Wall Street Journal Documents Amazon using Unsafe Third-Party Commercial Carriers—Consistently
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on September 22, 2022, on the extremely low ratings given to third-party contractors by Amazon. The Journal recreated safety data from required safety evaluations on the third-party trucking contractors. The findings were what is seen all too often in the aftermath and carnage when the low-end trucking carriers get these contracts. The most problematic carriers are those who get a low rating due to:
- Traffic tickets
- Trucks safety systems, like brakes and lights, being non-operational during safety stops
- Truck drivers themselves working too many hours, not being properly qualified, or having a history of at-fault wrecks
Sometimes, companies like Amazon choose not to look at the freely available government data as part of their vetting process when hiring these companies. These third-party companies are often hired by a lowest bid or other system that does not limit those interested in the work to companies with a good safety history, higher liability insurance limits, or an evaluation to see if the third-party companies are following the minimum standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act.
Truck Companies Often Cause Fatal Accidents
Many of these companies are literally fly by night. They purchase the minimum liability insurance and when the at-fault wrecks make it impossible for them to get coverage, they fold the company, get a new name, and operate until the pattern repeats itself. In such situations, real people pay the price. Most at-fault deaths and serious injuries caused by these 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles subject to the FMCSA are caused by what the industry refers to as these “bottom feeders.”
When it happens, and there is not enough money to pay for the harms they cause, the hiring company could be held legally responsible for the damages caused because they acted negligently in choosing not to properly vet the company.
The federal government has set up a website and has rated the carriers to make sure that hiring companies like Amazon can see who they are hiring. When company’s hire third-party commercial carriers (18-wheeler companies) and chose not to use the tools created to evaluate these companies, sometimes a claim against a company brokering the load, like Amazon, can be made.
Holding All At-Fault Parties Responsible for Wrongful Deaths
In wrongful death cases, our attorneys frequently see that the carrier does not have enough money or coverage to pay for the harm they have caused. In all of these cases, an evaluation should be made to see what the hiring company would have known if they would have properly vetted them. In the right situation, an additional claim can be made against those turning a blind eye to the danger for a cheaper haul rate. Sometimes it can make a big difference to what we can do for the survivors of these devastating accidents.
Contact a Skilled Attorney at Our Firm to File a Claim
If you or a loved on has been harmed by one of these substandard commercial motor vehicle carriers, let our team of dedicated legal professional review your situation to see if you have a viable case. Call now to schedule a consultation.