Amazon Driver Injuries Spur Workers’ Comp Claims In Philadelphia Region
March 2, 2022
The blue Amazon delivery vans are as familiar in the Philadelphia region as the U.S. Postal mail trucks. The Amazon delivery person is a welcomed sight at the door from Brookhaven to Aston. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Amazon drivers are more likely to suffer on the job injuries than their colleagues who work in warehouses and distribution centers. As Amazon’s growth soars, and the ubiquitous trucks crisscross our neighborhoods in Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation lawyers and personal injury attorneys are becoming alarmed at the increased on the job injuries to drivers.
Amazon Driver Injuries: The Stats Paint A Scary Picture
Research, data, and a federal investigation into injuries suffered by Amazon employees is startling. In a troubling report about Amazon workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that Amazon warehouses and fulfillment centers are nearly twice as dangerous for workers than competitor’s facilities. That investigation prompted a more in-depth report by the Strategic Operating Center (SOC), a coalition of four labor unions representing over four million workers. This report exposed the dangers for Amazon drivers specifying that drivers are hurt twice as much as warehouse employees and at a higher rate than those who deliver for UPS. The 2020 injury data shows workers at fulfillment centers are hurt at a rate of 6.3 workers per 100 full-time employees. It rises to 9.5 per each 100 at delivery stations and then rockets to an alarming 13.4 hurt employees per 100 for the delivery drivers. By comparison, UPS drivers have a rate of 9 injuries per 100 full-time employees.
Amazon’s persuasive branding for speed and productivity is seen as the cause for most driver injuries, as well as those in the warehouses and fulfilment centers that are rapidly expanding in Pennsylvania in such places as Philadelphia and Union counties. Drivers report that on average they deliver 300 packages to 200 locations leaving virtually no time for rest stops. This demand placed up Amazon delivery drivers makes the company responsible for the most workplace injuries in Pennsylvania as well the United States.
Who Do Amazon Drivers Work For?
There are two distinct sets of drivers in the Amazon network. There are those who work directly for Amazon in their ever-growing shipping business designed to compete with Fed Ex, UPS, and Post Office. This shipping enterprise employs over 400,000 drivers worldwide operating a fleet of 40,000 semi-trucks, 30,000 vans and 70 planes. Then there’s the 115,000-driver army of drivers working for the 2,000 Amazon Delivery Service Partners (DSP) across the United States.
Amazon drivers employed by an Amazon DSP in the Philadelphia region are in a precarious position if injured on the job. They need to understand the legal relationship between Amazon and the DSP as well as their relationship to who cuts their paycheck. Whether it is Amazon or the DSP, the reality and “dirty little not-so-secret” truth is Amazon is calling the shots. Amazon’s culture dominates how DSP drivers actually do their job consequently creating the dangers they face every day on the road. Amazon has the control without the responsibility. Amazon can track drivers, set the pace, make the demands, and create the hazards and do all this while hiding behind the fact that they don’t cut the paycheck, provide benefits or protections.
An experienced and knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney will know how to represent and protect the rights of an injured driver considering the unique relationship Amazon has created.
Driver Injuries And Right To Workers’ Compensation
Amazon drivers, injured on the job may have both workers’ compensation as well as personal injury rights. Determining how to manage these claims requires the advice of a skilled workers’ comp lawyer and this is especially true when it comes to a claim against Amazon. A ProPublica investigation revealed that between 2015 and 2019 contract drivers were involved in at least 60 crashes resulting in injuries, including 10 deaths and Amazon was able to successfully avoid paying legal and medical bills.
Amazon drivers need to be aware that when hurt while at work, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if they are employed temporarily, part-time, or seasonally. This is true for Amazon drivers throughout Pennsylvania regardless of whether the driver is in Carlisle or Landenberg or New London. Some of the most common Amazon workplace injuries include:
- Dog bites
- Ankle, knee, lower back, and head injury
- Ruptured discs
- Muscle damage
- Broken bones
- Heart attacks
- Catastrophic injury
How To Recover Workers’ Comp Benefits In An Amazon Accident
It is essential for employees to follow all procedures put in place by Amazon and the DSP if injured on the job while delivering packages. Compliance with timely reporting of job-related injuries is critical as Amazon and the DSPs frequently deny responsibility or attempt to minimize benefits unjustly. After seeking medical attention, engaging the advice and representation of a seasoned and experienced workers’ comp attorney comes next as there may be issues regarding the type of claim a driver can file. An injury sustained while delivering a package could be handled differently than an injury sustained while driving and another vehicle is involved.
Injured drivers in an Amazon accident do not need to prove fault for their injuries or illness. This is because workers’ compensation benefits are a “no fault” system. As a result, employees will need to:
- Prove the injuries or illness was caused by employment
- Submit a timely claim to an employer (manager or supervisor)
- File a timely claim with the workers’ comp carrier
- Comply with all requests for medical examinations, documentation, and other workers’ comp carrier questions, and
- Follow medical recommendations of the workers’ compensation physician or treating physician once you can use your own doctor
Drivers are the only human being Amazon customers see and know. It is shocking that they are on the bottom of the Amazon safety ladder. Injured drivers need to follow the same procedure they do on the job: know the route to the best workers’ compensation lawyer and personal injury attorney. Do so with speed and determination.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Philadelphia, PA, at Larry Pitt & Associates are not afraid to go up against Amazon and its workers’ comp carrier. We have over 40 years of experience handling personal injury and workers’ compensation claims throughout Pennsylvania. If you have been injured in an Amazon warehouse or Amazon distribution center, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Learn what your rights are by calling (888)-PITT-LAW or (877) 748-8529 or by sending us a message on our easy-to-use contact us box available here.