There is no disputing the success of Amazon as one of the world’s premiere e-commerce giants. Much of their success if owed to their delivery speeds, especially for customers with Amazon Prime memberships. It’s hard to argue the convenience of receiving items in just one or two days, maybe even the same day. However, these deadlines put a huge amount of pressure on delivery drivers, who are often forced to work 12 or more hours a day. One consequence of this work schedule is truck accidents, which can cause serious injuries to other drivers and pedestrians.
Have you been injured in a car accident involving an Amazon delivery truck? If so, you must have many concerns running through your mind, including your right to sue Amazon for monetary compensation. But most people are unfamiliar with the lawsuit process and have no idea how much they should ask for after a truck accident.
There is no universal answer we can give when it comes to the value of an Amazon truck accident. Each accident has its own set of circumstances, and the extent of your injuries will differ greatly from someone else’s. These, and many other factors go into determining a settlement value, so it’s essential to discuss your case with a lawyer right away. For more information on your rights and legal options, contact DTLA Law Group and schedule a time to speak with one of our attorneys.
What is the Average Value of an Amazon Truck Accident Case?
Due to the size and weight of a delivery truck, these accidents produce far more damage than the average car accident. That’s why truck accident lawsuits often result in 6 figure settlements, compared to car accident awards, which are mostly in the 5 figure range. Based on our experience, the average truck accident can bring in anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 in compensation. However, awards of $1 million or more are definitely possible in cases of serious injuries, which include emotional damage like PTSD and depression.
Clients over the years have asked us if going to trial would increase their chance for a higher award. It could, especially if you are eligible for punitive damages, which is a special form of compensation awarded by the jury. We will talk more about this in a later section, but punitive damages can certainly add to the total value of your case. But most cases are settled out of court, which is a strategy we agree with. Frankly, it can take years to get a trial date, and the process can be very expensive and time-consuming for both sides. In the long run, it makes sense to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company if at all possible. Ultimately, what matters is recovering a fair amount of money to cover your losses.
To learn more about the factors that can determine the value of your case, please give us a call and schedule a free consultation.
Are Delivery Drivers Covered by Amazon’s Insurance?
Yes, Amazon does offer their drivers a type of insurance coverage known as Amazon Flex. The plan provides up to $1 million in coverage for bodily injuries and property damage in the event of an accident. However, delivery drivers are only covered for accidents that occur while they’re “on the clock.” So, for example, you would be covered for damages if an Amazon driver crashed into your car on the way to a delivery. But if the accident occurred while they were returning to the warehouse at the end of their shift, you would not be covered under Amazon Flex.
Can I Sue Amazon for my Accident?
In a car accident, you would normally sue the other driver, but things are more complicated when it comes to Amazon truck accidents. As we mentioned, Amazon hires delivery drivers as independent contractors, who typically work for subcontractors that partner with Amazon. Thus, it can be hard to determine who is responsible for the truck accident. Generally, Amazon will do everything they can to deny liability and place the blame on the driver or the subcontractor they work for.
But injury victims and law firms have been fighting back against these claims, citing that Amazon’s unreasonable expectations are the reason why there are so many accidents. We can definitely agree that Amazon delivery drivers are pushed to the breaking point. Most of them work late into the night, especially during the holiday season. Under such pressure, it’s only a matter of time before a driver falls asleep at the wheel or engages in reckless behavior that results in an accident.
These arguments have gained traction in recent years based on the number of lawsuits against Amazon for accidents caused by their drivers. However, the question of whether or not you can sue Amazon can only be answered by a knowledgeable attorney.
The lawyers of DTLA have extensive experience with truck accident cases and look forward to advising you of your legal rights.
How do I Calculate the Value of my Case?
We know that there are online calculators to help plaintiffs calculate the value of their case, but this is unlikely to be a true reflection of your losses. First, these calculators only account for economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. But accident victims also have non-economic damages, including emotional distress and pain and suffering. Essentially, we are referring to the ordeal of having been in an accident and its impact on your mental health. Taking all this into account, here are the damages you may be able to request:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
Within each of these damages are subcategories like loss of enjoyment of life and lifetime care costs. Then, there are punitive damages, which are awarded in cases of gross negligence. What counts as punitive damages is hard to define, but they generally refer to a long history of negligence or particularly outrageous acts of negligence by the defendant. Most cases don’t qualify for this form of compensation, but we’ve seen a good number of Amazon lawsuits in recent years that included punitive damages. These plaintiffs claim that Amazon’s unrealistic work schedules and their habit of retaining careless drivers fall under the category of gross negligence. Hence, it can be argued that Amazon bears some of the responsibility if someone is injured an in Amazon truck accident.
