Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

Could the Pandemic-Fueled Surge in Amazon Orders Create Dangers for Amazon Delivery Drivers and Others in Illinois and Elsewhere?

| Aug 7, 2020 | Amazon, Automobile Accidents |

Many news reports in the past have covered the intense pressure Amazon drivers face to meet delivery deadlines during the winter holiday season, and the safety issues those demands trigger. New reports, however, are highlighting a uniquely 2020 problem: a coronavirus-fueled world where every day is like late December for Amazon drivers. These intense demands and pressures on Amazon’s fleet of drivers has the potential to cause injuries – both to the drivers themselves and also to the other drivers Amazon’s drivers encounter on the expressways and roadways. If you’ve been injured in such an accident, you may potentially have a right to pursue compensation from Amazon itself. Be sure to contact an experienced Chicago accident attorney about the facts surrounding your injuries.

One example of this occurred just an hour away from Chicago. On Dec. 22 of last year, a motorcyclist was involved in a terrible accident, according to a report. Allegedly, an Amazon driver, L.H. excited a residence and improperly failed to yield to oncoming traffic. Her van collided with T.D.’s motorcycle, critically injuring T.D., according to the lawsuit he filed.

T.D.’s accident happened near the peak of what is typically Amazon’s busiest season for deliveries. The motorcyclist’s lawsuit alleged that Amazon’s “unreasonable and unsafe demands” placed on drivers contributed to the catastrophic crash. According to the report, T.D. asserted in his court case that Amazon delivery drivers “often have to deliver upwards of 250 packages a day, which leaves less than two minutes per package during an eight-hour shift.”

More recently, Motherboard by Vice covered how Amazon drivers are facing similar pressures during the coronavirus pandemic. In a report entitled “Amazon Delivery Drivers Are Overwhelmed and Overworked by Covid-19 Surge,” Motherboard looked at the demands placed on a Southern California delivery driver, Kevin, who described his job as “manageable” during most periods. That manageable load consisted of roughly 180 packages per 10-hour shift.

As states like California underwent “stay-at-home” orders, people’s shopping habits changed. Kevin’s quota for daily deliveries went from roughly 180 to in excess of 300. The driver’s 10-hour shifts began requiring 12 or 13 hours to complete, according to the report. In the report, Kevin described how he “chugged Red Bull to stay awake” and finish his deliveries, how Amazon “ignored his multiple pleas for assistance when he had stinging pains in his stomach in the middle of a shift” and how the job eventually caused extreme back pain.

These kinds of pressures create a dual set of dangers. A driver who is falling asleep, severely fatigued or battling extreme physical pain is almost certainly someone who is not operating at peak safety and is an elevated danger to others on the roads. This is especially true for delivery drivers who are at or near the end of long and grueling shifts. The crash in which L.H., the Amazon delivery driver in Indiana, allegedly pulled out into the path of T.D., occurred at roughly 6:30 p.m., likely placing it near the end of L.H.’s shift.

Additionally, these kinds of conditions can cause long-lasting harm to the Amazon drivers themselves. A driver who is denied days off, as Kevin reportedly was, and who is required to work despite severe stomach pains or back pains is someone who is putting off dealing with issues that potentially could have lifelong consequences, including everything from stomach ulcers to disc impingements to more.

Whether you are an Amazon driver, or you are someone who was hurt in an accident caused by an Amazon driver, you may be entitled to obtain a settlement or an award of damages from the mega-company. The law is clear that if someone has a duty to you, then fails to live up to that duty, and that failure injures you, then you are entitled to an amount compensating for the damage you suffered. With the right evidence and the right legal arguments, that “someone” in your case could be Amazon. For the strong, resourceful and knowledgeable representation your case deserves, contact the experienced Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have many years taking on all kinds (and sizes) of entities… and succeeding. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.