The increase of delivery drivers on the road helps make life easier for the rest of us. But you’ve probably noticed the highways are becoming more and more crowded with Amazon trucks, Instacart and Doordashers, and other deliverers.
And since these drivers are usually under pressure to get where they need to go quickly, it makes sense that there’s also been a rise in car accidents.
Chances are, you drive past a recent crash a few times a week. They’re so common that we’ve become jaded to all but the worst wrecks we see.
Studies show that you’re more than 75% likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash at some point in your life. And if you regularly drive from the age of 16, those odds increase to three accidents in your lifetime.
Handling the Damages: Who is Liable?
Determining liability in a regular personal vehicle-to-personal vehicle crash is usually easy. But if the at-fault vehicle is a delivery driver, who is responsible for the damages?
That answer isn’t always cut and dried. Here are some of the facts that you should know in case you’re ever in an accident with one of the many delivery drivers on the road today.
1. From a Legal Perspective, There is No Set Law
The at-fault driver is responsible for the damage for the most part. When a work vehicle is involved, though, that line smudges somewhat. If that work vehicle is a negligent delivery driver, the liability issues become muddy and confusing.
Even the American Bar Association doesn’t have a set rule in these cases. The court looks at the circumstances involved to determine who has to pay for damages in delivery driver crashes.
Questions arise that have to be answered before liability is determined. You’ll need a lawyer to help you muddle through this unclear territory.
Was the driver “on the clock” and on a work-related task? Which company were they working for? Does that company have a no-liability policy?
Once these and other legalities are determined, your lawyer can move forward with getting your expenses covered.
2. How Companies Absolve Themselves From Liability
Most people think that if someone is representing a company, that company covers damages caused by their driver. However, that’s more of an exception than a rule.
These businesses can absolve themselves of responsibility by hiring drivers as independent contractors. So, they’re not technically employees, and therefore, not the company’s responsibility.
Let’s look at a few of the major names in delivery services and how they handle insurance:
- Amazon hires drivers who use their own vehicles under a program called Amazon Flex. Workers must have their own auto insurance, but Amazon kicks in and covers some aspects if an accident occurs within a delivery block. No passengers are included.
- Domino’s Pizza requires drivers to have their own vehicles and insurance. However, many personal policies will exclude accidents that happen on the job. Drivers can add extra insurance through the franchise.
- DoorDash has an “excess” policy, so the driver’s coverage must be exhausted before the company’s insurance will pay for anything. If the driver didn’t have any insurance at all, DoorDash doesn’t pay a cent.
- GrubHub doesn’t cover anything at all. Drivers are responsible for all liability.
There are various other delivery companies, but they all have some coverage variation of these examples. So, until the logistics are worked out, no one knows who’s liable, starting with the company the driver was working for.
3. The Other Circumstances Matter, Too
Determining liability in a delivery driving accident has a lot of other complications to iron out.
For instance, many delivery drivers “double-dip,” picking up deliveries for multiple companies at one time. It’s not uncommon for an Uber Eats driver to also work for GrubHub.
When they have multiple deliveries in their possession and are headed to drop them all off, it’s the driver’s word on where they were going first.
Negligence is an integral consideration, too. Some behaviors, such as driving under the influence, can disqualify the driver from insurance coverage.
Handling a typical car accident with a clearly visible fault can be done solo if you don’t want to get an attorney involved. But when the person that hit you is a delivery driver, that changes.
When you’re safely away from the scene, the first phone call you should make is to a lawyer who specializes in delivery driver accidents.
Your Rights as An Injured Passenger in A Vehicular Accident
Many articles and references cite cases and samples of scenarios where people are involved in an accident and what they should do should such untoward things happen to them but the thing is that there are still many people who are left in the dark on their rights and what they should do if there are involved in a car accident and they are the passengers inside the car. So, in light of that here are your basic rights as an injured passenger in a vehicular accident.
Coverage for Lost Wages
When a person is involved in an accident there is most likely a lengthy time that will be spent on the investigation and even the filling of reports and cases, and after that should the person happened to be injured then there would be more time spend on recovery, given the fact that all these happened due to the negligence or behaviour or another person meant that it would be unjust on the victims’ part to suffer for the things that are not their doing thus they must be compensated for it.
Especially in terms of the wages or income that they have lost due to the accident wherein they cannot work or that their salaries are reduced due to the impediments of the accident. They have to be compensated for that it could be through lawsuits or through settlements with the driver who is at fault.
Payment for Pain and suffering
This compensation is for the suffering that the passenger was subjected into during and after the accident. What happens is that after the accident and when a party is injured it does not only mean physical pain as of the moment because at some point after the accident they would still be subjected to the same pain and suffering, not to mention the probability of developing psychological trauma due to the events that has unfolded. This payment should also be included in the settlement; one can contact car accident lawyers to help them with settlement issues and claims.
Coverage for Medical Bills
Lastly, the party who is at fault should be the one to carry the weight of the medical expenses that they have to undergo through during the examination and even for the mediations that they will be taking after the accident. Follow up check-ups and other pertinent visit to the doctor should be included in the medical coverage expense for the party at fault.
Always remember that as an injured individual you fully deserve to claim these rights and that it does not matter who is at fault during the accident, because technically you are the responsibility of the one who is driving the car you are in at the moment of accident, so you can still file for compensation and damages even if your driver is the one at fault.
Claiming rights to be treated and compensated rests on the response that you will make after the accident, so do not forget to stay calm, document everything if you can, and persistence on your right during those times.
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