Two Dead, One in Critical Condition, Following Amazon Truck Accident in Houston
Amazon.com, through its subsidiaries Amazon Relay and Amazon Logistics, operates one of the largest package delivery systems in the country. Unfortunately, this network has a reputation for emphasizing om-time delivery at the expense of safety. In today’s post the Amazon delivery accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm discusses a recent fatality accident involving a tractor-trailer rig hauling Amazon.com freight. He will then briefly review the legal options that may be available to Amazon delivery truck accident victims and their families.
According to reports published by the Houston Chronicle and KTRK-TV, the early morning hours of April 10, 2020 an SUV pulling a trailer on I-45 near Rankin Road experienced a flat tire. As the driver was slowing to pull into the emergency parking shoulder of the highway the SUV’s trailer was struck from the rear by a Mazda, causing the Mazda to spin sideways in the main traffic lanes. A Chevrolet pickup, attempting to avoid the Mazda, swerved to the left but struck a concrete sidewall and came to rest in the traffic lanes near the Mazda. As a passenger in the SUV and the driver, both women, got out of their vehicles, a semi owned by J.B. Hunt Transport Services that was pulling an Amazon Relay trailer plowed into the three disabled vehicles, killing the two women. The driver of a fourth vehicle, who had stopped on road’s shoulder to offer assistance, was able to save himself from being struck by the semi only by jumping from the road’s shoulder and landing on another section of highway some 10 to 15 feet blow.
The driver who had stopped to offer assistance, 23-year-old Abdullah Baidas, was transported from the scene in critical condition with severe leg injuries. It was later reported that Baidas’ leg injuries were so extensive that both required amputation in order to save his life.
It will probably surprise most readers to learn that Amazon.com, and its over-the road subsidiary Amazon Relay, don’t own a single tractor-trailer rig! Instead, Amazon employees simply load empty Amazon Relay trailers at one of its distribution centers and waits for an independent contractor (an owner-operator or, more commonly, a trucking company) to deliver the trailers to their destinations.
In order to save themselves hundreds of millions in equipment purchases and employee wages, plus reduce the chances the could be sued following an accident, Amazon.com deliberately makes use of a complex network of subsidiary companies and franchises that, in turn, make almost exclusive use of independent contractors. While this arrangement benefits Amazon.com, the owners of the trucks that pull those Amazon Relay trailers have to deal with rates that are some 15% below the national average. Plus, if a load is not delivered om time, the truckers risk losing their Amazon contracts.
Although all the facts of the accident investigation have yet to be made public, a review of the available information suggests the following observations.
In the vicinity of Rankin Road, I-45 is almost straight with only a gentle curve south of that interchange and no hills or other significant obstructions that would have obstructed vision of drivers.
According to news reports, at the time of the accident the highway was wet from intermittent light rain, but there was no mention of either heavy rain or fog that would have reduced vision.
In the original accident (the one involving the SUV, Mazda and Chevrolet), it can be assumed that a minimum of 15 seconds elapsed after all the vehicles involved came to a complete stop and the drivers/passengers exited their respective vehicles. At a speed of 55 mph, the J.B. Hunt truck would have traveled about 1,200 feet.
In the seeming absence of other factors, it appears that the J.B Hunt driver is responsible for 2 deaths and a young man losing both his legs. Whether that driver was speeding, distracted, or simply tired has yet to be determined.
Since Amazon.com has hidden behind its network of subsidiaries and independent contractors, proving Amazon’s liability following one of its delivery truck accidents will require finding a delivery truck accident with considerable experience in unraveling mazes of corporations and subsidiaries as well as in investigating trucking accidents. In Houston, you can find such an experienced delivery truck accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm.
When you contact our firm, there is never a charge of any kind for us to review the facts in your Amazon Relay truck accident injury case or for you to speak with our Amazon delivery truck accident lawyer to discuss the legal options that may be available to you. If you later decide to file a lawsuit, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to take on the costs of preparing your Amazon delivery truck accident injury case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.
At The Doan Law Firm, we don’t plan to just win your Amazon delivery truck accident case: we plan to winbig and have a proven record of making sure our clients are awarded every penny of compensation they are due. Don’t jeopardize you right to a fair settlement of your Amazon delivery truck accident case! Call The Doan Law Firm today!