Are you an Amazon employee or work as a delivery driver for Amazon? With Amazon’s higher-than-normal injury rates and being investigated for potential workplace safety issues, we understand you may wonder what happens when you get hurt at Amazon in California. Does Amazon pay if Amazon employees get injured on the job? Can you sue Amazon after an accident? Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys explain what happens when you get hurt at Amazon below.
What Happens When You Get Hurt at Amazon in California?
At Steers & Associates, we represent Southern California accident victims in personal injury lawsuits. We help our clients throughout the entire claim and legal process, from their initial claim to case resolution. If you have been injured in a workplace accident at Amazon, we welcome you to reach out to our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys about your situation.
We can answer your legal questions, review your case, and help you understand your best legal options during a free and confidential consultation. Call us at (800) 824-5416 or fill out our online contact form to get started.
Dangers of Working at Amazon
For years, Amazon has been under intense scrutiny about whether its fast-paced work environment is detrimental to its workers’ safety. A study that came out in 2022 focused on Amazon’s warehouse injury rates, finding that Amazon warehouse workers were injured at nearly twice the rate of its competitors. Additionally, the study noted that Amazon’s warehouse injuries increased by almost 20 percent between 2020 and 2021.
Another study released by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition of labor unions, in May 2022 found that nearly 20 percent of Amazon drivers suffered injuries in 2021. These injuries range from different causes, including truck accidents, dog bites, and premises liability accidents.
Amazon is under an ongoing investigation by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for potential workplace safety hazards. And recently, in December 2022, OSHA cited Amazon with violations at six of its warehouses across five states. Most of these violations resulted from Amazon’s failure to record or report work-related injuries. OSHA also cited Amazon for misclassifying reported injuries of Amazon employees.
Common Amazon Workplace Accidents
Most of Amazon’s workplace accidents happen to its drivers and warehouse workers. Common accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
Amazon Truck Accidents
Amazon delivery drivers are at an increased risk of getting into auto accidents that can result in serious injuries. Delivery drivers are also susceptible to pedestrian accidents, premises liability accidents, and dog bites when they are out of their vehicles delivering packages.
Amazon truck accidents may occur due to various causes, including, but not limited to:
- Negligence of another driver
- Bad weather
- Poor road maintenance
- Cargo loading errors
- Poor truck maintenance
Truck accidents can result in severe and traumatic injuries. Common auto accident injuries include, but are not limited to:
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- Fractured bones
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Dislocation injuries
- Blunt force trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
What Are My Options if I Get Into an Amazon Truck Accident?
Your legal options for recovering compensation for your damages after an Amazon truck accident depend on factors like accident liability and the type of driver you are.
There may be one or more responsible parties in a truck accident. If your injuries resulted from another person or entity’s negligence, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for damages.
For example, suppose another driver sped through a red light and hit you, resulting in injuries. In that case, you may be able to file a car accident claim with their insurance company to recover financial compensation.
In addition to pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party, you may be able to recover additional compensation or benefits if the wreck occurred on the job.
Amazon Flex Drivers
No matter what kind of Amazon driver you are, you technically are not an employee of Amazon. Most Amazon drivers are either Amazon Flex drivers or drivers for one of Amazon’s delivery service partners (DSPs).
As an Amazon Flex driver, you are an independent contractor and may have commercial auto insurance through Amazon.
If you are an Amazon Flex driver, you may be able to file a claim with Amazon’s commercial auto coverage. For it to apply to your situation, you must have your auto insurance, and the truck accident must have occurred while you were on an active delivery. If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, you might be able to use the following coverage:
- Comprehensive and collision coverage. Amazon Flex coverage offers $50,000 for property damage to your vehicle. However, it depends on whether you already have comprehensive coverage on your policy.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. The policy also offers you $1,000,000 for bodily injury and damages if the other driver is at fault, does not have car insurance, or is underinsured.
Delivery Service Partner Driver
As a DSP driver, you are an employee of the delivery service partner. Because of this, Amazon does not offer any supplemental commercial auto insurance to DSP drivers.
