Who Is Liable if I am Hit by an Amazon Truck?
Purchasing goods and having them delivered is at an all-time high, the largest online retail distributor being Amazon. The mega-retailer contracts with more than 50,000 delivery companies, whose semi-trucks and vans traverse the United States every day, delivering millions of packages. According to a Michigan State University study published in the Wall Street Journal, the sheer number of Amazon delivery vehicles on the roads greatly increases the risk of accidents.
Truck accidents generally result in more serious injuries and property damage, especially when striking a passenger vehicle. However, with Amazon contracting delivery services, who is liable for the accident? Parties potentially liable for accidents with Amazon trucks include:
- Delivery driver: If the driver is operating recklessly, their negligence increases the risk of causing an accident.
- Driver’s employer: Typically, if an accident occurs during the driver’s working hours, the driver’s employer may also be liable for damages caused by the accident. Unfortunately, since Amazon does not directly employ their delivery drivers, assigning liability to the company is much more difficult.
- Truck owner: Just as Amazon contracts out drivers, the trucks are often owned and contracted by another party. The truck’s owner could ultimately hold a portion of liability in the accident, especially if a maintenance issue ultimately led to the accident.
- Amazon: While the truck and driver may be contracted, if Amazon has a commercial insurance policy on either one, the company may be liable for damages.
Another important determination in assigning liability is the scope of employment, meaning whether the driver was on duty at the time the accident occurred. If that can be proven, Amazon may share some liability for the injuries and damages. Bottom of Form
What Should I Do if I am Hit by an Amazon Truck?
Your actions following any accident can benefit you when filing a claim and are especially important if you were struck by a commercial vehicle. You should do the following:
- Report the accident: Call the police and report the accident, requesting emergency medical assistance in the case of injuries. Many states require contacting the police no matter the severity of the accident, and failing to do so can result in charges.
- Exchange information: When involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is important to gather all the information you can on the truck and driver. Obtain the driver’s name and contact information, the truck’s license plate number and company identification number, and the insurance carrier’s information.
- Document the scene: Take photos of the scene, including the damage to both vehicles, signage, lighting, road conditions, weather, obstructions, and anything else that may have contributed to the accident. Photograph or take note of any traffic cameras or nearby security cameras that may have captured the accident in order to request footage later.
- Gather statements: Ask witnesses for their name and contact information and a statement regarding what they witnessed. Ask them to share any photos or videos they may have taken.
- Seek medical attention: You should always seek evaluation from a medical professional following an accident, even if you think your injuries are minor. There are many injuries that do not present symptoms for hours or days which can be life-threatening if left untreated, such as internal bleeding. Also, a medical report is a crucial element of your claim, and without one, your claim is likely to be denied.
- Speak with an attorney: Truck accident cases are difficult. Hiring a seasoned attorney offers the best chance for your case to succeed.
Washington DC Commercial Truck Accident Attorney at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represents Clients Injured in Accidents With Amazon Vehicles
If you have been injured in an accident with an Amazon delivery vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a Washington DC commercial truck accident attorney at the Law Offices of Duane O. King today. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.