There’s something very appealing about being able to order groceries from your kitchen or finishing your holiday gift shopping from the couch. Online shopping is convenient and easy, but it also creates hazards. While some people order online and pickup in-store, many online shoppers want their purchases delivered to their door.
Due to our increased online shopping, there are a lot more delivery trucks and vans on our roads. When companies promise lightning-quick deliveries before Christmas, delivery drivers have to scramble to make it happen—increasing their chances of causing a truck crash.
In this article, learn more about how online shopping impacts truck crashes, how these collisions are different from car wrecks, and what to do after a crash to get the compensation you deserve.
The Human Cost of Convenience: Online Shopping and Delivery Truck Wrecks
Online shopping is on the rise. In 2018, we spent $126 billion online during the holiday season. To keep up with demand, some drivers report having to deliver more than 250 packages per day and struggling to meet retailers’ unrealistic expectations. Many of these packages are coming from Amazon.
According to a recent New York Times and Pro Publica story, Amazon delivery contractors have caused at least 60 accidents and ten deaths since June 2015. However, because Amazon does not employ most of its drivers, many believe that Amazon-related crashes are wildly under-reported.
This problem also isn’t going away. To keep up with consumer expectations, more and more retailers are promising one and two-day delivery. And while the U.S. Postal Service and UPS typically hire and extensively train their employees, retailers like Amazon are turning to a network of subcontractors—hoping to cut costs and avoid liability.
Even when Amazon delivery drivers are independent contractors, they still must follow the company’s exact routes and deliver 99% of their packages on time to keep their jobs. If they fall behind, both Amazon and their employer are notified—and they may get angry calls telling them to improve their productivity. So the drivers push on, skipping meals, bathroom breaks, and driving recklessly.
According to some sources, Amazon already works with at least 250 delivery companies and countless gig workers.
How Are Delivery Vehicle Crashes Different Than Car Crashes?
While any car crash can result in complex legal claims, cases involving delivery trucks are notoriously challenging. At Crosley Law, we’ve built a reputation for our sophisticated approach to commercial vehicle claims. Here are three essential things you need to know after a delivery truck wreck.
Many Companies Employ Independent Contractors as Drivers
Amazon isn’t the only delivery service that hires independent contractors. Many FedEx drivers work for subcontractors—and the gig economy has only increased the number of contract drivers on the road.
Problematically, retailers and companies are not always liable for an independent contractor’s negligence. While the retailer may exert significant control over the drivers, it relies on contracts that try to shift all financial responsibility for a crash to the driver or contracting logistics company.
“Without a careful investigation, you may not realize that the rental box truck that crashed into you was working for an online retailer.”
Many logistics subcontractors carry liability insurance, but their financial resources are much smaller than the big-box and online retailers that hire them. If you suspect that a delivery contractor caused your injuries, it’s important that you contact an injury lawyer right away.
Multiple Parties May Be Responsible for a Delivery Vehicle Crash
Crashes involving commercial or contract drivers often have multiple negligent parties, including:
- At-fault driver: Negligent behaviors like speeding or inattention are often involved in delivery driver crashes.
- The driver’s employer: If the driver was employed by a subcontractor or logistics company, it may be responsible for their negligence, as well as their own negligent hiring or training.
- Loading company: You may have claims against the company that loaded an unbalanced or overpacked truck.
- Online retailer: Some victims are suing online retailers like Amazon, claiming their unrealistic performance demands caused their crashes.
- Mechanics and manufacturers: Anyone responsible for repairing, building, or designing the vehicle could be liable if the wreck was the result of a defect or faulty repair job.
When you have claims against multiple at-fault parties, it’s best to consult with an experienced lawyer at Crosley Law. Our skilled team can help you identify exactly who caused your injuries and help you navigate the complexities of multi-party litigation.
Retailers Typically Won’t Tell You About Their Independent Contractors
It can be challenging to identify the retailer or other companies involved in your crash. Some delivery vehicles have the name of the logistics company printed on the side, but others are unlabeled white vans or personal vehicles. Without a careful investigation, you may not realize that the rental box truck that crashed into you was working for an online retailer.
Accident Checklist: What to Do After a Crash
- Call the police to report the crash and file a police report.
- Collect the driver’s personal, insurance, and company information.
- Collect photographs, evidence, and witness contact information.
- See a doctor if you have any aches and pains.
- Contact Crosley Law for help getting the compensation you deserve.
Download Resource Now 5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Wreck
Crosley Law: San Antonio’s Delivery Truck Attorneys
At Crosley Law, our attorneys have experience dealing with commercial vehicle wrecks. We apply cutting-edge techniques to identify precisely who is to blame for your injuries and hold them accountable. If a delivery driver injured you or a loved one over the holidays, contact our attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Callahan, P. (5 September, 2019). Amazon pushes fast shipping but avoids responsibility for the human cost. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/05/us/amazon-delivery-drivers-accidents.html
Fares, M. (2019, January 15). U.S. holiday shoppers spend record $126 billion online: Adobe. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-holidayshopping/u-s-holiday-shoppers-spend-record-126-billion-online-adobe-idUSKCN1P91NB
O’Donovan, C., Besinger, K. (2019, August 31). Amazon’s next-day delivery has brought chaos and carnage to America’s streets—But the world’s biggest retailer has a system to escape the blame. Buzzfeed News. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/carolineodonovan/amazon-next-day-delivery-deaths
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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