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San Diego Food Delivery Accident Lawyer

Food delivery companies, like DoorDash and Postmates, have gradually gained popularity over the years for their convenient services. Although people are given several benefits that may allow them to have an easy experience making delivery requests on a mobile app, the potential dangers associated with this process is often overlooked. Unfortunately, food delivery accidents and tampering are common issues that have been reported amongst other drivers and customers.

If you were harmed by a food delivery driver and believe that they should be held liable for the damages you suffered as a result of their negligence, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against them.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Diego food delivery accident attorneys are available 24/7 to lend out a helping hand. We have over 150 years of collective experience handling personal injury cases, and are confident that we will provide quality services that will meet your needs.

We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you will not be charged with any legal fees until we settle your case. To schedule a free consultation today, you can reach out to us by calling (619) 789-4494 or completing our quick online contact form.

A smiling food delivery man on a bike carrying an insulated box on his back.

Common Dangers of a Food Delivery Accident in San Diego

Food delivery accidents can be triggered by a variety of factors. Below, we will go over each common danger and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving, like texting or checking the GPS, can affect the way a delivery driver navigates their way through traffic. Even if it is only for a few seconds, losing focus of the road can put you at risk of getting into an accident. You will have less of a chance to react promptly to abrupt changes, causing you to make quick decisions that may or may not result in a safe outcome.

To reduce the chances of such a collision from occurring, you should allow your phone to announce the directions rather than you reading where it is telling you to go. Or, you could park at the side of the road and go over the navigations before arriving at the destination.

Delivery Pressure

Delivery drivers may feel pressured to drop off a customer's order prior to the estimated time frame to avoid receiving negative reviews, or to even get fired. This will influence them to commit violations, like speeding or ignoring traffic signals, if they notice they are running behind on time. Not only will this put them in a dangerous position, but other drivers, as well.

It is encouraged for delivery drivers to plan their schedule out accordingly to prevent such issues from happening. Try not to take on an overload of requests, and always follow the rules of the road for a safe delivery experience.

Do Food Delivery Companies Offer Insurance Coverage?

Food delivery companies require drivers to have their own auto insurance in case an accident happens while offline. However, if it occurs online, financial protection on their behalf may apply in most cases. Below, we will discuss when insurance coverage may apply and what its policy limits are.

DoorDash

DoorDash offers occupational accident insurance coverage to drivers if they are involved in an accident while in the "Delivery Service" period. This applies if the Dasher:

  • Accepted a request,
  • Is on the way to pick up the customer's order, or
  • Is headed to the inputted address to drop off the food.

Delivery drivers who are involved in DoorDash accidents may receive protection, such as:

  • Medical bills: A maximum of $1,000,000 (no deductible or copay).
  • Disability payments: Half of the average weekly wage up to $500 each week (minus any other income).

For coverage to become effective, a DoorDash driver must meet the following conditions:

  • They are at fault for the damages and/or serious injuries that occurred in the accident,
  • The delivery driver's claim was denied by their auto insurance policy, and
  • A denial letter was provided.

Postmates

Postmates offers $1 million in excess liability to third-party claims after the food courier's personal insurance coverage has been exhausted. They also offer occupational accident insurance. This pays for the costs of medical bills and other expenses up to the policy limits. The list provided will go more into detail about the benefits you may be granted:

  • Accident medical expense: Up to $1,000,000 (with no deductible or copay).
  • Accidental death benefit: Up to $100,000.
  • Survivors benefit: Up to $100,000.
  • Temporary total disability: A maximum of $500 a week in on-demand services replacement earnings.
  • Permanent total disability: A $500 a week in on-demand services replacement earnings.
  • Accidental dismemberment: Up to $200,000.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats grants coverage depending on what you were doing moments before the accident occurred. Delivery drivers who get into a collision while offline will need to use their personal insurance coverage. If the incident happened while you were online and waiting for a request, third-party liability insurance will cover expenses associated with any serious injuries or damages in the figures listed below:

  • $50,000 per individual,
  • $100,000 per accident for bodily injury, and
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident.

If food delivery accidents happen while a driver is on the way to pick up or drop off a customer's order, the following coverage may apply:

  • At least $1,000,000 for property damage and bodily injuries to riders and other drivers if you are found liable for the collision,
  • Repair costs up to the actual cash value (with a $2,500 deductible), and
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage.

Delivery drivers are also given the option to buy Optional Injury Protection for additional financial assistance with medical bills if they sustain any injuries in an Uber accident.

Grub Hub

Grub Hub delivery drivers who have a Covered California health insurance plan and fulfill the minimum active delivery times within the calendar quarter may receive protection. Particular details about these requirements are as follows:

  • Active delivery time will need to be at least an average of 15 hours per week throughout the quarter, and
  • Proof of enrollment in a qualified healthcare plan (excluding Medicare, Medicaid, or a company-sponsored program) must be provided.

Once these have been met, Grub Hub will grant two healthcare subsidies according to a delivery driver's average active delivery time over the quarter.

  • Level 1: Applies to drivers who have an active delivery time of at least 15 hours, but no more than 25 hours per week
  • Level 2: Pertains to those with an active delivery time of 25 hours or more per week on average.

A more accurate representation of these numbers are provided in the mobile app.

