Delivery drivers must deal with California traffic so customers can enjoy the convenience of food and groceries showing up at their front door. Even though becoming a delivery driver for companies like Doordash or Grubhub may be a simple process, the job itself is far from easy.
For one, most deliveries happen at peak times of the day or night, when you have to fight through rush hour or navigate congested streets. On weekend nights, you’re more likely to be on the road with others who are driving recklessly or under the influence. Meanwhile, the faster you make deliveries, the more you get paid – and you’re fighting other drivers for the best tips.
So it’s no surprise when car accidents happen while drivers are out on deliveries, especially in Los Angeles and other cities on Central California’s major transport corridors. Delivery drivers must also worry about getting hit by other cars when they get out of their own vehicles.
As an independent contractor delivering for companies like Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Weee, Bakkal, or even your local grocery store, you have rights. However, your situation is likely to be more complicated than a regular accident. If you get injured, who can you sue to recover compensation? Are you covered by your own insurance or would your delivery company’s insurance cover you? Who would cover the damage to your car? What about the income you miss while you wait for your car to be repaired?
The only way to find out your best legal options is to talk to a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling cases involving delivery accidents and delivery services.
What Are the Hazards of Being a Delivery Driver?
As a delivery driver, your job is to be on the road when other people don’t want to be. That means you’re the one driving in bad traffic or bad weather. Some of the worst hazards include:
- Dodging other vehicles while you get in and out of your car to pick up or deliver items
- Driving in inclement or extreme weather including snow, storms, or heavy rains
- Late-night driving, especially on weekend nights, when others are more likely to drive recklessly, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Navigating during rush hour or other busy times of day or night
- Dealing with unhappy or confrontational customers
If you get into a car accident or if another vehicle hits you while you’re out on a delivery, you could suffer serious injuries. Your car could get damaged or totaled. Meanwhile, you could lose your ability to earn an income because you can’t work or your car is unavailable.
The more time you spend on the road, the higher your chances of getting in an accident. What happens if you get into a crash on a delivery? Who is responsible for your losses?
What Happens if a Doordash Driver Gets in an Accident?
If you get into a traffic accident while out on a delivery for a service like Instacart, Doordash, or Grubhub, you should take the same steps that you would take in a regular accident: ensure your safety, check for injuries, call the authorities, exchange information, and gather evidence.
If you call the police to the scene of the crash, you could file a police report right then and there.
After that, your next steps will depend on factors like:
- Which app or service were you working for at the time of the crash?
- What are the terms of your app’s driver insurance policies?
- Were you on a delivery or in between deliveries when the accident happened?
- Are there any state, city, or local laws that apply to delivery services?
- What kind of car insurance coverage do you have?
- Who is ultimately at fault for causing the accident?
When you’re just one driver among thousands who use a delivery service app, you might have a hard time getting answers from your company. The delivery service may try to put the responsibility on your insurance when they should really be covering the incident. Or they may give you a lowball settlement that doesn’t even begin to cover your losses in full.
You shouldn’t settle for less than you should deserve, especially when your health and livelihood are on the line. A personal injury lawyer who has experience handling delivery accidents can help you navigate your legal rights after you suffer injuries.
How to File a Legal Claim After a Delivery Accident
Every car accident has circumstances that make it unique, especially when you add deliveries into the equation. It’s always best to get the advice of an attorney for how to best move forward.
Food and grocery delivery services generally take 3 approaches to driver accidents:
- Companies like Doordash automatically give their drivers basic liability insurance that starts coverage as soon as they have food in their car for delivery. However, this insurance usually does not cover the time between deliveries. In some cases, coverage may cover your medical expenses but not the damage to your car.
- Other companies like Uber Eats offer their drivers insurance coverage for both medical liability and property damage. On these apps, you’re covered from the moment you load the app for deliveries – in some cases, that means you’re covered in between actual deliveries and while you’re waiting to pick up deliveries, as well.
- Meanwhile, some companies like Grubhub do not provide any insurance coverage at all for their drivers. You’re expected to have your own insurance to kick in if anything happens, even while you’re on a delivery. Some car insurance companies now require you to subscribe to plans that include commercial activities like food delivery.
With so many complications, you may feel stuck in the middle, especially if you keep getting passed back and forth between insurance companies. A good lawyer can help you cut through the stalling, minimizing, and avoiding techniques to get you the recovery you deserve.
Getting the Best Possible Settlement for Your Case
You may feel the power imbalance when you’re just a single driver going up against a major corporation like Uber or Doordash. But an experienced personal injury attorney allows you to even the playing field. At Sepulveda Sanchez Law, our attorneys know what you’re going through, which is why we take cases on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to worry about paying legal fees upfront – instead, we invest in your case with you.
Click here now to get started with a free consultation with our knowledgeable legal team.