Amazon Logistics Delivery Trucks Versus “Common Carriers”

Amazon Logistics Delivery Trucks Versus “Common Carriers”

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. Much of its success is due to its policy of providing on-time delivery of products that are ordered online from its thousands of retail partners. Unfortunately, as we have noted in a previous post, two “legs” of Amazon’s delivery operations (Amazon Prime and Amazon Logistics) have less than enviable safety records.

In this post, our Amazon truck accident lawyer discusses how Amazon.com has created a system of “independent contractors” in an attempt to avoid liability in case an accident occurs. He will then explain how Amazon.com’s own tactics can work in your favor if you were injured in an accident involving an Amazon Logistics delivery truck.

Amazon Logistics is a franchise business

Many readers will be surprised to learn that Amazon.com does not own its “last mile” (from a distribution center to your front door) delivery trucks. These trucks are instead owned by franchises who have purchased the right to deliver only goods purchased through Amazon.com’s websites. By adopting the franchise business model, Amazon.com hopes to deny liability in case of an accident by arguing that the delivery truck’s owner (the franchise holder) was responsible for maintaining the vehicle and supervising its driver. Our Amazon truck accident lawyer believes Amazon’s no-liability position can be challenged on two fronts: 1) “common” versus “private” carrier definition and 2) the “Duck Argument.”

Common versus “private carrier”

According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, a “common carrier” is “an individual or business that advertises to the public that it is available for hire to transport people or property in exchange for a fee.” In contrast, a “private carrier” is a business that transports only its own products or transports exclusively for a single client. Given these definitions, which are accepted by courts throughout the country, an Amazon franchise operator is considered a private carrier since it is prohibited by its franchise contract from carrying packages for anyone other than Amazon.com.

The “Duck Argument”

The “Duck Argument” is based on the old saying “If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” Although Amazon claims that its franchise operators are independent contractors and the franchise operator is ultimately responsible for maintaining the delivery trucks, a closer look reveals that:

  1. Amazon.com carefully selects those it deems qualified to operate a delivery franchise;

  2. Amazon.com specifies, in great detail, what types of trucks a franchise must purchase; the color and markings on those trucks; the uniforms truck drivers must wear; the computer software that drivers must use to keep track of deliveries and, most importantly,

  3. Since Amazon’s franchise contract specifically prohibits its franchise operators from delivering packages for anyone other than Amazon.com, then

  4. Amazon franchise operators meet the “Duck Test” in that franchise operators are indistinguishable from Amazon.com itself.

Given these facts, which Amazon.com cannot dispute, we feel that it is usually possible to establish at least partial liability on the part of Amazon.com if a franchise-operated delivery truck is involved in an accident.

Why you need an Amazon delivery truck accident lawyer

If you were injured in an accident involving an Amazon delivery truck, we can assure you that the truck owner’s insurance company will have an army of insurance claims adjusters and lawyers whose job is to convince you to accept a settlement of your claim that is worth far less than your actual losses. Unless you have an extensive background in personal injury law, plus more money than Amazon.com and its franchise operator, you will need the services of an experienced Amazon delivery truck accident lawyer. One such lawyer can be found at The Doan Law Firm, a nationwide law practice with offices located throughout the country.

When you contact The Doan Law Firm to arrange a review of your Amazon delivery truck accident case there is never a charge of any kind for your case review or for you to speak personally with our Amazon delivery truck accident lawyer to discuss the legal options that may be available to you. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in your best interest, and that you would like to have The Doan Law Firm represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.

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