Third-party services have grown exponentially over the past decade, including services performed by delivery drivers. The most common form of third-party delivery drivers, by far, is Amazon delivery contractors.
Every day, whether you are walking or driving in your neighborhood, on a city street, or interstate, it is nearly impossible to leave home without encountering an Amazon delivery person. Drivers can appear in branded Amazon vehicles, non-descript sprinter vans, or in their personal cars, trucks, or SUVs.
Third-party service providers are paid for their services, but do not have a stake, share, or equity in the company. So, when one of the contractors is involved in, and responsible for, a collision, who is liable for the damages?
We have answers.
The Difference Between Amazon Employees and Other Delivery Drivers
Accidents involving delivery drivers happen every day across the U.S. The difference between who can be held liable for the crash depends solely on the facts of the crash, including who was at fault, and if that person was working for another entity at the time of the collision.
For example, if a delivery driver is behind the wheel of an Amazon-branded vehicle, is on the clock, fulfilling the duties of his or her employment with the e-commerce giant, and causes a crash with injuries, Amazon’s insurance policy will typically be liable for the damages — since it owns the vehicle and employs the driver.
In another scenario, Amazon partners with over 3,000 Delivery Service Partners (DSP) around the globe, employing 275,000 drivers who deliver over ten million packages per day. These drivers are often traveling in non-descript commercial vehicles, including delivery trucks and vans. If one of these drivers is on the clock, fulfilling the duties of his or her employment with the DSP, and causes a crash with injuries, the DSP’s insurance policy will typically be liable for the damages — since it owns the vehicle, and employs the driver.
Another type of crash involving an Amazon driver may be one where the driver is employed as a gig worker in Amazon’s Flex Program (AFP). These drivers are often seen wearing Amazon-branded vests but are traveling in their personal vehicles. This means whether he or she is on the clock during the time of the crash is irrelevant. Their personal insurance coverage would apply after causing a crash, as if they were any other driver — since they are self-employed contractors.
Accidents involving independent contractors, and the scope of the company’s involvement and liability for the crash are likely to be challenged sooner than later. The courts may soon be asked to consider contractors as employees based on the influence Amazon (or another corporation) exercises over drivers. We are keeping a close eye on cases like these across the country, ensuring our attorneys are prepared to pursue all angles of legal liability when any corporation is potentially involved in a crash with one of our clients.
Anyone injured in a vehicle collision has the right to pursue a legal compensation claim. We can help you determine your best legal options for pursuing the maximum recovery available for your unique case.
Contact Our Skilled Delivery Driver Accident Attorneys
Call our skilled Austin delivery driver accident attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.