However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may have commercial auto coverage from your employer that applies to the car accident. Additionally, if you were injured on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer.
Amazon Warehouse Accidents
Hundreds of thousands of Amazon employees work in Amazon warehouses or fulfillment centers. Associates who work in an Amazon warehouse have a variety of responsibilities, including, but not limited to, packing and shipping orders, putting away merchandise, operating heavy machinery, and loading boxes onto delivery trucks.
Many Amazon warehouse employees constantly use the same muscle and joint movements to accomplish their duties. These movements over time put Amazon workers at high risk for bending and lifting injuries and chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Common types of musculoskeletal disorders include, but are not limited to:
- Carpal tunnel
Additionally, Amazon workers are under a lot of pressure to work quickly. Amazon’s fast-paced environment may result in workers cutting corners to save time, which could cause serious accidents. Other types of workplace accidents that occur at Amazon fulfillment centers include, but are not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trip and fall accidents
- Cart accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Machinery accidents
- Cargo loading accidents
No matter the type of accident or injury, injured Amazon workers have the right to seek compensation for medical costs and lost income. A dedicated attorney may be able to help you with your initial claim and represent you until your case reaches a resolution.
Can Injured Amazon Workers Sue Amazon for Injuries at Work?
Whether you can sue Amazon for your injuries depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. To successfully sue Amazon for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you must be able to prove that Amazon was negligent, that its negligence caused your damages, and that you were not an employee of Amazon during the time of the incident.
If you are an employee of Amazon and were injured on the job through no fault of a third party other than Amazon, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury. In this case, you would have to go through the workers’ compensation system. If you were injured on the job due to the negligence of a third party and not your employer (Amazon), then you can present a claim for negligence against the third party.
Cases for Amazon worker injuries can be complex, especially if multiple parties are involved. It may be challenging to determine what coverage is available to you and what legal options you may have to obtain compensation. We recommend working with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An Amazon accident lawyer can review your case and help you find every opportunity available to get the compensation you need for your recovery.
What Is Workers’ Compensation in California?
Workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ comp, is a type of insurance provided to injured workers who suffer an injury or illness while on the job. Under California law, all employers in California must have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits in California generally include the following:
- Medical treatment
- Temporary payment of lost wages
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability payments
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Return-to-work supplement
- Death benefits
What Is the Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury?
California’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. A no-fault system means that, as an employee and injured worker, you do not have to prove that anyone is at fault for your injuries. You only must prove that the injury occurred while on the job.
While workers’ comp may provide a faster way to pay Amazon workers, workers’ comp may not be adequate to cover the extent of your damages. With a personal injury lawsuit, unlike workers’ comp, you may recover maximum compensation for your monetary and nonmonetary damages.
Monetary damages cover medical expenses and lost income, while nonmonetary damages cover intangible losses, such as pain and suffering. However, you must prove that another person or entity’s negligence resulted in your injuries to have a viable claim.
Injured workers may be able to file personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims. Your options depend on your worker classification and the unique circumstances of your case. Situations in which it may be possible to file a personal injury claim or both types of claims include, but are not limited to, injuries that happened at work and were caused by:
- Defective machinery or equipment
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Intentional conduct
- Third parties
If you have suffered workplace injuries, consider discussing your situation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from our firm. We can help you understand your legal options for a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. We can answer your questions and evaluate your case during a free, no-obligation consultation. If we do not believe we can help you, we will tell you and may be able to refer you to a trusted workers’ compensation attorney for Amazon workers.
Discuss Your Situation With Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers
Have you been injured while on the job at Amazon? We encourage you to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys to discuss your situation.
During your consultation, we can answer your legal questions, review your case, and help you understand your best legal options. We can also determine if we can help or refer you to a workers’ compensation attorney.
Call us at (800) 824-5416 or fill out and submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation with us today. We are available for phone, video conferencing, and in-person consultations at one of our offices.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.