Liability for Car Crashes With Food Delivery Drivers
Getting food delivered to your home has become increasingly convenient, thanks to services like Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash and Grubhub. Being a food delivery driver is also appealing to people who enjoy driving and the freedom to set their own schedule.
While there are benefits to food delivery, it is also important to note delivery drivers are often in a rush and there are more of them on the road than ever. This increases the risk of a collision, which raises questions about liability.
Do victims of these crashes seek compensation from the driver? Can you file a claim against the driver’s employer?
Our licensed New Jersey vehicle crash attorneys are available to discuss potential legal options after this type of crash. An initial consultation is free of charge and there is no obligation to hire our firm after meeting with us. There are also no upfront fees or fees while our attorneys are working on your case.
ASSESSING LIABILITY FOR CRASHES WITH FOOD DELIVERY VEHICLES
Even though New Jersey is a no-fault state, fault can still be an issue in a claim for compensation for car crash damages. The problem is the driver is using his or her vehicle for a business/commercial purpose, which means his or her personal insurance does not apply to the crash. If you file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance, the insurer is probably going to deny it.
INSURANCE POLICIES FOR DELIVERY DRIVERS
Delivery drivers have the option to buy business-use coverage to pay for damages they cause while making food deliveries. If the delivery driver has this coverage, you should be able to file a claim against it to seek compensation for your damages.
If your damages exceed the limits of the delivery driver’s liability coverage, you may be able to file a claim against the underinsured motorist coverage in your own insurance policy.
DO FOOD DELIVERY COMPANIES PROVIDE INSURANCE?
Some food delivery companies do provide insurance and these policies may provide compensation for damages suffered in a crash with a delivery driver.
However, each company’s insurance policy is different and comes with different terms and exclusions. It is vital to review the policy with an experienced attorney who regularly deals with insurance companies.
Uber Eats’ liability coverage is provided by Portier LLC (an Uber subsidiary), and it is worth $1 million per crash. There is also property damage coverage to pay for damage caused by the driver. However, coverage only applies when the driver is delivering an order or after he or she has accepted an order.
Portier has separate liability coverage of $50,000 per driver/per accident for drivers who are in between deliveries. This coverage would apply if the driver does not have personal insurance to cover damages.
Unfortunately, Grubhub does not pay for insurance for its drivers. Any damages drivers cause while making deliveries or in between deliveries are the driver’s responsibility.
As drivers are technically independent contractors, the companies that employ them typically cannot be held liable for their actions. While this shields the companies from liability, it does not protect victims of crashes with delivery drivers.
Postmates liability insurance kicks in once a driver accepts an order and applies until the order is delivered. However, the insurance policy does not apply if the driver is waiting to accept an order.
If you get into a collision with a delivery driver who was on the way to deliver an order, you may be able to seek compensation from DoorDash’s limited liability insurance. This policy does not apply if the driver was on the way to pick up an order or was waiting to accept an order.
WHAT ABOUT FILING A LAWSUIT?
New Jersey gives drivers a choice between a standard policy and basic policy. Basic policies limit your ability to file a lawsuit and seek pain and suffering damages. Standard policies give you a choice between a limited and unlimited right to sue. If you have a limited right to sue you cannot include pain and suffering in a lawsuit unless you suffer one of the following injuries:
- Permanent injury
- Loss of a fetus
- Loss of a body part
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Displaced fracture
However, you would not be filing a lawsuit against the driver, as he or she probably does not have the assets to cover your damages. Your lawsuit might be with your own insurance policy or the driver’s commercial use insurance policy, or the driver’s personal insurance in some cases.
As car crash lawsuits are complex, it is best to discuss the situation with an experienced attorney to learn more about your options. At Lynch Law Firm, PC, we are prepared to take cases to court to secure full compensation.
CALL TO DISCUSS FILING A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION
Our experienced attorneys are prepared to help victims of many types of car crashes seek compensation for medical expenses and other damages. There is no financial risk with our services because there are no upfront fees.
We are prepared to help you through the entire legal process and pursue maximum compensation to help you move forward after a crash.
Contact Lynch Law Firm, PC today to discuss legal options. Call (800) 518-0508.