Pursuing Auto Accident Claims against Food Delivery Drivers
The rise of the “gig economy,” has seen the old-style pizza delivery boy morph into national apps that utilize a virtual army of people across the U.S. to deliver food from restaurants. The convenience of having food delivered from almost any restaurant for a nominal fee explains the sudden surge in popularity of food delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, Postmates and other similar services. However, this army of delivery drivers means an increase in car accidents caused by drivers delivering everything from fine cuisine to comfort food from fast food chains. If you or a family member have been injured by a delivery driver’s lack of reasonable care or inattention, an experienced auto accident lawyer can evaluate your situation and advise you regarding your right to financial compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Delivery drivers pose a heightened risk for causing auto accidents for reasons beyond the mere increase in cars on the road. The requirements imposed by the delivery service often incentivizes drivers to act in an unsafe manner. Motorists delivering food must adhere to strict delivery schedules. Because drivers are paid for each individual delivery rather than an hourly rate or salary, their compensation structure creates a strong incentive to exceed the speed limit or engage in other risky behavior to increase their volume of deliveries.
While the risk posed by more vehicles on the road and drivers rushing to make more deliveries affects all companies that follow this business model, some of these services add requirements that could enhance the threat of injury and death. For example, some of these delivery services guarantee delivery within an hour of the patron placing an order, which escalates a delivery driver’s incentive to cut corners by placing speed above safety.
The screening and hiring requirements imposed by food delivery vendors also may contribute to a higher risk of collisions. For example, Grubhub’s minimum age requirement to make deliveries is 19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reveals motorists between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely per mile driven to be involved in a fatal auto collision.
When pursuing a claim for a collision caused by a food delivery driver, several parties might be legally responsible for an injury victim’s damages. The availability and amount of insurance coverage carried by parties to a car accident often limit the amount of compensation available to an auto accident victim. While these food service delivery companies typically require prospective drivers to carry insurance, the coverage amount might be insufficient to fully compensate a victim for losses suffered in a crash. Further, the individual driver’s policy might exclude claims for damages incurred while the driver is engaged in driving for any employment. Although an injury victim could sue the company responsible for the delivery service, which likely carries far higher policy limits, these companies tend to designate their delivery persons as independent contractors to limit their exposure to liability.
If you or a family member has been injured by a negligent delivery driver, an attorney with extensive car accident claim experience can explain your rights and guide you through the claims process and/or potential lawsuit.
It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education. Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway. Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries. To learn about our Don't Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit montlick.com and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting iridesafe.com.
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