Have you noticed how many Amazon Delivery Vans there are now?
If you have been outside for more than 15 minutes, you know that Amazon has delivery vans all over the streets of South Florida. The vans are constantly darting in and out of neighborhoods throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.
In the Fall of 2018, Amazon recently purchased 20,000 delivery vans which it promptly deployed all over the country. Amazon says that they leased the delivery vans to independent Amazon contractors who operate the vans on their own. Regardless of which contractor ultimately operates each delivery van, they are all commercial vehicles. Under Florida law, commercial vehicles are liable to compensate victims for injuries they cause on the road.
So why are there so many delivery vans in South Florida?
Money. According to Amazon, contractors can invest as little as $10,000.00 to lease an Amazon Prime delivery van and turn profits of $1M to $4.5M per year! Don't think so? Then check out these figures from Amazon.
What if you're injured by an Amazon Prime Delivery Van?
First things first. If you have been in any car accident, you should follow these 5 tips be safe at the scene and make sure you get an accurate police report.
The second consideration is to preserve evidence.
If you look close enough, you will notice that many Amazon Prime Delivery Vans have surveillance cameras on the front and rear of the vehicle. It is best to assume that the cameras are recording all the time and reporting real time data back to Amazon or a third-party monitoring system. Amazon will certainly use such footage to help it or its insurance company to later deny, delay, or under settle car accident claims. [Also read How Long Will My Personal Injury Case Take?].
The surveillance cameras cut both ways. Surveillance camera footage can be extremely helpful to people who have been injured in a car accident caused by an Amazon Prime Delivery Van. The first step in handling an Amazon delivery van car accident is to certify mail a preservation letter requesting the independent contractor to store any and all camera footage of the accident.
You must act fast. [Read: Is Your Lawyer too Slow?] It is not uncommon for companies to erase camera footage after a period of thirty days. If you do not certify mail your preservation request to the Amazon Prime Delivery Van Owner before they erase the data, the evidence will be lost. This is the first thing I do after I meet with someone who has been injured in a car accident.
Anyone who knows me knows that I hate delay! Getting the preservation letter out immediately can be critical to the outcome of your case.
What will the surveillance footage show?
You probably won't be able to see the surveillance footage before filing a formal lawsuit. Most companies do not provide injured people with copies of the surveillance footage even if they have a lawyer. [Check out The 5 Tips to Hiring the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case]. However, if your South Florida car accident attorney can not get your case settled for good value, he or she may file a lawsuit in Circuit Court. Once you file a lawsuit, you are entitled to a copy of the surveillance footage.
Do the Amazon Prime Delivery Vans record other data?
Amazon Prime Delivery Vans or their drivers may also be equipped with GPS devices which allow Amazon, and its customers, to track delivery of items. In addition to requesting preservation of surveillance footage, your lawyer should request data from the GPS devices to determine the speed at impact, braking distance, etc.
For example, if the Amazon Prime Delivery Van normally stops from 60 mph to 0 mph in a distance of 150 feet and the Amazon Prime Delivery Van that caused the accident did not stop within that distance, then you may be able to argue for punitive damages based on the contractor's failure to maintain the van.
Pay attention to the location surrounding the accident scene
Many people have outdoor security cameras, including doorbell cameras. Many of these cameras record a wide swath of the streets in front of their homes. Amazon Prime Delivery Vans have already been caught on home security footage driving recklessly. For example, Amazon Prime Deliver Van contractors have been captured on camera causing property damage and then fleeing the scene of the accident.
If you are injured in a car accident in South Florida caused by an Amazon van, your lawyer should be visiting the accident scene and scoping out the homes to see if there are any security cameras in the area which may have recorded the crash. There is a very limited time in which to act because the crash footage may only be available to the homeowner or storeowner for several days after the accident.
If you have been in a car accident with an Amazon van, remember the following:
- The Amazon Prime Delivery Van may be a rolling camcorder capturing the entire accident on film so you need to act fast in requesting the footage to be preserved.
- The Amazon Prime Delivery Van may be storing additional crash data stored on board the vehicle or in the cloud.
- Nearby homes and other forms of surveillance equipment may have captured the accident.
Matthew Waring is a Personal Injury Attorney based in Deerfield Beach, FL. He knows insurance companies because he used to work for them. If you've been in an accident with an Amazon Prime Delivery Van, contact Matthew Waring for a FREE consult today.