If you are an Amazon Prime member, you likely appreciate not only the free shipping on hundreds of thousands of products, but also enjoy the fast delivery turnaround your membership provides. In most cases, products are delivered within two days, however, more ad more products are showing up on Prime customers’ doorsteps in just one day. Over the past couple of years, Amazon has moved away from utilizing the U.S. Postal Service or companies like UPS and FedEx to deliver their products. Instead, the retail giant has moved more towards utilizing independent startup companies for deliveries. But at what cost?
Recently, there have been multiple media reports that have revealed a high-pressure, fast-paced culture that drivers who deliver for these companies work under. Most work for a flat rate of less than $200 per day, but are required to deliver hundreds of packages per shift. Media investigations found that drivers work under what is described as relentless demands, with orders from dispatchers to skip bathroom breaks, meals, or any other rest times, not allowing the drivers to finish their shift until each package has been delivered. Because of Amazon’s strict standards for delivery, contractors are only allowed low margin for error. If any delivery is late or missed, contractors are no longer hired by Amazon.
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One media investigation found at least 60 accidents caused by Amazon independent deliver drivers that caused serious injuries during the past three years. Ten of those crashes were fatal. It is estimated that the number of accidents is actually much higher because the company is not always cited in any legal documents or accident reports.
Despite Amazon’s pressure for these companies to deliver within “Prime” delivery window, Amazon assumes no responsibility for any of these crashes. Each delivery company is required to sign an agreement with Amazon that specifically states that the “delivery service partner” is liable and responsible for all legal costs for “all loss or damage to personal property or bodily harm including death.”
Amazon does offer Amazon Flex auto insurance for private delivery drivers who are using their own vehicles. This policy covers up to $1 million in liability coverage for personal injury and wrongful death, however, there is no requirement that drivers carry this insurance by Amazon. Many of these drivers may not be aware that their own insurance company may refuse to cover any damages in a crash that occurs while the driver was “for hire.”
The murky legal issues of crashes by independent Amazon deliver drivers are the same ones that come up in crashes that involve ridesharing companies, like Uber and Lyft.
Contact a Carolinas Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident with an Amazon delivery driver or other “driver for hire”, consider contacting a professional North Carolina accident attorney. These accident claims can become complex, especially if you are dealing with more than one insurance company. Remember, the goal of insurance companies is to make a profit so any funds they have to pay out in damages cuts into their bottom line.
Our personal injury attorneys are available to meet and discuss the details of your case and offer advice on what legal options you may have. Our firm has successfully represented many clients who have been injured and will use all available resources to obtain the very best outcome for your situation.