The growth of Amazon’s delivery network has allowed for extremely fast and affordable delivery options for New York City residents. However, fast delivery can also equate to speeding, dangerous turns, and other poor driving practices, and these issues are often exasperated by strict delivery routes and schedules. As a result of the high demand for fast deliveries, pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers are all put at risk when a delivery driver forgoes safe driving practices to deliver an order on time.
An accident involving a delivery driver is often significantly more complicated than a standard auto accident claim, and to successfully pursue compensation you will need the legal aid of a knowledgeable New York Amazon delivery accident attorney. Contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.
Anyone on the streets of New York can be struck by an Amazon delivery van, whether they are in a residential area or crossing a major street. These company often uses vans like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which are longer and larger than standard passenger vehicles. As a result, they take longer to stop – especially when loaded with hundreds of packages – have larger blind spots, are prone to rollovers, have to be regularly checked for tire pressure, and need more space to maneuver.
Drivers who are inexperienced with driving delivery vans or are reckless can contribute to accidents like:
- Side-swipes while merging lanes
- Rear-end collisions if they do not break in time
- Head-on collisions or rollovers if a tire blowouts due to a lack of maintenance
- Intersection accidents and T-bones caused by running a red light or stop sign
- Striking pedestrians in cross-walks if they are speeding
These accidents are common in larger vehicles like vans, but they can be mitigated with proper training and safer driving practices. But Amazon delivery drivers are expected to fulfill high expectations when on the road, which can cause them to become more reckless with their vehicles.
While Amazon constantly has semi-trucks on the road and distribution centers working round the clock to fulfill orders and demands, the pressure is largely on local delivery drivers to ensure packages arrive on time. Meeting customer demands and expectations is one of Amazon’s chief tenants, and that bar has been set incredibly high by their Prime subscription service. This program has allowed consumers to receive most products from Amazon in two-days, in addition to grocery deliveries through Whole Foods.
As a result of these strict deadlines for packages, drivers are expected to go above and beyond traditional delivery expectations to maintain employment, despite not being provided proper training, as reported by Buzzfeed News. Understanding the rules of the road in New York City is paramount to avoiding a catastrophic auto collision, but if a driver is undertrained and inexperienced, those accidents are inevitable.
In addition to driver inexperience, Amazon drivers can also cause accidents by:
- Becoming distracted by their GPS
- Fatigue brought on by long hours and limited breaks
- Speeding to reach a destination by the projected drop-off time
- Ignoring traffic signs and red lights
- Dangerous left-hand turns at intersections
Anyone of these actions can lead to catastrophic injuries to innocent by standard, cyclists, and other drivers, as well as costly medical bills. However, while these actions constitute negligence, placing liability on Amazon is not as easy as clear cut.
Amazon’s delivery is extensive, but not it is not 100% under the company’s control. Instead of managing deliveries directly, Amazon has employed local, third-party delivery companies around major cities and metropolitan areas to handle what is known as the “final mile” to customers. These companies are expected to train and hire their own drivers, provide vehicles, obey all government regulations, have commercial auto insurance policies, and oversee their drivers’ schedules.
In order to work with Amazon, these companies are expected to sign a strict liability contract that requires they take all liability in the event of an accident. As such, Amazon has essentially cut themselves off from liability by creating a legal barrier between them and the drivers. There have been attempts to hold Amazon accountable in court for injuries and deaths, but their attorneys often argue that the third-party contractor holds all the responsibility for compensating accident victims.
In contrast to package deliveries, grocery deliveries are handled more directly by Amazon through their subsidiary Whole Foods. This company has a commercial auto insurance policy with coverage of up to $1,000,000 in the event of an accident with one of their vehicles, which covers both property damage and bodily injury. If your injuries were caused by a negligent Amazon grocery delivery driver, you could pursue compensation under that policy.
Pursuing compensation after an Amazon package delivery accident is more difficult, but not impossible. If the driver acted negligently and caused you injuries, you might be able to file a claim against their delivery company, but not Amazon.
Filing an auto accident claim against any commercial entity is difficult, especially one as large and expansive as Amazon. To ensure you have a fair shot at compensation, you need to employ the skill and knowledge of an experienced New York delivery driver accident attorney. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we have a successful track record of winning cases for clients struck by commercial vehicles, including vans, and can aggressively pursue a claim against one of Amazon’s third-party companies or Whole Foods if they caused your injuries in an accident. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 to learn what options are available in your case.