Amazon has developed a huge logistics operation in the United States in recent years with its relentless push for dominance in the ecommerce industry. The company has achieved a distinct competitive advantage by getting goods delivered to customer’s home in less time. It has moved to reduce its reliance on United Parcel Service and other legacy carriers. Instead, the online retailer has created a network of delivery contractors that allows it to shrink and expand the delivery force as required without taking on the cost of permanent employees.
Fatigue is the major reason for trucking accidents in Virginia every year. There are terrible consequences to falling asleep while driving a 70,000-pound tractor-trailer. Unfortunately, Amazon’s promises of one-day and two-day deliveries are putting pressure on drivers to take on such risks.
Fatigued Amazon Delivery Contractors Cause Accidents
BuzzFeed News and ProPublica recently released an investigation report into Amazon linked crashes that was published by The New York Times. The report stated that there were at least 13 deaths and thousands of injuries since 2015 in the United States that could be directly related to the Amazon deliveries.
In Virginia, a person died when their car went under an Amazon Prime tractor on the morning of July 10, 2019 as reported by WUSA9. The accident took place on I-95 South near Lorton Road in which the Toyota driver died at the scene.
In recent news, James Fox of Virginia Beach was injured along with Samantha Bonanno, Amanda Clark and Anthony Squillo after meeting an Amazon Truck Accident on I-90. The accident took place when the Amazon driver was unable to slow down. The accident resulted in killing the driver, Brian Harper.
The investigation concluded by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica is known as The Fast Mile and has uncovered several uncomfortable truths about the practices followed by Amazon in terms of its ambitious shipping promises. Amazon officials routinely overlook signs of the pressure placed on its delivery network. The online retailer also does not care about the level of training provided to the drivers as compared to other established companies, such as UPS and FedEx.
Accidents and Injuries in Virginia Resulting from the Negligence of Amazon Delivery Drivers
Virginia has undoubtedly seen several crashes caused by Amazon delivery truck drivers because they were racing against time. Amazon is only a part of the overall problem fueled by the gig economy. Speedy service is requested by other apps, such as Lyft, Uber, and Postmates.
Speed of pickup and delivery plays a major role in the driver’s pay and performance ratings. These drivers are not formally trained and the potential for distracted driving, speed and congestion is higher than ever before. Experts suggest that the number of injuries and deaths caused by delivery drivers hired by Amazon are only set to increase as the company places pressure on delivery targets.
This can be seen by the $800 million invested by Amazon in 2019 to allow all their Prime members in the United States to get free overnight delivery.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Amazon in Virginia
You can file a personal injury lawsuit against an Amazon delivery driver if their negligence resulted in you suffering injuries. However, this will take a lot of work. The employer is typically responsible for injuries and damages caused by their delivery drivers. However, powerful companies, such as Amazon and Uber have attained immunity by exploiting a loophole in the law – the drivers are not essentially “employees” of the company.
Instead, Amazon maintains the drivers are independent contractors that are only getting paid by the giant for delivery products. Under this loophole, the company is not directly responsible if the independent contractor causes an accident since the company cannot maintain the same control over independent contractors as its employees.
Hence, filing a personal injury lawsuit against Amazon is harder as compared to suing FedEx, UPS or local Post Office driver. The attorneys for Amazon will try and dismiss the lawsuit by arguing that they are not responsible for the driver’s actions. This makes it vital that you retain the services of a capable law firm with experience in winning such lawsuits.
Virginia’s Legal Theory of Vicarious Liability
A company can be held vicariously liable for the actions of any contractor controlled by the company even if the said contractor or person is not formally categorized as an employee of the company. The company will be considered to be an “employer” of the person under the law.
Evidence of control is clearly apparent from the way the Amazon algorithm controls the number of packages delivered by third party drivers. Amazon even detects how fast the packages get delivered. In certain cases, the company makes use of cameras for detecting driver actions. Every delivery service partner runs the risk of losing Amazon as their customer if the truck drivers fail to meet expectations.
Speak to an Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Today
It can be difficult to negotiate your personal injury claim with giants like Amazon when you are alone and trying to recover from your injuries and losses. The company has endless resources and it will do everything possible to pay the injured victims as little as possible. The seasoned personal injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are here to help you protect your rights and obtain a fair recovery. To set up your free consultation with us, call (833) 997-1774 or reach us online.