Food delivery services have significantly increased in popularity over the past few years. More than 100 million Americans use these services today, generating over $26 billion in revenue. And by 2024, the food delivery industry is projected to reach $32 billion.
These services are especially common in larger cities, such as those in California, like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Unfortunately, despite how convenient food delivery is, it also contributes to increased traffic congestion.
People might choose to have food delivered so they don’t have to drive, but this means there are more delivery drivers on the roads to cater to this increased demand in food delivery.
But what happens when someone else on the road gets into an accident with a food delivery driver? How do accident claims and insurance coverages work in these situations?
Our San Francisco car accident claim lawyers have got the answer to these questions and more below.
How Food Delivery Accidents Happen
Food delivery accidents can happen the same as any kind of accident. However, there are also situations unique to food delivery that can increase the likelihood of an accident happening.
For example, food delivery drivers typically use GPS services on a phone to find where they must go to pick the food up and where they must go to drop the food off. And while using a cell phone for GPS purposes is allowed in California, it can still be a distraction. If the delivery driver gets confused by the GPS or distracted by messing with the GPS on their phone, it could distract them from driving, which could cause them to get into an accident.
If the food they are transporting is not packaged properly or not secured in their vehicle, it could spill and cause a mess, which could also distract the driver and cause them to get into an accident. Many food delivery drivers also work long hours, late night shifts, or take on food delivery as a second job, which means they can be very fatigued and overworked while driving. And fatigued driving is a common cause of car accidents.
Food Delivery Insurance Coverage
Most food delivery companies classify their drivers as independent contractors. This means that the companies require the drivers to carry their own liability insurance in case they cause an accident.
But many of these drivers are riding around only with minimum insurance coverage, as most people in California only pay for the state minimum, which is $15,000 per person for injury or $30,000 per accident. And unfortunately, medical bills for car accident injuries can easily be well above $15,000 to $30,000.
What happens if you’re in an accident and the delivery driver is at fault, but their liability insurance is not enough to cover your expenses? This depends on the company they are driving for, as food delivery insurance coverage can vary from one company to the next.
Though many food delivery drivers are required to carry their own insurance, some companies do offer limited liability insurance coverage, depending on the situation.
GrubHub Insurance Coverage
Though GrubHub is one of the most well-known and popular food delivery services, they surprisingly do not offer any insurance coverage for their drivers. This means that if you are injured in an accident with a GrubHub driver, your only option is to file a claim against the GrubHub driver’s insurance.
If the GrubHub drivers policy is not enough to cover your damages and injuries, then you will have to rely on your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (if you have it) to cover your remaining costs.
DoorDash Insurance Coverage
DoorDash provides limited liability coverage for accidents that cause bodily injury or property damage. However, this insurance policy only applies when the delivery driver is making a delivery, meaning they have food in the car. If the driver causes an accident on their way to pick up the food or while waiting for a delivery request, then the policy does not cover the accident.
It’s also worth noting that this liability coverage only kicks in once the driver’s personal insurance coverage runs out. So if you are injured in an accident while the DoorDash driver has food in their car, you must first file against their insurance, and then you will only be able to get money from the DoorDash policy once the driver’s coverage is exhausted.
UberEats Insurance Coverage
UberEats provides the best coverage for drivers in case of an accident, but when their policy applies is a little more complex. They offer two different coverage options, and which one applies will depend on the delivery driver’s activity on the app at the time of the accident.
If the Uber Eats driver is logged into the app but is waiting to receive a food delivery request when the accident happens, Uber Eats provides $50,000 per person for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. If the Uber Eats driver causes an accident when they are on their way to pick up an order or when they are dropping an order off, then Uber Eats provides $1 million in coverage per accident.
Filing Food Delivery Car Accident Claims
Though food delivery services have traditionally classified their drivers as independent contractors, California recently passed a law requiring more companies to classify their drivers as official employees. As such, this makes food delivery service companies more liable when accidents occur.
Still, filing a claim or a lawsuit against a major company is not easy. Even if you are entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will genuinely award you the full and fair amount of money you need and deserve.
Injuries and other damages from car accidents can easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, not to mention the emotional trauma you might experience after an accident. If you want to recover the high-value settlement that you deserve for your suffering, you will likely need to work with an attorney.
Standing up against major food delivery companies and their fancy insurance teams is not easy, but a lawyer can help. When you work with an attorney, they can help investigate the case to help prove fault, gather evidence to build a strong case against the food delivery company, and ensure the insurance company awards you the fair settlement you deserve. And they can do all of this while you focus on your rest and recovery so you can move on with your life.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
At Sally Morin, we truly care about our clients. Food delivery accidents are quite common in California, and we have handled many of these kinds of cases, so we know what it takes to ensure our clients are adequately compensated for their injuries.
Call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.