The Ugly Truth About Work Injuries Among Amazon Delivery Drivers
Amazon delivery drivers have played an invaluable role in keeping society functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you received groceries without risking COVID infection by going to your local supermarket, you can thank an Amazon driver. The same is true if you bought new clothes during the interminable spring of 2020 when most clothing stores were closed. Everyone who orders merchandise through Amazon appreciates the hard work that delivery drivers do, but working conditions are such that many drivers burn out quickly. The work is as exhausting as it is dangerous. Even before the pandemic, the discomforts of working as an Amazon delivery driver were the subject of news reports. The constant pressure to stick to impossible schedules, the impossible routes, the freebie-hungry customers who falsely claim that their packages have not arrived, and the lack of bathroom breaks are bad enough, never mind the risk of injury. If you have suffered an injury in the course of your work as an Amazon delivery driver, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer.
Amazon Drivers Are More Likely to Get Injured Than Other Delivery Drivers
Being an Amazon delivery driver carries a substantial risk of injury; in fact, it is the most dangerous Amazon job there is. Injuries to the ankles, knees, and back make up the largest share of workers’ compensation claims filed by Amazon delivery drivers. According to a report on CNET, 13 percent of full-time Amazon delivery drivers suffered work injuries in 2020, compared to six percent of full-time Amazon warehouse workers. Amazon drivers who were in their first year of work in that role accounted for 93 percent of work injuries, whereas drivers employed for less than a year account for only 58 percent of the total number of workers’ comp claims by delivery drivers industry-wide.
The Legal Rights of Amazon Delivery Drivers Who Get Injured at Work
People who get injured at work have the right to file workers’ compensation claims so that their employers’ workers’ comp insurance will pay for the treatment of the work injury. Amazon delivery drivers are in a vulnerable position regarding workers’ compensation, though. Since most of them are not directly employed by Amazon, getting workers’ comp coverage can be more challenging. Many of them work for small businesses that subcontract with Amazon. Therefore, the subcontractor company is the logical place to file the workers’ comp claim. Subcontractors are supposed to carry workers’ comp insurance, but if they don’t, the employee can file a claim with the “statutory employer,” meaning the company that contracted out the work to the subcontractor, in this case Amazon. Some Amazon drivers are independent contractors, meaning that, from a legal standpoint, they are self-employed. Illinois law does not require employers to provide workers’ comp benefits for independent contractors, but your lawyer may be able to persuade the court that you are an employee in all but name.
Contact an Attorney for Help
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you exercise your legal rights if you got injured during your work as a delivery driver. Contact Connolly Injury Law in Chicago, Illinois or call or text (312)780-0816.