It seems there are thousands of Amazon fleet vehicles driving around our Massachusetts roadways and highways. Sure, they provide a great service delivering orders to our doorsteps, however, just like all vehicles, mistakes and accidents happen. When car accidents happen, innocent victims can suffer serious and debilitating injuries that often lead to very expensive medical bills and other financial losses.
If you were involved in a car crash with an Amazon delivery vehicle, you may wonder what your legal options are and if you can be compensated for your losses. The first thing you want to know…who is responsible. Is it Amazon Prime? Amazon Flex? Amazon DSP? Our Framingham car accident lawyers have experience handling crashes involving delivery trucks and drivers, including Amazon. If you have questions or would like a free evaluation of your accident case, call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online.
Identifying the Negligent Party is Critical to Recovering Compensation
As with all personal injury claims that arise from motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts, the first legal issue that must be reviewed is liability (i.e., fault). In determining liability, it is crucial to identify the tortfeasor – the person or entity legally responsible for an injury caused to another person. When dealing with accidents involving the commercial delivery or trucking industry, identifying the wrongdoer is not as easy as you may think.
When it comes to large companies like Amazon, what you may not realize is that there are a variety of Amazon vehicles making deliveries. We’ve all seen the ubiquitous Amazon Sprinter van and the commercial semi-trucks on the roads. In addition, there are now Amazon Flex delivery vehicles and drivers.
Amazon Flex is a program that offers delivery drivers the ability to use their own personal vehicles to make deliveries for Amazon, much in the same way Grub Hub uses private drivers to deliver food. Amazon Flex drivers use their own personal vehicles, so they have no markings indicating they are Amazon delivery drivers. However, there are rules these delivery drivers must follow, such as wearing an Amazon vest identifying them as delivery personnel for Amazon.
When Amazon Flex drivers are involved in an auto accident in Massachusetts, it may be more difficult to identify all the potential negligent parties. For example, our office represents a woman who was hit in a crosswalk in Westwood, Massachusetts by an Amazon Flex driver while the delivery driver was making a delivery. The local police did arrive on scene, but in the Motor Vehicle Crash Police Report, the officer only documented the personal information of the delivery driver and his vehicle. There was no reference in the crash report to Amazon or Amazon Flex. Luckily, our client and the responding police officers took photographs of the accident scene and the parties involved. In personal injury cases in Massachusetts, photographs are often very important pieces of evidence. The photographs captured the Amazon Flex driver in his Amazon delivery uniform as well as many Amazon packages in the delivery driver’s personal vehicle. Therefore, we were able to identify the individual driver, his auto insurance carrier, and that he was in the performance of his duties as an Amazon Flex driver.
There May be Additional Bodily Injury Insurance Coverage Available
In the example above, identifying the individual negligent driver is important in order to determine the bodily injury auto insurance carrier. This is the auto insurance policy an accident victim will look to for compensation. However, the additional evidence identifying that the driver was working as an Amazon Flex delivery driver offers an opportunity for additional injury insurance coverage.
Regardless of the complex nature of the organization, Amazon accidents are covered by a commercial insurance policy. If you’re dealing with Amazon Flex in a crash, it is important to determine if they were on duty at the time of the crash. If the Amazon Flex driver was using his own personal vehicle making deliveries for Amazon, then the Amazon commercial policy likely applies, but only after certain conditions are met.
What insurance coverage is available depends on which part of the Amazon company you’re dealing with. Amazon insures Flex drivers for liability, collision, and underinsured/uninsured coverage. But insurance coverage with a company like Amazon can get complicated quickly. Our Framingham accident lawyers have experience dealing with Amazon and Amazon Flex. Anyone injured in a crash with an Amazon or Amazon Flex driver should seek the advice and expertise of an injury attorney with the skills and experience to determine the negligent party, establish liability in the crash, and verify all available insurance policies to provide coverage for the injuries and losses sustained the crash. This will secure enough coverage for anyone who suffered very serious injuries and incur substantial medical bills.
Large Companies Like Amazon do not Make it Easy
Amazon works within a large system of third-party shipping and logistics companies for deliveries and each of these vehicles will have separate insurance policies after an accident. The good thing is Amazon carries a significant insurance policy; the bad thing can be trying to determine which insurance policy applies. And if you’re involved with Amazon Flex, identifying the proper and applicable insurance policy after the accident can be overwhelming. This is where an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney can help.
Important Tips if Injured in an Accident with Delivery Drivers
If you are involved in an accident with an Amazon Flex driver, the more information you can obtain at the time of the accident the better. Not only do you want the Flex driver’s personal auto insurance policy and license information, but any other information regarding the delivery status is also very important. For example, was the Flex driver coming from a delivery or on the way to a delivery. The initial investigation into an accident is vital to successfully pursuing an accident case. Obtaining the necessary information at the beginning is essential in determining all auto and commercial insurance policies that may provide coverage for your injuries and losses.
You need qualified injury counsel to help. For a layperson trying to deal with Amazon Flex, contact information is basically non-existent. Amazon is known for trying to dodge responsibility for accidents caused by delivery partners with the “they do not employ the drivers” excuse.
If you are involved in an accident with Amazon Flex, Prime or DSP, you must report the accident to law enforcement immediately and take as many photographs as possible and contact your insurance company to report the accident. Get as much information from the Amazon driver as possible such as his delivery activity, was he on or off duty at the time of the accident. Most importantly, contact Mahaney Pappas, LLP as soon as possible after the accident. We have the experience and know how to deal with the complexities of insurance coverage, even those involving major corporations.