Amazon is well-known for its same-day delivery and two-day shipping that it offers Amazon Prime Members. New Jersey residents have probably seen dozens of Amazon vans while driving.
Traffic accidents involving Amazon trucks or vans have increased with the number of Amazon vehicles on the road. When these car accidents get reported, the liability often gets shuffled around.
Is Amazon liable?
Traditionally, Amazon has argued that they’re not liable for the accidents that the Amazon trucks get into. This is due to the drivers being employed by third-party operators, such as Harper Logistics LLC.
Usually, liability would fall on the driver and the driver’s employer. Despite not being employed by Amazon, Amazon truck drivers must still meet the deadlines and quotas that are put forth by Amazon.
This can become a gray area since Amazon is still the one setting quotas, setting operations and standards for these drivers even while they’re working for a third-party company. Right now, lawyers are trying to prove that logically, Amazon has more responsibility for the drivers than they claim.
What does Amazon contribute to their drivers?
In addition to setting the quotas and operation guidelines for drivers and deliveries, Amazon has invested over a billion dollars in technology and training programs to improve the safety of their delivery program. Launched in 2018, the delivery operation has been fast-growing.
Amazon also designs some of the routes as well as helps with recruiting efforts. Once they’ve secured applications for drivers, those applicants are referred to third-party contracting sites.
Why the sudden debate?
As overnight shipping and even same-day shipping have become more popularized, accidents have increased over the last few years. Most of the time, the settlements for accidents are settled between Amazon or the third-party company and the insurance company.
However, as liability becomes more and more unclear and the accidents become more severe, there are more questions as to who should take the blame. Anyone that’s involved in a motor vehicle accident with an Amazon van or other commercial vehicle should look into who would be held liable.