You can rarely go anywhere in New York City without seeing countless commercial trucks, vans and other vehicles rushing to deliver food or other goods to customers. Dozens of other vehicles are busy taking their various utility or repair services to new and old clients as well.
Sadly, while mass transit and other traffic remains limited due to the pandemic – speeding delivery and other drivers remain a major threat to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers. We must all constantly watch out for the threatening presence of these moving vehicles. In some cases, even the small percentage of bicycle delivery riders – who ignore traffic signals and other rules of the road — can even pose a threat to pedestrians.
Fortunately, our law firm remains ready to help those who are seriously injured by all these poor drivers. What follows is a look at some of the key safety issues involved that can justify suing bad drivers for negligently harming people. Although wealthy companies like Amazon are behind many of these drivers – every effort is made to shield themselves from liability. However, our experienced commercial accident lawyers can help by suing the appropriate parties in many cases.
What currently causes so many commercial vehicle drivers to cause so many accidents?
Unrealistic, speedy deliveries required by Amazon, Apple and other companies
Failure to limit each driver’s time on the road on most days
Lack of proper hiring practices – including background checks
Poor oversight or supervision – if any – of each employee’s ongoing work habits
Annual background checks on driving records are still not required
There is usually a failure to regularly require drivers to submit to alcohol and drug tests
Criminal background checks may not always be run on each new driver
Poor maintenance on delivery vehicles – or none ever required
While this list is not intended to be exhaustive, it does provide insights into why so many delivery drivers cause so many commercial vehicle accidents.
Types of companies that use delivery – or service repair — drivers on almost a daily basis
In addition to the dominant presence of Amazon, nearly every type of store that sells goods or provides services to customers now sends drivers or employees out in a wide variety of the types of vehicles referenced above. In some cases – particularly in large cities where certain neighborhood streets may be closed due to the pandemic – many food and grocery items may also be delivered using bicycle delivery drivers.
Even plumbing and utility companies, furniture stores, pet stores and painters are all eagers to send their employee drivers to your home to complete purchase or service transactions. While most of these drivers are covered by their immediate employers’ vehicle insurance policies, employers like Amazon often create added difficulty for those its drivers may injure in accidents. This is because Amazon signs contracts with its independent contractor drivers, holding them fully liable for all consequences of any accidents they may have while delivering Amazon’s goods.
However, our law firm knows how to help injured clients find the third-party leasing company or insurance company that must be named in the lawsuit we plan to file in your name. After you first come into our offices, we will need to complete an initial investigation to obtain copies of all liability insurance policies that cover the driver who hit and injured you.
What types of legal arguments are often used to hold guilty drivers liable for your injuries?
General negligence. We will argue that a duty of care was owed to you as a pedestrian or occupant of another vehicle when you were hit and injured. We will then state that the defendant driver violated that duty – directly causing harm to you.
Negligence per se. This approach involves stating that the defendant driver violated a specific New York Department of Transportation regulation. We will need to obtain a police report that supports your allegations to pursue this approach.
Negligent hiring. This legal argument can help us try to add defendants like Amazon (or any other seller) who employed the delivery driver who injured you or a loved one. This approach also lets us directly reach some employers when we can show that by a preponderance of the evidence, the employer is vicariously liable for not properly hiring, training or supervising the driver who injured or killed someone while trying to complete a delivery.
Negligent maintenance of a vehicle. This argument will normally just point to the driver who caused the accident – depending on the employer/company involved. However, if the employer is regularly charged with keeping all delivery vehicles in proper, working order, then we might rather easily add that company as a third-party defendant in the lawsuit.
Product liability claim. If the accident might have been caused by a defective part in the delivery vehicle that malfunctioned, causing the accident, then our law firm may add the name of the manufacturer of the defective part to the lawsuit filed on your behalf.
While there may be other possible claims or arguments that may apply to your case, the ones just named above tend to be the most common ones.
The widespread damage that many Amazon and other delivery drivers keep causing
Published media reports clearly indicate that Amazon’s sales not only did not dip during the pandemic lockdown – they have soared to new heights. This almost certainly means – based on other reports during recent years, that serious injuries and deaths have likely jumped during the pandemic as well. Here is a brief review of some of the deaths during the past few years caused by Amazon delivery drivers.
A Temple University student (22 years old) killed by a contractor who hit his motorcycle
An 89-year-old woman in New Jersey
Another 89-year-old woman – this one in Pennsylvania
Those are just a few of the fatally injured whose stories were uncovered by ProPublica and others trying hard to investigate all the “hidden” deaths related to careless delivery drivers. Although it is not certain, some believe far more of these types of stories exist. And many other possible accidents may have never been reported. Sadly, some victim’s families may give up when their loved ones have been killed by those driving unmarked trucks and vans. After all, that make it hard for the average person to know who to try and sue – without seeking a lawyer’s help.
When our firm is hired, we will conduct thorough initial research to find out who the delivery driver was working for — and look for any legitimate grounds to impute driver negligence to those who did the hiring. We will also check to see if the company failed to properly oversee the employee’s ongoing driving habits.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to a dangerous delivery driver, you need to contact our New York City commercial vehicle accident law firm right away. We will then carefully investigate all the facts of your case – and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available under New York Law. Our firm is dedicated to helping every client obtain the highest possible sum to cover all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.