What to Do If an Amazon Truck Hits Your Car
January 26, 2023 / Truck Accidents
An Amazon Truck Accident Lawyer Helps Win Compensation
The consequences can be severe if an Amazon delivery truck hits your car. Amazon drivers work under pressure and have time deadlines to get a large number of packages delivered. As a result, they may cut corners, speed, make turns and back up too quickly, or rush to beat a light, causing a serious crash. Accidents with Amazon delivery trucks are increasing, and victims may be left facing long, painful recoveries, while medical bills mount up at a time they are unable to work. Some accidents may lead to death.
Suppose you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in an accident with an Amazon truck. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit against Amazon or the driver involved. However, lawsuits involving commercial trucks are complicated due to the federal and state laws involved, and large corporations like Amazon and its insurers have a team of lawyers who will attempt to deny or minimize benefits and fight your lawsuit.
After a crash, the steps you take will directly affect your case. To get the settlement you deserve, it helps to know what to and what not to do or say, as making mistakes can be costly and lead to your claim being denied. If you are physically able to, take the following actions after an accident with an Amazon truck:
- Make sure your vehicle is in a safe place where you cannot be hit again, and call 911 to get police response and a police report. When officers arrive at the scene, they will assess the damages to people and vehicles and create an accident report that may be used in your case.
- Get Amazon driver information. Having as much information as possible is important as this affects your case directly. In addition to getting the Amazon driver’s name, license, insurance, and contact information, and the delivery truck’s license plate number, find out if the Amazon driver was on duty at the time of the accident or was just using the truck before or after work. Amazon may also be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused while the driver was on the job.
- Take photos or videos to document the crash, damage to both vehicles, and any visible injuries. Look for evidence such as skid marks or signs that were obscured, and document everything
- Obtain medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders. Even if you think you are not hurt, some serious injuries are difficult to spot right after the accident and may worsen over time. Document all symptoms, injuries and medical treatment, as this can be used in claim against Amazon and delivery drivers.
- As time goes on, document how your injuries affect your life, your ability to work, and your relationships.
- Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and keep you from making costly mistakes.
Amazon Has Lawyers; You Should Too
Amazon is too big and well-financed to go up against without legal assistance. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case, listen to your version of what happened, and determine whether you have a valid lawsuit and what it should be worth. Once you have a lawyer working for you, your lawyer should:
- Evaluate whether you have a case against Amazon, the driver, or other parties who may have been at fault for the accident
- Conduct investigations by examining the crash scene, interviewing eyewitnesses and first responders, and acquiring essential records
- Gather and preserve evidence such as photos and videos from traffic cameras; police, ambulance, doctor, phone, and hospital records; and Amazon truck, personnel, training and safety records
- Hire experts to testify on your behalf, including accident reconstruction experts and life experts who can testify as to the extent and costs of your injuries, likely future care, and the physical and emotional effects of the accident
- Negotiate with insurance companies and their attorneys for a fair settlement
- Build your case and prepare it for trial if necessary.
Are Amazon Drivers Liable for Accidents?
Whether or not Amazon drivers are liable for accidents depends on the circumstances involved. In addition to Amazon Prime semi-trucks and Amazon marked delivery vans, there are also Amazon Flex cars, personal vehicles drivers use to make deliveries. If you were hit by an Amazon Flex driver who was working at the time but using their own car, the damages from the accident should be covered by Amazon Flex’s insurance policies. If the driver was not working for Amazon, then you could sue the driver, but you may not be able to sue Amazon.
Amazon also may hire outside delivery services, which they refer to as Delivery Service Partners (DSP), to deliver their packages. When the DSP drivers cause a truck crash, Amazon will claim that it is the DSP and not Amazon who is responsible for the accident.
Even if a driver for Amazon was negligent and responsible for the accident, that does not mean you want to just sue the driver and let Amazon off the hook. Amazon is legally responsible for accidents caused by their drivers, and they may also be responsible for negligence by the DSP driver under the legal theory of “vicarious liability.” This means that even if someone is not formally categorized as an “employee,” a company can be considered an “employer” and be held vicariously liable for the actions of a person the company controls.
The fact is that Amazon controls DSP drivers, as well as their own employees and Flex drivers. Amazon monitors all drivers carefully, records drivers’ performance, requires drivers to wear Amazon uniforms, uses cameras to monitor drivers inside the vehicle, and monitors the vehicle speed, location, turns, and following distance. This can be used as evidence that Amazon is legally liable.
It is important to be able to sue Amazon as well as the driver. The driver probably only carries a limited amount of insurance, while Amazon has much more in assets and carries more insurance than an individual would and can afford to pay for your damages even if these are greater than an insurance policy amount. Your lawyer would therefore attempt to sue Amazon first, as well as the driver and other negligent parties who may be defendants in the case.
Depending on the circumstances, liable parties in addition to Amazon and the unsafe driver who hit you may include:
- Other negligent drivers who may have been involved in the crash
- Supervisors who failed to properly train and supervise drivers or failed to take action if a driver exhibited unsafe practices
- The manufacturer of the truck or its equipment or parts, if these failed and caused the accident.
- The mechanic responsible for maintaining the truck
- The government entity or road repair company is responsible for maintaining the road, if poor road conditions cause the crash.
Any or all of these parties may be found negligent and at fault for contributing to the accident and should be named as defendants as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement award.
How do I File a Claim against Amazon for an Accident?
The first thing you should do when filing a claim against Amazon is to consult with an attorney. Because of all the complications in Amazon cases, the multiple ways drivers are hired, and the multiple insurance companies which may be involved, you need legal guidance to determine liability and the best way to proceed with your case. Remember that Amazon has tremendous resources and a team of attorneys who can conduct investigations, gather evidence, and hire experts to testify against you. Having your own attorney to handle your claim will help even the playing field and take the burden off you so you can focus on your recovery.
Your attorney should then contact the insurance company listed on the accident report to start your claim. It’s best to let your attorney handle all communications with insurance companies, as they will often try to get you to make a recorded statement admitting fault for the accident or saying something that can be used against you. They may also make a lowball offer they hope you will accept quickly for less than your case is worth. If you do, you may be barred from collecting anything additional even if injuries worsen over time and you face additional costs.
Call Our Lawyers for Accidents With an Amazon Truck
Amazon truck accidents, along with other truck and delivery truck accidents, require extensive investigation and experience. And the Indiana commercial trucking accident lawyers at Stephenson Rife, LLP. are fully prepared to deal with the complex laws and multiple parties and insurers involved and fight for the settlement you deserve.
At Stephenson Rife, we pursue positive results, no matter what legal challenge your case involves. We have the knowledge and resources to provide caring, confident and cost-effective service you can count on, which is why we are the law firm that other law firms consult.
Don’t delay, as it takes time to investigate and build your case, and there are deadlines for filing. In Indiana, you generally have two years from the date of the accident (Indiana code section 34-11-2-4 (1) to file or the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case.
Find out what we can do for you by calling 317.680.2350 for your free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case, so call us today.
Attorney Mike Stephenson
Attorney Mike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, just to name a few. Mike is a proven advocate and trial attorney. He has served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and has handled litigation in 18 states. [ Attorney Bio ]