanta truck accident lawyer.
Amazon Delivery Truck Accidents in Atlanta
Amazon is a massive company that continuously transports goods throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas. The company uses many trucks to transport goods to customers, including large tractor-trailers. A negligent driver or poorly maintained vehicle can create incredibly dangerous situations. When an Amazon driver injures you, you can seek compensation with help from a truck accident lawyer.
If an Amazon delivery truck accident injured you in Atlanta, an experienced truck accident attorney is ready to fight for your rights.
Determining Negligence in Amazon Truck Accidents
To determine if the tractor-trailer caused the accident, you need a truck accident lawyer to investigate. Negligence occurs when a truck driver breaches their duty of care and that breach injures other people. You need a finding of negligence to recover compensation.
Your truck accident lawyer can look at accident reports, witness testimony, medical evidence, and much more to find the cause of the accident. This requires skill and extensive knowledge of the law and the plaintiff should not handle this on their own.
What Kinds of Insurance Are Available for Victims of an Amazon Truck Accident?
Understanding what kinds of insurance may be available to cover your losses depends on the particular driver and how Amazon categorizes them. As you will see later in this guide, Amazon classifies its drivers in questionable ways to reduce its liability.
Amazon’s Flex Insurance Coverage
If the Amazon driver responsible for your accident was an Amazon Flex driver, your damages should fall under Amazon Flex insurance coverage. If the driver was not on the clock during the accident, Amazon policy states that the driver is personally responsible for your compensation. Otherwise, you will need to file your claim against the driver's insurance policy.
If the Amazon driver was on the clock and proven to be at fault, Amazon’s Flex insurance may apply to your situation. Amazon’s liability policy provides coverage for up to $1 million in damages. This coverage can help compensate you for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, emotional duress, and other potential losses.
Understanding Insurance Policies for Amazon Delivery Trucks and Vans
When Amazon trucks or vans cause accidents, things get more complicated. To maintain its on-time delivery schedule, Amazon works with several third-party delivery companies. In the event of an accident, figuring out whose insurance company is responsible for your losses can be a headache.
The Danger of Amazon’s Delivery Algorithm
One factor that influences how many third-party Amazon drivers conduct themselves is Amazon’s delivery algorithm. The algorithm dictates how fast these drivers must deliver packages. Amazon even uses cameras to monitor drivers’ progress. If the drivers do not satisfy Amazon’s requirements, they risk losing Amazon as a customer.
The result? Some Amazon third-party drivers push themselves to meet Amazon’s demands. They may sacrifice the safety of other motorists to avoid losing the work. Amazon’s unrealistic expectations can result in more accidents and serious injuries to innocent people like you.
Third-Party Insurance Coverage
However, there is a silver lining. Third-party companies that deliver for Amazon must maintain personal insurance policies, often making it easier to know who to file your claim against. When the police come to the accident scene to create a report of the incident, they should list the insurance companies of all involved drivers on the report.
While you may file a claim against Amazon directly, the mammoth corporation often tries to avoid any direct involvement with third-party delivery accidents. Officially, Amazon’s stance is the company is not the direct employer of third-party drivers, especially when accidents occur.
Delivery Service Partners
Amazon calls the third-party delivery companies they use delivery service partners (DSPs). While these drivers deliver packages for Amazon, they are nonetheless employed directly by the third-party company. This legal loophole allows Amazon to distance itself from accidents caused by its DSPs, forcing these smaller companies to shoulder the financial burden of any accidents.
Often these companies do not have sufficient liability insurance to compensate accident victims adequately. When Amazon’s strategy works, the victims are stuck trying to figure out how they will pay for medical expenses and other losses.
When Amazon hires a driver as an independent contractor, Amazon tries to shield itself from direct lawsuits. An attorney can explain exceptions to this rule.
Even when you cannot sue Amazon itself may, Amazon requires all independent contractors who deliver for the company to carry Amazon Flex insurance coverage. This insurance provides up to $1 million in coverage for all persons injured by negligent tractor-trailer and other truck drivers.
