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Auto Accidents / Apr 24,2024

Rear-Ended by an Amazon Truck? Know Your Rights After a Crash

Accidents Involving Amazon, FedEx, UPS, or Other Delivery Vehicles

If you have been involved in an accident with a delivery truck such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS or something else, then you have probably found yourself frustrated and confused about your rights - they do this on purpose. 

Ambiguous liability makes it confusing as to whether you can or should sue and reduces the number of lawsuits that the company encounters, not to mention that in many instances, they are not liable at all. This is why it is crucial to have an attorney experienced in determining liability and negotiating with insurance companies on your side.

Who Can Be Liable?

Usually, liability either falls to one driver or the other, but that is not the case with these companies. Depending on the circumstances and assuming that you are not at fault, the liability can belong to either the driver, the company or some other individual involved which caused the accident, like a maintenance company or loading company. 

Often, liabilities lie with more than just one of these and can fall to two or more responsible parties.These companies are able to avoid liability through hiring drivers as independent contractors or through secondary companies, though that is not always the case. 

Delivery Drivers

It is a rare occurrence that an Amazon delivery driver actually works for Amazon. Delivery drivers can be hired as independent contractors or can be hired by another company who is under contract with the delivery company. 

For this reason, these companies are able to claim that the driver was not working for the company during the accident and are able to avoid liability in accident cases. If the driver was not on-duty at the time of the accident, you will be stuck dealing with his or her insurance company, as the liability will lie fully with the driver.

Delivery Company

As the driver’s employer, if the driver is actively working and causes an accident, the delivery company would hold some portion of liability for the accident. If the driver works directly for a smaller company who is under contract with the larger delivery company, the company for whom the driver works directly could hold some part of the blame, but the larger company would largely be protected from liability. If the driver is an independent contractor, however, the delivery company is free from liability.

Other Parties

It is possible that someone other than the driver holds part of the blame for an accident. If a loading company, for example, loaded the truck incorrectly and the lack of balance caused the vehicle to be difficult to control, they could be held at least partially liable for an accident. 

If the person responsible for maintenance on the delivery vehicle was negligent in their work and the accident was caused by faulty brakes or another maintenance issue, the maintenance company could hold some portion of the liability for the accident.

Factors Affecting Liability

There are many factors that can affect liability in an accident with a delivery vehicle. Some examples are: 

  • Was the driver on the job at the time of the accident? 
  • Was the delivery company conscientious in their hiring and training practices?
  • Was the driver reckless or breaking the law?
  • Was the accident caused by vehicle malfunction?
  • Did expectations from the delivery company force the driver to be distracted or unsafe?

State Laws

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that each party can hold a part of the negligence that caused the accident and the defendant is only held responsible for his or her part of the negligence. 

In this case, some portion of the fault may fall at the hands of the delivery company and some portion could fall to the driver due to negligence on his part. Unfortunately, in some situations, some portion of the fault could also fall to the injured party, reducing the amount you are entitled to. This system makes it vital to have an experienced attorney looking out for you. 

Accident Detail

Ever hear the phrase, “the devil is in the details”? Well, in this case, liability lies in the details. With so many possible scenarios and comparative negligence, liability will be completely determined by the details of your individual case. 

It is important for you to consult with an experienced attorney so that they can examine the details and honestly tell you what is in your best interest before making any decisions following an accident with a delivery vehicle.

What to Do After an Accident

If you have been rear-ended by a delivery vehicle, the first thing you need to do is move yourself and vehicle out of the road, if possible. Check to see if anyone is injured and call for medical and police assistance. 

Next, it is important to collect contact information from everyone present at the scene, ie. driver, passengers, eye witnesses, responding police officers. Find out when and how to obtain a copy of the police report. Take photos of the damage to each vehicle as well as the scene of the accident. 

These steps are vital at this point because it will be difficult, if not impossible, to collect this information once time has passed and it might prove crucial in future insurance disputes or lawsuits in proving damages or injuries. In the days following the accident, you should be examined by your doctor. Even if you didn’t feel the need to be examined at the scene, you may feel differently once the adrenaline has worn off.

You should also report the accident to your insurance company & follow their instructions in filing a claim. This is also the time when you should contact an attorney experienced in car accidents to evaluate your accident case.

Flesch & Beck: Your Denver Car Accident Ally 

Rear-ended on I-25? T-boned at a busy intersection? Being involved in a car accident in Denver can be a confusing and stressful experience. Injuries, vehicle damage, and dealing with insurance companies can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

That's where Flesch & Beck comes in. We are a Denver-based personal injury law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of car accident victims. Give us a call today or visit us online to schedule your free consultation. 

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