Are Food Delivery Companies Responsible for Accidents?
On-demand food delivery has changed the way we enjoy restaurant-quality food. Thanks to apps like Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, we can now enjoy tasty meals in the comfort of our homes.
However, the convenience that these services offer comes at a price. Now that more food delivery drivers are on the road, the risk of car accidents could increase.
If you want to learn who will be liable for food delivery accidents, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog, we’ll explore how fault or liability for food delivery is determined in car accidents involving food delivery drivers.
Determining Liability For Food Delivery Accidents
When it comes to identifying who should be liable for food delivery accidents, there are three important factors you must consider:
The first question most people ask in car accidents is: which driver caused the crash? Drivers have a duty of care to other road users.
Once they breach this duty by driving recklessly or violating traffic laws, they will be liable for any injury or damage their actions cause.
However, since California is a comparative state, both drivers could be at fault for the incident.
Comparative negligence is where liability is divided between the two drivers depending on their percentage of fault. So, if you filed a $100,000 claim against the other driver and were found responsible for 30% of the accident, you’ll only receive a $70,000 compensation.
Another important question you have to ask is: was the driver an independent contractor or a regular employee?
Most food delivery drivers who work for apps like Uber Eats are independent contractors, meaning you can’t hold their employers liable for their actions.
Meanwhile, if the driver is an employee of a restaurant, you can hold the restaurant responsible under the assumption of vicarious liability.
Under vicarious liability, an employer will be held responsible for the actions of their employees if:
- There’s an existing employee/employer agreement.
- The employee was under the supervision of the employer.
- The employee acted within the scope of their employment during the incident.
Time of Incident
Aside from the driver’s employment status, the incident’s time is another important factor you must consider. It determines the extent of the employer’s liability and insurance coverage.
For example, if the crash occurred while the at-fault driver was on the job, you can file a claim with the employer’s insurance policy.
Most restaurants have policies that cover car accidents during deliveries. However, most of these contracts have limits. If the accident happened when the other driver was off the clock, there’s no guarantee that it can be applied to your case.
Are Food Delivery Drivers Insured?
As independent contractors, food delivery drivers are expected to have their own insurance policies. They can’t make food deliveries unless they have their own auto insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, not all personal policies cover commercial driving, which includes food delivery.
So, to address this concern, certain companies have given additional coverage to their drivers. Here are a few examples:
Food delivery drivers who work with Uber Eats must sign a contract with their subsidiary, Portier LLC, that provides them a $1 million liability coverage for bodily injuries and damages.
However, this policy only applies if the accident happened from when the driver accepted the request to when they completed the delivery.
Aside from this, they also have a collision and comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
Like Uber Eats, DoorDash provides drivers with a $1 million liability policy, which only applies to accidents during active deliveries. They can only receive coverage if they are still carrying food during the crash.
Food delivery drivers from Postmates can use their $1 million liability insurance once they’ve exhausted the limits of their personal policies.
What to Do After A Food Delivery Accident
If you got into an accident with a food delivery driver, here’s what you need to do:
Call The Police
The first thing you must do after a food delivery accident is to call the police. Authorities will help you make an accurate police report of what happened. This document will be crucial should you file a claim against the other driver.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
Seek immediate medical attention even if you think you’re uninjured. Some injuries are not always apparent; if left untreated, they could result in serious complications or long-term damage.
A proper diagnosis from a medical professional will showcase the extent of your injuries and strengthen the validity of your personal injury claim down the line.
Once you get the emergency medical treatment you need, you must exchange information with the other driver. Get their full name, contact number, and insurance provider. You will need these details when filing a claim.
We also suggest you note the car’s license plate, make, and model.
Document the incident if you can. Any photos or videos you take of the damages and injuries you’ve sustained can be used as evidence for your claim.
We also recommend that you note the date, time, location, and weather conditions during the incident. These details may seem small, but they can significantly impact the outcome of your claim.
Hire A Lawyer
Although most car accident claims are settled out of court, cases involving food delivery companies are more complicated than you think.
Determining liability won’t be as easy. It would be best if you had the expertise of a personal injury lawyer on your side.
An experienced attorney understands how California’s laws work. They’ll guide you through filing your claim and building a strong case. They can also represent you during negotiations.
With their help, you can focus on your healing and fight for your rights to fair compensation at the same time.
Find A Good Lawyer in California
If you need help filing a claim or lawsuit for a food delivery accident, look no further than Adamson Ahdoot.
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, Adamson Ahdoot is one of the leading civil litigation firms in the Golden State. We handle our cases with the intimacy of a small firm and the expertise of a larger one.
Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers will assist you in filing your claim and increase your chances of getting justice.
With Adamson Ahdoot’s help, you can focus on your healing and recovery. Call us at (800) 310-1606 and schedule a free consultation today.
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