While many food delivery drivers are responsible on the road, you have probably also seen them at their worst – DoorDash or Uber Eats drivers checking their phones as they dart in and out of parking lots in a hurry to deliver a hot meal. Perhaps you’ve had a food delivery app driver veer or stop suddenly in front of you as he or she tries to locate a destination. Or maybe you drive safely for a food delivery app and have been hit by a careless driver while on the job.
Distracted driving is a factor in all of these examples, and as the food delivery app industry continues to gain momentum, so, too, do accidents involving it.
As a car accident injury lawyer, I am encountering more and more clients who have been injured in car accidents involving DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub. Other companies are also experimenting with the delivery app model, such as Amazon Flex, which pays drivers to use their own cars to deliver packages for Amazon, and Postmates, which delivers products from restaurants, retailers, grocers, and more. And, unfortunately, the drivers for all these companies are getting involved in car accidents.
So, I thought it would be helpful to answer some of the most common questions I hear from people who have been injured in delivery app auto accidents.
What Do I Do After a DoorDash Car Accident?
If you are injured in a DoorDash accident, regardless of whether you are driving for the app or hit by someone driving for it, you should follow the same initial steps as in any other car accident:
Whose Auto Insurance Is Responsible in a DoorDash Car Accident?
The at-fault driver or their insurance is responsible for damages incurred in a delivery app accident. If the at-fault driver was the DoorDash driver, you can file a claim against his or her personal car insurance. If the driver’s personal coverage does not cover the damages, DoorDash provides excess auto liability insurance for its drivers (a $1,000,000 policy for bodily injury and/or property damage), but it only applies to accidents that occur while the driver is on an active delivery.
If you are a DoorDash driver and are injured by the negligence of another driver, you can file for damages against the at-fault driver’s insurance. In addition, you may be eligible for coverage under DoorDash’s occupational accident insurance which includes:
- Medical expenses up to $1,000,000, with no deductible or co-pay
- Disability payments of 50% of average weekly wage, up to a maximum allowance of $500 per week minus other income
An experienced car accident attorney can help you look for all available insurance coverage.
How Do the Various Food Delivery App Companies Compare When It Comes to Insurance Coverage?
Most food delivery apps require drivers to carry their own personal car accident insurance, and it’s these personal auto insurance policies that will generally be involved after an accident. However, Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash all have $1 million excess auto liability policies that may apply during certain phases of the delivery.
While DoorDash and Postmates automatically enroll their drivers for occupational accident insurance, Uber Eats makes this optional coverage available at a cost to its drivers on its website. However, Grubhub offers no incremental insurance protection (auto liability or occupational accident), except for in California where it offers occupational accident coverage.
How Common Are DoorDash and Other Food Delivery App Accidents?
While it’s hard to find specific facts about DoorDash/Uber Eats/Grubhub/Postmates accidents, it is likely that food delivery app accidents are on the rise because we are seeing a continued surge in the use of online food apps.
- An August 2022 blog by AppRhino reported that online food app users in the U.S. increased 17% to 111 million in 2020.
- Statista (a statistics portal for market data) forecasts that U.S. revenue in the Online Food Delivery segment is projected to reach $63 billion in 2022 – up 11% over the prior year.
As the online food app market increases, it is likely that accidents involving the related delivery services will increase as well.
What Are Common Causes of a DoorDash Car Accident?
Many food delivery drivers make more money by making a higher amount of deliveries, so they may be more likely to do dangerous things like speed and run red lights. Generally, a high number of the individuals who drive for food delivery apps are young, and younger drivers are statistically more inexperienced and more likely to make driving errors or drive while distracted. This, combined with the pressure on these drivers to deliver food fast while often driving on unfamiliar roads, can lead to more accidents.
Is a DoorDash Car Accident Different From a Rideshare Accident?
One way DoorDash accidents are different from rideshare accidents is that DoorDash provides occupational accident insurance to its drivers in covered accidents at no cost. Uber offers similar coverage (i.e. Optional Injury Protection insurance), but it requires the drivers to pay for it.
While most delivery app companies have company-specific policies, insurance coverage, and driver requirements – whether their drivers are delivering food or passengers – most drivers are considered to be independent contractors and are required to carry state-mandated minimums for personal auto insurance liability coverage for accidents. When the corporate insurance coverage might kick in is usually based on where in the delivery process the driver was at the time of the accident.
Help for People Injured in Food Delivery Car Accidents
We help people who have been injured by others in car accidents involving food delivery services throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Give us a call at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We can help you, too. If you’ve been hurt, it’s time to tell them you mean business.