We can’t say for sure if punitive damages apply to your case without speaking with you one on one. Even if your case meets the legal standard, you will need to make a strong argument for why you deserve additional compensation. To learn more about the damages you can receive from an Amazon truck accident lawsuit, please give us a call and schedule a free case evaluation.
How much do These Cases Settle for?
We’ve talked about possible ranges for what your case may be worth, but it’s impossible to say what these cases will settle for on average. The important thing is to work with an experienced attorney, who can calculate a fair amount based on the totality of your damages. If you’re wondering what this means, consider the following example:
Jennifer was hit by an Amazon driver that ran a red light in his rush to get to a delivery destination. The accident resulted in Jennifer breaking both of her arms. Along with surgery and intensive physical therapy, she also missed several months of work. Additionally, her car was totaled form the impact of the crash.
Medical treatment: $25,000
Lost wages: $13,500
Value of her vehicle: $40,000
Pain and suffering: $235,500
Approximate value of her case: $314,000
As far as truck accident cases go, this is a fairly straightforward example. Many accidents are far more complicated in terms of the impact on the victim’s life. To show you what we’re talking about, let’s examine another Amazon truck accident case:
Juan was on his motorcycle when he had a rear end collision with an Amazon delivery driver. Juan’s injuries included a skull fracture and multiple broken bones. Eventually, he was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, which took away his ability to work and provide for his family. During their investigation, his law firm uncovered the driver’s history of alcoholism, resulting in several complaints of reckless driving, which Amazon knew about.
Medical expenses: $260,000
Future medical costs: $650,000
Loss of income: $30,000 for 40 years = $1,200,000
Lifetime care costs: $20,000 for 40 years = $800,000
Current and future pain and suffering: $1,500,000
Total approximate case value: $4, 410,000
These values, by the way, do not account for punitive damages. In Juan’s case, Amazon was aware that the driver had problems due to multiple customer complaints regarding his dangerous driving. Yet, the driver was allowed to continue working for Amazon, which led to Juan’s accident. It’s possible that a jury will see this as gross negligence, and in that case, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages on top of his standard settlement.
Again, these are examples we provide for informational purposes only. To get an idea of your own case value, contact our office and speak to a Los Angeles truck accident attorney.
Recent Truck Accident Lawsuits against Amazon
We previously stated that a growing number of lawsuits are going after Amazon for their questionable business practices concerning their delivery drivers. In particular, there are two lawsuits we’re keeping an eye on. One of them, filed in September 2021, involves an Amazon driver that fell asleep at the wheel. The motorist that he hit suffered serious injuries to his head, as well as his arms and legs. His attorney blames Amazon for the accident, saying “They’re delivering packages at such insane rates, it’s obviously foreseeable that people are going to get seriously injured or killed.” The Massachusetts plaintiff, who is struggling with the long-term effects of his injuries, is asking for $51 million in compensation.
The other lawsuit was filed in February of this year, and involves a North Carolina man who is asking for $100 million. The plaintiff, who was on a motorcycle at the time of the accident, had to have his leg amputated after colliding with an Amazon truck. According to his attorney, “The unrealistic expectations that are put on the drivers are fueling these negligence cases. The driver was so entranced in making his delivery that he did not see our client.”
Please note that such high case values do not apply to most Amazon truck accidents. Furthermore, cases rarely go to trial, so it’s likely that Amazon will negotiate a settlement with the plaintiffs. In that case, the amount will probably be less than what the plaintiff asked for, but that can still be a good thing if the client is fairly compensated for their losses. However, we brought up these cases in order to show you how victims are fighting back against Amazon’s greed and negligence. Regardless of what your case is worth, we encourage you to give us a call and learn about the legal actions that are available to you.
The Amazon Truck Accident Lawyers of DTLA
There’s no doubt that Amazon’s fast delivery times are convenient, and many people are willing to pay for the privilege. But these timelines come at a heavy cost when drivers are overworked and under constant pressure to meet tight deadlines. The result is an increase in truck accidents that cause devastating injuries to innocent victims. While Amazon offers insurance coverage for their drivers, getting compensated under this plan is incredibly difficult. If your claim in not outright denied, you are likely to be offered a settlement that’s inadequate for your needs.
The lawyer of DTLA Law Group will uphold your rights and fight aggressively to recover the funds you are entitled to. We will go after Amazon for every type of damage you deserve, including our legal fees. That’s right – our fees are factored into your settlement award, so you won’t pay us a single penny upfront for our services. The only way we get paid is if you get paid, so if we don’t win your case, we eat the costs as a promise under our Zero fee guarantee.
If you’re ready to speak with an Amazon truck accident lawyer, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.