Instacart

Instacart does not offer auto insurance coverage to its delivery drivers. But, they do require them to have their own personal insurance. San Diego Instacart couriers will need to have liability auto insurance coverage that meets the state requirements. In California, the minimum would be:

  • $15,000 for injury or death to one individual,
  • $30,000 for injury or death of more than one individual, and
  • $5,000 for damages in property.

What to Do After a San Diego Food Delivery Accident

A food delivery man handing a customer's food bag to her.

Getting struck by a vehicle while on San Diego roads can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you do not know what to do soon after the incident has occurred. It can become more complex once you learn that the accident was caused by a food delivery driver. In such a case, we encourage victims to consider doing the actions sectioned below.

Contact the Police

If you notice any injuries or damages, you should reach out to local authorities. They will arrive at the accident scene and conduct a police report. You may request a copy of this written document to use in your personal injury case. Paramedics may also be present to assist injured parties.

Share Information With All Parties Involved

Be sure to exchange contact and insurance details with one another. You should also disclose the following:

  • Driver's license,
  • License plate number, and
  • Vehicle model.

Gather Evidence

Try to take photographs of your injuries and damages. You should also include images of where it took place. Do not forget to scan your surroundings for bystanders. If you find any, you should approach them and ask if they can provide their name(s) and number(s). Witness testimonies can help strengthen your personal injury case.

Seek Medical Attention

Get medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will administer exams to determine whether you sustained any external or internal injuries due to the food delivery accident. If a diagnosis has been made, it will be saved on file, along with your visits, procedures, and prescriptions. You can request a copy of of your medical report and use it as evidence in your food delivery accident claim.

Hire a San Diego Food Delivery Accident Lawyer

Personal injury cases can be difficult to manage on your own, especially if you do not have enough experience or understanding of how California law works. To better your chances of obtaining fair compensation, you should hire a San Diego food delivery accident lawyer to guide you through the filing process.

Determining Liability in a Food Delivery Accident

Determining liability in a food delivery accident will require you to collect evidence and find the right personal injury law firm to represent you. Once you have gathered proof and shared these details with your legal team, the at fault party may be identified. This could be the food delivery driver, or even the company.

If the driver was an independent contractor, the respective business will not face consequences for the actions committed. However, vicarious liability may apply. Information relating to this topic will be discussed in the next section.

Food delivery drivers classified as employees may place the companies accountable for any serious injuries and/or damages that occurred due to negligence. In such a case, you may file a personal injury case against both parties to recover compensation.

Can I Sue the Food Delivery Company?

Under vicarious liability, you may be entitled to sue food delivery companies for negligence. You will need to prove the following three elements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care, meaning that they would have to ensure their delivery drivers do not crash into you or tamper with your order. Depending on the circumstances involved, you could likely mention how they were obligated to hire and train experienced drivers, as well.
  • The defendant breached their duty of care by allowing foreseeable harm to affect you whether you were a driver or customer.
  • The defendant's recklessness ultimately resulted in you suffering property damage loss or an injury.

You may provide copies of the expenses you were charged with due to the food delivery accident, such as medical costs and repair or replacement fees.

How Long Do I Have to File a Food Delivery Accident Claim in San Diego?

Two women at a law office desk preparing to file a lawsuit.

You are granted two years from the date of when the injury occurred or was discovered to file a food delivery accident claim in San Diego. Although you are given a substantial amount of time to take legal action against the opposing side, you should act quickly to ensure you obtain enough evidence and have the right attorney on your side. Failing to submit your claim by the deadline will cause you to lose your opportunity to seek compensation.

Are Food Delivery Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors?

Once Proposition 22 passed in November 2020, food delivery drivers were classified as independent contractors. It was later declared unconstitutional, and an appeal was made. Then, in March 2023, the state appeals court reversed the ruling, but did remove a provision "that required a seven-eighths majority vote of the state legislature to amend workers' rights to collective bargaining."

Three months later, the California Supreme Court decided to take up the appeal, meaning that the case will be handled by the highest court in the state to determine a resolution for this ongoing dispute. Until then, the current classification for gig workers will remain the same.

What Damages Are Available in a San Diego Food Delivery Accident Settlement?

If you were involved in a food delivery accident in San Diego, you may be entitled to receive compensation. The court will consider the following factors when finalizing the settlement:

  • The extent of your injury,
  • The damages you endured, and
  • The amount of negligence contributed by all parties.

Once a decision has been made, pay will be distributed accordingly. Typically, in a food delivery accident case, economic damages and non-economic damages are awarded. Punitive damages is a possibility, but is rarely awarded in personal injury cases.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are financial losses you sustained because of the negligent delivery driver. This includes:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages, and
  • Property damage.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible costs, like:

  • Emotional trauma,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and
  • Pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are granted on top of compensatory damages. This is done to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior and to prevent similar actions from occurring in the future. You will need to prove that they displayed malicious, intentional, or fraudulent conduct against you. This is awarded in less than 5 percent of verdicts.

Our San Diego Food Delivery Drivers Are Here to Help

Were you involved in a food delivery accident due to a negligent individual or entity? You may have the right to pursue legal action against them and acquire compensation for the losses you endured.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our skilled San Diego food delivery accident attorneys are readily available to offer assistance. We will review the situation and determine what party should be held liable, and will aggressively negotiate with the opposing side to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

To schedule a free case evaluation, you can get in touch with us by calling (619) 789-4494 or completing our easy online contact form.

More Resources

Food Delivery Accident in a Personal Car

Food Delivery Accident and Injury Statistics

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