How Accidents Involving Driving A Personal Car For A Food Delivery Job Work; Insight From the Best Personal Injury Lawyers
Driving A Personal Car For Work Accident
Just like the ridesharing business, food delivery companies like Postmates, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats have also attracted drivers to work for them due to the possibilities of setting up their own work schedule, being their own boss, quick turnaround for payment, and not having to deal with riders getting into their personal vehicles.
From 2014 to 2016, digital ordering and delivery grew 300% faster than dine-in traffic. Moreover, it is projected that online food delivery will grow into a massive $200 billion industry by 2025. In 2018, 36% of U.S. internet users under 35 ordered restaurant delivery frequently.
The rapid rise of food delivery companies has become a blessing when it comes to convenience. But as the number of food delivery vehicles in Los Angeles increases, so does the likelihood for accidents.
A driver working for food delivery companies like Postmates and Doordash needs a commercial auto policy given that food delivery falls under a business use of the vehicle and not personal use. Unfortunately, most companies allow its drivers to sign up to work with just their personal insurance, yet fail to inform them that they won’t always be liable for damages in case of an accident.
The most popular food delivery services in Los Angeles are Postmates, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats (in that order). Specific insurance policies for these companies vary in regards to the amount of coverage they provide for damages arising from food delivery accidents, if any.
Because food delivery drivers are usually paid by the delivery and not by the hour and are considered independent contractors and not employees, they are more likely to:
- Neglect Right of Way laws
- Make reckless lane changes
- Make deliveries while tired
- Drive while distracted
Our excellent team of food delivery accident attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers breaks down the different options that these companies offer — and don’t offer — their drivers in the event of a food delivery accident:
Per their website, Postmates states: “Property damage sustained to your property in an accident are [the driver’s] responsibility and should be addressed by your personal insurance carrier.” The company provides $1 million in excess liability to third party claims that will only come into play after the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage has been exhausted. Moreover, their recently provided Occupational Accident Insurance covers medical and lost income with an amount up to the policy limits.
Postmates will only cover the damages if the driver was on an active delivery, meaning after they selected “accept” on the platform and until the customer receives their order as logged by the platform. If you are in mode off, your personal insurance is your insurance policy. If you are online but you haven’t accepted a delivery request, again, your personal insurance is your insurance policy.
DoorDash requires its drivers “to maintain [their] own insurance, in the amounts and of types required by law which includes, but is not limited to, an auto insurance policy. If [they] fail to maintain [their] own insurance, DoorDash's coverage may not apply.” DoorDash provides excess auto insurance for its drivers, but only for property damage or bodily injury caused to third parties. In the event of an accident, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy would serve as the primary coverage. This contingent liability policy only applies if the driver was in possession of goods to be delivered, meaning if they were driving from the restaurant to a delivery but not to a restaurant for pickup.
Starting June 2019, all U.S. Dashers (what they call their drivers) will automatically be eligible for occupational accident insurance coverage at no cost
Grubhub doesn’t provide any kind of liability insurance to its drivers at all. This means that if you drive for Grubhub and get into an accident, no matter the circumstances, you are 100% liable for all damages. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to have the correct insurance coverage when doing deliveries for Grubhub, especifically.
Uber Eats drivers’ liability to third parties is covered from the moment a driver accepts the request until the delivery is complete. If the app is currently on and the driver has not yet begun to pick up or deliver food (or if the driver is in between deliveries), the driver is covered for up to $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 (per individual/accident/property damage). Uber provides $1 million of liability coverage per incident, which is covered by Uber’s commercial insurance policy.
The insurance coverage Uber Eats provides covers drivers while they’re on active deliveries. The additional insurance the driver attains through their private insurance would cover the time they’re logged in and waiting for a request.
It is essential that food delivery drivers ensure that they’re covered properly in case of an accident. Injuries and property damages resulting from car accidents can easily rack up, and when they don’t have the proper insurance, they can end up having to cover it all on their own making it that much more difficult for you to recover damages.
Food delivery accident claims can become very complicated, especially because they classify their drivers as independent contractors and not employees, making them not liable for negligent behaviors.
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence and are separated into economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to and are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Though rare to be awarded, there’s also a third type of damages called punitive damages. They are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful.