As food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Grubhub continue to grow in popularity even after the pandemic lockdowns, it’s likely that the number of accidents with drivers for these services will grow as well.
Unfortunately, accidents with food delivery drivers can create an extremely difficult claims process if you’re trying to seek compensation for injuries, vehicle damage, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Who is Liable in Delivery Driver Accidents?
Depending on the app the driver is affiliated with, the details of the driver’s personal insurance policy, and the stage of the delivery process they were in when the accident occurred, filing a claim for a delivery driver accident can be even more complicated than rideshare accidents or accidents with uninsured motorists.
With this in mind, it’s incredibly important to find an experienced car accident Dunwoody attorney who can help you navigate the claims process with ease, so you can get the maximum possible compensation with minimal stress and anxiety.
If you’ve been in an accident with a driver for a food delivery app, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you report the accident, file insurance claims, and navigate the legal process.
Why Might a Food Delivery Driver Get in an Accident?
In many cases, food delivery app drivers are less experienced than commercial drivers. They typically operate as independent contractors — which makes insurance claims especially complicated — and have few qualifications for joining an app. In most cases, you can sign up with just a valid driver’s license and proof of a personal insurance plan.
When you combine this low barrier to entry with the pressures of driving for a delivery app — more time behind the wheel than an average driver, frequent drives to unfamiliar locations, and the desire to make deliveries fast in hopes of receiving better tips and ratings — it’s easy to imagine why a food delivery driver might be more likely to get into a car accident.
Who is Liable in an Accident with a Food Delivery Driver?
Even though food delivery apps require drivers to submit proof of insurance, many personal insurance policies will not actually cover accidents that occur while a driver is working. This adds an extra layer of complication to the process of filing an insurance claim, even if the delivery driver is clearly at fault.
Some of the popular food delivery apps provide supplemental insurance for their drivers, while others do not. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different apps’ policies:
DoorDash: DoorDash provides excess auto liability insurance for its drivers who are considered liable for damages or injuries in a car accident. If the driver’s personal insurance policy denies the claim, DoorDash’s insurance will kick in.
Keep in mind that this coverage only applies to drivers who are involved in an “active delivery.” DoorDash defines this as “from the time they accept a delivery request until the time the order is marked as delivered, unassigned, or the order is canceled.” It does not apply to drivers who are online but have not accepted a delivery request, so it’s important to know which stage of the delivery process a driver was in when the accident occurred.
Grubhub: Unlike some of the other delivery apps, Grubhub does not provide liability insurance for its drivers. If you’re in an accident with a Grubhub driver, you’ll have to file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance company.
Uber Eats: UberEats provides insurance coverage for its drivers in situations where their personal auto insurance does not apply. The amount of coverage available depends on the stage of the delivery process a driver is in, so make sure to get clarification on this detail at the scene of the accident.
If the driver is offline or has their app turned off when the accident occurs, only their personal insurance coverage will apply.
If the driver has the app turned on and is waiting for a delivery request, Uber maintains $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. This coverage serves as third-party liability if the driver’s personal insurance does not apply.
If the driver is en route to pick up or drop off a delivery, Uber maintains $1 million in third-party liability.
Postmates: Postmates was acquired by Uber in 2020, and its drivers are covered by the same third-party liability insurance as UberEats.
What to do at the Scene of an Accident with a Food Delivery Driver
As with any car accident, the information you gather at the scene of an accident with a food delivery driver will play an important role in your ability to file a claim.
Keep in mind that your health and safety always come first, though. If you or any of the other involved parties need immediate medical attention, call 911 right away.
Even if everyone is safe and appears to be uninjured, it’s important to make sure someone calls the police. In Georgia, drivers are required by law to immediately report any accident resulting in an injury or at least $500 of damage.
Plus, having a police report that clearly documents the events of the accident and the damages that occurred will be important for your insurance claim.
If you don’t need immediate medical care, try to gather the following information before leaving the site of the accident:
- Any road or weather conditions that may have played a role in the accident
- Information you can gather from witnesses
- The name of the company the delivery driver is working for
- The contact and personal insurance information of every person involved in the accident
- The exact site of the accident
- The exact stage of the delivery process the driver was in when the accident occurred (Ex: waiting for a delivery request, en route to pick up a delivery, en route to drop off a delivery)
- The location of any cameras that might have captured the accident
- Your recollection of what happened
Take notes on your phone or a piece of paper to help you remember everything, and if possible, take detailed photos of the damaged vehicles and the accident site.
Keep in mind that this information is primarily for your records and for you to share with any attorney you may hire. Just because you’ve gathered a certain piece of information does not mean you should report it to the insurance company, as they will be looking for any possible excuse to deny your claim.
How to Report an Accident to the Delivery App
Once the police have been called and you’ve gathered as much information as you safely can, you should also make sure to report the accident to both the rideshare app and the driver’s personal insurance carrier.
To report an accident with an UberEats or Postmates driver, use this form.
To file a claim with DoorDash, fill out this form.
If you’ve been in an accident with a Grubhub driver, you’ll only need to file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance carrier, as Grubhub does not provide third-party liability insurance.
The Importance of Timely Medical Care After a Car Accident
Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, you should visit a primary care or urgent care doctor after a car accident. Some injuries don’t present symptoms right away, so timely medical care can help you catch any problems early on.
This way, you’ll have a record of any injuries, which makes it much easier to get insurance to cover your future medical bills related to the injury.
Make sure to ask your doctor for a paper copy of your records, and keep them organized somewhere safe. You should also take photos of any visible injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or swelling.
Keep these Things in Mind When Talking to Insurance Adjusters
Once you’ve filed a claim with the delivery driver’s personal insurance company and with the delivery app, you should be prepared to be contacted by insurance adjusters. These people are employed by the insurance company and will typically reach out within a few days of filing your claim.
Don’t forget that adjusters do not have your best interests at heart. Their job is to look for reasons why you should not receive the compensation you’re asking for.
Because of this, it’s important to steer clear of saying anything that might hurt your chances of getting the money you deserve, even if it’s clear that you’re not at fault in the accident.
In general, try to stick to these guidelines:
- Don’t admit fault, even if you think you’re responsible
- If they ask a question you don’t know how to answer, tell them you need to consult with your lawyer
- Keep your answers short
- Only share verifiable facts, instead of speculating about what happened
- Never accept the company’s first compensation offer without consulting an attorney
If you’re nervous about talking to the insurance adjuster, try practicing your answers ahead of time with a family member, or even in your bathroom mirror. Make sure you have all of your documents and records organized and accessible before taking the call, and jot down a few notes of the key talking points you want to emphasize.
A Dunwoody auto accident lawyer can also help you prepare for the conversation by letting you know which details you should and should not share.
What if the Food Delivery Driver’s Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
Unfortunately, many personal insurance policies will not provide coverage for drivers when they are on the job. Some drivers will purchase additional insurance to cover their delivery work, but this is not required by the major food delivery apps.
So, if you’re in an accident with a driver from an app like Grubhub, which does not provide supplemental insurance coverage for its drivers, you may not be able to get your claim resolved by either the app or the driver’s insurance.
In these situations, you may be able to take advantage of any uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that you have added to your own insurance policy.
This coverage can fill in the gaps when a driver doesn’t have adequate insurance, or the money they need to pay for the damages out of pocket.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer After an Accident with a Food Delivery Driver?
Accidents with food delivery drivers can get complicated fast, so it’s extremely beneficial to have an attorney in your corner.
A great lawyer can help you figure out what information you need to collect, keep all your records organized, file a claim correctly, and communicate with the insurance adjuster.
An attorney can even handle details like obtaining the police report and filing the claim for you if you’re injured or just too overwhelmed to take these steps yourself. And don’t wait until your claim gets denied to consult with an attorney.
The sooner you hire one, the more advantage they will have, especially in the event that you have to pursue litigation.
Depending on your role in the accident, you may be able to receive money for:
- Car repair costs
- Lost wages due to injury or lack of transportation
- Past and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle rental while your car is damaged
Once you receive an offer from insurance, the attorney can also help you determine whether or not you should accept, and if needed, they may negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
How Do I Know If My Case Will Need Litigation?
Insurance companies are not your friend, and they’re focused mainly on protecting their interests (and the interests of their delivery app company clients). So even though your attorney will do everything in their power to help you get fair compensation without taking legal action, litigation is sometimes necessary.
When this happens, the major insurance companies are already at a huge advantage, because they deal with car accidents every day. This is especially true in complicated cases like one with a food delivery driver. Many lawyers, even those who specialize in personal injury, will go their entire careers without ever working on a case that involve these type of accidents
If you can find an attorney who has experience with rideshare accident litigation and underinsured motorists, it can mean the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and walking away empty handed.
Dunwoody Attorney Nick Martin Can Help You
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you shouldn’t need to worry about getting your medical bills paid for, or losing wages while you’re unable to work. The most important thing for you to focus on is getting better.
Even if you’re healthy and the only damages are to your car, you shouldn’t have to pay for damages that weren’t your fault, and you definitely shouldn’t have to worry about transportation to and from work while your car is being repaired.
Hiring a great attorney will not only improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve, but it will also give you peace of mind while you wait for the outcome of your claims.
When you know your case is in expert hands, you’re free to focus on recovering from the accident, whether you’re physically injured or traumatized by the incident.
Whatever your specific situation, Nick Martin can help you get the right compensation. Nick has extensive experience in personal injury law.
He’s also experienced with the claims processes of these large companies like Uber, so he’s prepared to advocate for your needs no matter how complicated the process may become.
If you’ve been in an accident with a food delivery driver, taking action today can help you ensure you get the maximum possible compensation.
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