Because independent contractors are not employees, you cannot always hold the company that hires them liable for their actions. However, sometimes the company will have specific policies these contractors must follow. The company may tell them what to wear or issue detailed requirements about how they conduct business.
In Amazon’s case, they micromanage their supposedly independent contractors, especially drivers.
Some examples include:
- Monitoring vehicle speed
- Using cameras to track the driver’s behavior
- Monitoring the driver’s distance when following other vehicles
- Requiring the driver to wear an Amazon uniform
- Providing scorecards that rate the driver’s performance
Added together, this level of control is quite significant for a person not considered an employee by the company.
When Amazon directly employs drivers to deliver goods, the company is directly responsible for an employee's negligent acts through a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior. If an employee-driver is negligent and causes injury, you may sue Amazon may as well as the driver, providing a large source of potential compensation for accident victims.
Available Compensation After an Amazon Truck Accident
The financial compensation available after an Amazon truck accident depends on the injuries suffered, the source of the compensation, and several other factors.
Common types of compensation available include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost work income
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Proving damages is a crucial part of any personal injury case. You can best accomplish this by hiring a skilled Amazon truck accident lawyer.
What Should I Do After an Amazon Truck Accident?
The moments right after an Amazon truck accident are often a blur. Between the injuries and emotions of the event, knowing what to do can feel like an impossible task. Remember that you need to protect your rights at all costs. Do not let the disorientation of the accident cause you to make a mistake and give up your right to seek financial compensation.
Here are some steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of an accident:
Seek Medical Treatment
See a doctor or medical provider after your accident. Even if you feel fine, injuries may become more apparent after the event. Your body may be pumping adrenaline to keep you functioning so you can deal with the emergency at hand. After things calm down, many accident victims then become aware of injuries, aches, or pains.
You may also want to seek medical attention because an evaluation will show clear medical proof of your injuries. The hospital or your doctor's office can provide you with a detailed breakdown of your injuries and accurate billing that establishes your medical expenses. This information can support your claim and give your case a solid foundation.
Finally, if your medical team gives you a specific treatment plan, follow it. Failing to follow this plan could worsen your injury and may jeopardize your claim. The opposing party's insurance company could use your lack of follow-through as proof that you are not as injured as you claim.
Contact Your Own Insurance Company
Be sure to notify your own insurance company about the accident, even if you were not at fault. If you eventually need to file an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim, your company will already know about the incident.
Avoid Speaking to the Opposing Party’s Insurance Company
After your accident, representatives of the opposing party's insurance company may approach you. They may try to talk you into signing paperwork to accept a settlement. They will likely argue that the money they offer you is guaranteed while going to trial offers no assurance of a payout.
This tactic is common and may strip you of your right to pursue a claim for additional compensation. By signing their agreement, you may waive all rights to future compensation, even if you suffer setbacks or other consequences from your accident.
Be polite but get off the phone with them quickly. They may try to convince you that their offer is your only option for any compensation. Remember, they are primarily concerned with saving money. An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney can determine the value of your case before you mistakenly settle for a far lesser amount.
What to Expect from Amazon After a Truck Accident
Amazon claims that it hires so many independent contractors to get your deliveries to you as quickly as possible. But the perk they do not mention is their tendency to avoid legal liability for any accidents. Because Amazon's resources are so vast, any claim filed against them has the chance of getting sucked into a web of legalese, denials, delay tactics, and other setbacks.
An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney can explain your legal options in detail, so you can make an informed decision about your next steps as you seek financial compensation.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With an Atlanta Amazon Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving large tractor-trailers and other delivery trucks can lead to catastrophic injuries. These injuries can easily cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for you and your family. A truck accident case can help you recoup these losses if a negligent truck driver injured you.
The experts at Atlanta Personal Injury Group are ready to investigate the circumstances of your case and fight for your rights. By interviewing witnesses, photographing the scene, and obtaining traffic cam footage, we can help build a solid foundation for your case. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers can also help you determine who exactly is responsible for your injuries.
If you suffered because of an Amazon truck driver’s negligence, you do not need to struggle with your claim alone. After an Amazon delivery truck accident in Atlanta, a personal injury lawyer can help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free case review.