Businesses are fueled by adaption and efficiency. They are always coming up with new, better ways to serve their customers in the most convenient, timely manner possible. It’s basic — the better their performance, the more likely they are to succeed. One of the most popular ways businesses achieve this is by implementing their own delivery services, and no one does it better than Amazon. Those white and gray vans have been everywhere for months, dropping off packages across the country.
However, businesses are run by people. People make mistakes, no matter how hard they try otherwise. So what happens if you get hit by an Amazon van?
Amazon drivers aren’t always safe
In 2019, Busines Insider reported that 10 people were killed as a result of “Amazon-related delivery accidents since 2015” – and that was before the pandemic increased the number of online deliveries worldwide. In October 2019, a joint investigation by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica “found Amazon delivery drivers have been involved in more than 60 crashes causing injuries or death” in the same time frame. And those were just vehicle accidents. Amazon drivers have been known to kill pedestrians, too.
In 2017, an Amazon driver was the cause of a hit-and-run that ended with an innocent man left for dead in the road while walking his dog, right here in Illinois. He survived, thankfully, but not without severe injuries and no justice. At the time of writing this blog, the driver is still free without consequences.
In 2016, a woman was actually struck and killed by an Amazon delivery driver. In that case, the driver was charged with vehicular homicide. This rightful justice doesn’t change how concerning such incidents are, especially because both happened right around the same area, coming from the same Amazon delivery hub. CBS 2 went to investigate on location and found that drivers in trucks, vans, and personal vehicles frequently disregard traffic signs and speed limits, witnessed skipped stop signs and had so much merchandise in those cars their mirrors were obstructed.
How to get justice if you were hurt by an Amazon delivery truck
Amazon doesn’t make it easy to seek justice against them. In the stories above, Amazon denied all fault, stating their drivers are technically contractors and not employees. Their official statement doesn’t even confirm that the drivers responsible lost their contracts to continue making deliveries.
If you were to go to Amazon’s website to see how to report an incident like this, you’d have to spend several minutes clicking around before you’re taken to a page with a list of all the carriers they use for deliveries, and a semi-polite sentence at the top saying to contact those individual contractors instead. They do include that some of their deliveries are made by actual Amazon employees, and the information provided for that is simply a suggestion to call 911 and an Amazon hotline that promises “24/7 immediate assistance,” without any explanation or detail as to what that assistance will be.
But this doesn’t mean you simply have to accept your accident as a loss. If the driver left the scene, your crash will be treated as a hit-and-run, which means your UM/UIM insurance can help cover your losses. If the driver remained, you can still sue the driver’s insurance company for compensation. All of this does not preclude the possibility of suing Amazon as well; it may just be a more complicated case.
Whether you are the victim or a witness to an accident involving an Amazon driver, the most important thing you can do is pay attention. Try to remember as much of the situation as possible — who the driver is, what vehicle they are in, the damage caused, and the location of the accident. Take pictures or videos, talk to witnesses (if applicable), and call an ambulance if you or someone else needs help. Make sure to call the police so you can get a police report for your file, too. For the best legal results, you’ll want to act quickly and find a Chicago car accident attorney to advocate for you, as the statute of limitations means you’re on a timer as soon as the incident occurs.
Our experienced team at Gainsberg Law is here and ready to help you and your loved ones receive the justice and compensation you deserve. We have an aggressive, client-focused approach that can handle anything your case requires, no matter how difficult or unique your situation may be. If you are injured by an Amazon delivery driver in Illinois, call us at 312-600-9585 or contact us before it’s too late to file a claim.