If you are on the road around lunchtime or in the evening, you could very well be sharing the road with someone making a food delivery, as more and more people prefer ordering in.
For many years, food delivery options were somewhat limited, but services like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub have allowed people to have food delivered from many different restaurants. These services and the ease of ordering food from your smartphone have caused a substantial increase in food delivery in recent years.
One downside to the increase in food delivery is you may be sharing the road with people who are in a hurry to make deliveries so they can get to the next one. Delivery drivers may also be distracted because they are looking at directions on their smartphones. This could increase the risk for a crash.
Victims of these accidents may have questions about liability. Is the driver’s employer liable? Is the driver even an employee of the food delivery service? How do I seek compensation?
Victims of food delivery driver accidents should seek experienced legal help, as the legal process can be complex. Schmidt Kramer’s licensed attorneys are available to help at no upfront cost.
Does Fault Even Matter?
The answer to this question is complicated, as Pennsylvania is a no-fault state. That means most crash victims file claims against the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in their own insurance policies. This coverage can be used no matter who is at fault for the crash.
That said, PIP does not cover damage to your vehicle. Unless you have collision insurance, which is optional, you would need to file a claim against the property damage liability coverage in the at-fault driver’s insurance. You would need to establish that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Another issue to consider is the value of your medical bills may exceed the limits of your PIP coverage. In that scenario, you may need to file a claim against the liability coverage of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Fault would certainly be an important issue in this type of claim.
How do You File a Claim?
The food delivery driver’s personal insurance probably does not apply to the accident, as the driver was using his or her car for work. Personal car insurance policies typically do not cover commercial driving activities.
Some drivers may buy separate insurance policies to cover them if they are involved in an accident while delivering food. This type of coverage could also be called business-use coverage.
If your claim is worth more than the limit of the business-use coverage, you may be able to use your underinsured motorist coverage to pay for the difference.
As for filing a lawsuit, your ability to do this is limited by the type of insurance you chose. If you chose limited tort, you can only file a lawsuit in certain circumstances (serious injuries that cause disfigurement or disability). You also cannot seek compensation for pain and suffering.
However, if you bought full tort coverage, you can sue no matter how severe your injuries are. You can also seek compensation for pain and suffering. That said, suing the at-fault driver may not make sense, as he or she probably does not have the assets to even come close to covering your damages.
Does the Food Delivery Company Insure the Driver?
In short, some companies do and some do not. Even if the at-fault driver’s company provides insurance, you should hire an attorney to help you review the policy and determine the available coverage. Schmidt Kramer’s Harrisburg-based vehicle accident lawyers are committed to pursuing full compensation for your damages. You do not need to manage the claims process on your own, as going it alone is often something that benefits the insurance company.
If the driver who caused your crash was driving for Grubhub, the company does not provide insurance for drivers. That means drivers are on the hook for damages from the crash. Unless they chose to buy business-use insurance, you may not be able to obtain more compensation than what is available from your insurance policy.
You may be wondering whether you can sue Grubhub itself for damages under the theory of vicarious liability. However, Grubhub drivers are likely considered independent contractors and not employees. Vicarious liability only applies to employees.
If the driver who hit your car works for DoorDash, there is a basic liability policy for you to seek compensation from. This insurance policy could be used after the driver’s business-use coverage runs out. The insurance would only apply if there was food in the car. Coverage does not apply if drivers are in between deliveries and do not have food in their cars.
When people sign up to driver for Uber Eats, they are contracted with Portier LLC, a subsidiary of Uber. Portier provides insurance like it does for Uber drivers, including $1 million in liability coverage for each crash. The coverage is in effect the moment a driver accepts a request and applies until food is delivered. Fortunately, there is also liability coverage in-between deliveries – $50,000 per driver/per crash.
Drivers for this company are given liability coverage for injury and property damage. Like DoorDash, coverage does not apply in between deliveries. Coverage only applies when an order has been accepted.
Need Legal Help After a Crash? Call Today
Did you know research has shown that car accident victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who go it alone?
Insurance companies are always looking for an excuse to deny a claim or at least pay less than its full value. They are not looking out for your best interests, despite what they say in their TV commercials.
The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are ready to help you seek maximum compensation for your damages. That is our goal and we have established a successful track record of doing that over more than 30 years.
An initial consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.
Give us a call today to learn how we may be able to help. (717) 727-1403