Food delivery services, such as Doordash and UberEats, have become popular throughout Orange County, especially in the city of Irvine. The reason for popularity stems from the convenience of ordering food from the comfort of your own home. You can request an order for just about any meal imaginable, from your favorite fast food fries to a high-end sushi dinner, and have it delivered right to your doorstep in a reasonable amount of time.
However, there is a downside to this growing trend. With the increasing popularity of these services comes the reality that there are now more vehicles on Irvine’s streets than ever. Food delivery drivers are typically in a rush to make their deliveries as quickly as possible. As a result, they may not always drive safely or follow traffic rules.
It’s a matter of simple statistics. The more cars there are on the road, the greater the chances of being involved in a car accident. Furthermore, there are other health-related food issues that come along with these food delivery services too, such as becoming ill from contaminated food.
If you suffered injuries due to a food delivery driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced Irvine food delivery accident attorneys are readily available to handle your case. With our successful track record of recovering $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we have been ranked as one of the top personal injury law firms in Irvine.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (949) 207-9619 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Irvine personal injury law firm.
Food delivery service regulations and laws are evolving rapidly because of the passing of AB5, which will primarily affect employee classification. We will discuss the difference between employees and independent contractors below.
However, regardless of status, all food delivery service drivers are under pressure to deliver quickly. Because of this pressure, they are likely to look up an address while driving, speeding, not obeying the right-of-way laws, driving while tired, or making dangerous lane changes. All of these examples are forms of negligent behavior, which can subject a food delivery driver to liability.
As with most types of car accidents, the most important consideration in a food delivery accident claim is: who was negligent? If a food delivery driver caused your accident by speeding, for example, he or she will almost certainly be held liable for the accident and will have to pay for your damages.
However, food delivery accident claims are especially complex, especially with the passing of AB5. Furthermore, there are some food delivery companies that will argue that their drivers are “independent contractors” and not employees. In most cases, as far as the law is concerned, an employer is generally not held liable for the negligent conduct of independent contractors.
Is a food delivery driver an employee or an independent contractor? The general rule is that the more control an employer has regarding job-related tasks and worker performance, the more likely an individual is an employee and not an independent contractor. Furthermore, food delivery drivers are more likely to be employees and not independent contractors if the employer:
As of now, most food delivery drivers are identified as independent contractors.
Food safety is important, especially when it is being delivered. Transporting food at an unsafe temperature can cause it to go bad. This is dangerous because spoiled food can cause the customer to become very ill.
Food tampering is another valid fear. In a survey conducted by US Foods, 54 percent of food delivery drivers have been tempted by the smell of a customer’s order, while 30 percent have eaten the food order. Whether snatching french fries or devouring the meal, these actions are morally wrong and can expose a customer to cross-contamination.
Companies, such as DoorDash and Postmates, are encouraging restaurants to place their food in tamper-resistant packaging in order to prevent the temptation of stealing food. Furthermore, California law prohibits anyone from adding poison or a harmful substance to food or drink. This means that spitting in someone’s food can be punishable with 2 to 5 years of jail time.
If you were involved in a food delivery accident and would like to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced Irvine personal injury attorneys who are available 24/7 to help you with your case.