Who Is Liable When a Delivery Driver Causes an Accident?

Today, there are many different types of delivery drivers, all of whom can potentially cause an accident and injure other motorists. One thing these drivers usually have in common is that they are expected to make deliveries as fast as possible. This pressure may encourage them to skirt safety, which can put other motorists at risk. A complicated classification system and an ever-changing legal framework makes claims involving delivery drivers more complicated than other types of car accident claims. 

Different Types of Delivery Drivers

Some of the different types of delivery drivers include:

  • Food delivery – People who work directly for a company, such as a pizza restaurant, may cause accidents en route to their destination. 
  • Food delivery apps – People who want food from local restaurants may be able to make orders on apps with companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, or others. Generally, independent contractors work for these companies and make deliveries.
  • Last mile drivers – Drivers for Amazon and other companies that fulfill orders to customers are often known as “last mile drivers.” These are usually independent contractors.
  • Contract drivers – Other services such as Instacart and Shipt deliver groceries and other products to your front door through independent contractors.
  • Employee drivers – Drivers for furniture companies, florists, FedEx, UPS, and other companies may be employed directly by the company.

Each of these types of drivers may involve different types of classifications for drivers and, therefore, a different insurance arrangement. 

How Employment Status Can Affect a Claim

Drivers who are employees are generally covered by insurance the employers carry for them. As long as the accident occurred while the driver was performing a work-related task, the employer’s insurance would generally apply if the employee caused the accident. 

Drivers who work for transportation networks, food apps, or other companies are often classified as independent contractors. When a delivery driver is classified as an independent contractor, liability and compensation may shift from the company to the individual driver. This means that if the driver is responsible for the accident, their minimal liability coverage may be responsible for covering your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. While some companies provide liability coverage for drivers, the insurance may be secondary to the individual’s personal liability policy and may require that a claim first be denied by that coverage. Many insurance companies now specifically disclaim liability for any accidents that occur while the driver was working as an independent contractor at the time of the crash. 

Common Causes of Delivery Accidents

To recover compensation in a delivery driver accident, you will have to show that the delivery driver was negligent. Delivery drivers may be at an increased risk of causing accidents due to:

  • Speeding – Delivery drivers may be pressured to make deliveries faster or may be incentivized to speed so they can receive higher tips or ratings. 
  • Fatigue – Delivery drivers may work many hours trying to scrape by a living or because they have multiple jobs. This can put them at risk for driving while they are tired.
  • Lack of experience – Many delivery drivers are young and may not have much driving experience. These drivers are more likely to commit driving errors that can cause collisions with others.

Contact a Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

Claims involving delivery drivers are often more complicated than typical car insurance claims. You may have to file multiple claims to recover the compensation you are owed. An experienced lawyer can analyze the situation, determine who is responsible for the accident, and identify which insurance policy should apply. Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has successfully represented personal injury victims with their claims. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.