An accident with a commercial truck can lead to extensive damage and serious injuries. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity of online shopping and home delivery services over the past few years, there are more trucks on the road, increasing the chances of getting into a truck accident. For instance, Amazon trucks are perhaps the most commonly seen delivery vehicles in your neighborhood. In fact, Amazon ships an order every 19 seconds.
With the increased amount of Amazon trucks flooding the roadways, it may be wise to know what you should do if you get into an accident with an Amazon truck. This can be complex, generally because Amazon contracts their deliveries to delivery companies or sometimes individual drivers. To further complicate matters, Amazon uses more than 50,000 delivery companies and even has their own division to hire them.
Amazon truck drivers are considered independent contractors. When it comes to insurance, Amazon requires their contracted drivers to carry liability insurance, which covers up to $1 million in damages suffered by third parties. Just because of their sheer size and weight, it requires special training to operate a commercial truck. There are even laws for commercial drivers regarding how much time they are allowed to be driving and specific rest periods.
However, training and laws that apply to commercial truck drivers mostly do not apply for Amazon drivers, leading to dangerous work conditions and the increased risk of an accident. Other reasons that cause Amazon truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue and exhaustion.
- Lack of training.
- Lack of truck maintenance and/or lack of repair.
- Speeding or reckless driving.
- Improper loading of cargo.
- Distracted driving.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Insufficient visibility.
- Weaving in and out of lanes or unsafe driving practices.
Many reports over the years reveal that Amazon pushes their contracted drivers passed their limits, making them dangerous on the roads. In fact, since 2015, contracted drivers from Amazon are responsible for more than 75 vehicle-related deaths.
Should you get into an accident with an Amazon driver, you want to do what you can to strengthen your injury claim, so be sure to do the following:
- Call 911: As with any truck accident, you should call 911 to have the police create a police report and for medical responders to arrive. It is important to do this, regardless of if you feel injured or the damage was minor. The police will produce a report detailing who was involved, any injuries, and what damage was done. They would also inspect the scene. Be sure to get a copy of this report.
- Gather information: Make sure to get the Amazon driver’s insurance and contact information. Do not say anything that may be used against you in the future. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their information as well. Although the police report may contain witness statements and information, it will be good to get copies as well.
- Document the scene: Gather as much evidence as you can, such as photos and videos of the injuries and the scene of the accident. You want to document the type of damage that was done and where it is located, as well as any debris on the road. If there are any cameras or security cameras, make sure to document them as well.
- Seek medical attention: After any accident, you want to seek medical attention right away, even if you do not feel injured. Many soft tissue injuries surface well after the adrenaline wears off, sometimes hours or days after the accident. Prompt medical attention also will help any legal claim you make, as it documents the severity of the injury, as well as provide evidence of your injury.
Why Should You Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer?
It will be difficult to file an injury claim whenever a major company like Amazon is involved. Even though they contract many of their drivers, you have plenty of options on how to collect compensation for your injuries. However, the best chance for you to have a successful outcome involves contacting a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. These types of incidents are complicated, and a lawyer can help you collect police and medical reports, as well as other pertinent information that will be needed for a successful claim.
Since Amazon vehicles are equipped with front and rear cameras, a lawyer can send Amazon or the contracted truck company a preservation letter requesting they save all relevant camera footage. A lawyer can also request the GPS data at the time of the accident, which may contain information such as the speed at which the truck was travelling, what direction they were heading, and so forth.
Ohio Truck Accident Laws
If you get into an accident in Ohio, it is best to familiarize yourself with some of the state’s laws:
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations is the time limit the claimant has to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Ohio, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. In the case of wrongful death, it is two years from the date of death.
- Comparative negligence: Ohio follows the legal principle of comparative negligence. This means that you will be assigned a percentage of fault in an accident case. Your percentage of fault will be deducted from the overall compensation award. However, if you are found to be 51 percent at fault or more for the accident, you cannot recover anything.
Cincinnati Truck Accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Help Clients Who Have Been Injured in Amazon Truck Accidents
With the amount of Amazon trucks on the road today, it is no surprise that accident risks are rising. If you have been injured by an Amazon truck driver, then contact one of our Cincinnati truck accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office right away. Call us at 513-964-2589 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.