Ordering from Amazon is now so commonplace that Amazon’s delivery network crosses the entire United States and the globe. With more Amazon delivery trucks on the roads, accidents are an increasingly frequent occurrence.
After an accident with an Amazon delivery truck, multiple parties might share liability and may be sued for damages. Of course, you can sue the driver that hit you, as they are often the direct cause of the crash. You might also sue the delivery company that employs the driver. Amazon, however, is typically shielded from liability because they technically do not employ many of the Amazon drivers on the road. You can claim compensatory damages for things like expensive bills from the accident and pain and suffering. In severe cases, punitive damages might also be a possibility. Your attorney can help you identify your damages, find evidence to support your claims, and develop effective arguments to get you compensation.
To schedule an assessment of your accident and claims with our Amazon delivery truck attorneys, call Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769.
Liability for Amazon Delivery Truck Accidents in Elizabeth, NJ
While we often think of vehicle accidents as only involving drivers and vehicles, numerous other parties might be implicated. While the delivery driver can be held responsible for their negligence, others might also share liability.
The driver is often considered directly responsible for the accident. As such, many lawsuits surrounding Amazon delivery truck accidents are filed against negligent delivery drivers. The driver might have committed a traffic violation (e.g., speeding, running lights, failing to signal) or was driving while distracted by their phone, tablet, or other device inside the vehicle.
The Driver’s Employer
The driver is not the only party responsible for causing the accident. Often, the driver’s employer may be held vicariously liable for injuries and accidents caused by their negligence on the job. This issue can be very tricky when dealing with Amazon delivery truck crashes.
Many Amazon delivery drivers are not technically Amazon employees. Instead, they are independent contractors working under Amazon’s Flex program. The Flex program allows people to use their own vehicles to make Amazon deliveries. The system operates similarly to many ridesharing apps, where people drive when and where they want, often working mostly for tips. Since these drivers are not legally considered employees, there might not be an employer to sue.
In other cases, drivers do not work for Amazon but instead work for other delivery service partners. These partners are often other delivery service companies with a contract to deliver packages for Amazon. These drivers might be driving around in Amazon vehicles, but they actually work for another company. You might be able to sue that company and have them held vicariously liable.
Unfortunately, Amazon is usually out of bounds when it comes to suing for an accident with an Amazon delivery vehicle. Amazon is a very big company with very deep pockets and an expert legal team. They have taken numerous measures to distance themselves from liability. For example, as mentioned above, many, if not most, drivers delivering for Amazon are not Amazon employees. They are either independent contractors or work for delivery service partners. As such, Amazon cannot be held vicariously liable.
However, there might be exceptional circumstances where Amazon might be held responsible. Amazon has come under fire in recent years because, even though drivers are technically not employees, Amazon has a lot of control over how drivers do their jobs. Many in the legal field believe that Amazon should be held liable more often for accidents and driver negligence. You should always discuss the possibility of suing Amazon with your attorney, even if the possibility is somewhat remote.
Damages Available in Elizabeth, NJ Amazon Delivery Truck Accidents
Your damages represent all that you have lost, experienced, and endured as a direct result of the Amazon delivery truck accident. In severe cases, damages can be significant, and compensation should be similarly great.
Compensatory damages are designed to make up for the losses experienced by the plaintiff. Compensatory damages are generally broken down into 2 broad categories: non-economic and economic injuries.
Non-economic injuries are challenging to evaluate because they are tied to subjective experiences rather than actual amounts of money. For example, you can claim physical pain, emotional trauma or suffering, humiliation, and other painful experiences related to the crash as part of your non-economic injuries. Generally, we do not calculate how much these damages are instead. Instead, the jury has the final say on non-economic damages.
Economic damages are more straightforward as they relate to money spent or lost because of the Amazon delivery truck accident. Medical costs, lost income, and the cost to replace damaged property are likely chief among your economic damages.
Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages because they are meant to punish defendants rather than compensate plaintiffs. Punitive damages are not always available, but when they are, the bar is often set very high. As a result, punitive damages tend to be rare.
Punitive damages are not automatically considered by the court but must be requested specifically in the initial complaint. If we forget to include a request for punitive damages, they are off the table. According to N.J.S.A. § 2A:15-5.12(a), punitive damages may be awarded only if the plaintiff proves by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s behavior in causing the accident amounted to actual malice or a wanton and willful disregard of harm.
Additionally, punitive damages may not exceed statutory limits. Under N.J.S.A. § 2A:15-5.14(b), punitive damages may not exceed 5 times the value of compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
Contact Our Elizabeth, NJ Amazon Delivery Truck Accident Lawyers for Assistance
Call our Amazon delivery truck accident attorneys at (732) 838-9769 and schedule a case evaluation at no cost with the dedicated team at Legal Care New Jersey.