Los Angeles Food Delivery Accident Attorney

Los Angeles Food Delivery Accident Attorney

We’re a group of experienced and trusted injury lawyers helping victims of Delivery Accidents.

The Rise of Food Delivery Services 

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of people choose not to go out unless they really need to. Some people still opt to go out to buy food and groceries, while others turn to food delivery services to avoid the risk of getting covid-19. Customers just have to use their smartphones, tablets, or laptops to connect with the food delivery service, look at menus from countless restaurants, pick what they want to eat, and have it delivered to them at home. 

According to a recent report by Statista, the revenue of food delivery services increased by 20% or more in 2020 when compared to 2019. Also, grocery deliveries are becoming more popular, with more and more grocery shops offering pick-up or home delivery options. Additionally, approximately 44% of Gen Z and 45% of millennials have been shopping online for their groceries even before the coronavirus health crisis.  

These days, you can expect thousands of food delivery drivers on California roads every single day. It’s just inevitable that the more drivers there are on the road, the more chances there are of getting into an accident. So what should you do when you get injured in an accident caused by a food delivery driver’s negligent and careless actions? 

Determining Liability in a Los Angeles Food Delivery Accident 

Accidents that have resulted in injuries and/or property damage caused by food delivery drivers could be particularly problematic when trying to determine liability. Food delivery companies often argue that they can’t be held liable for such accidents because their drivers are merely independent contractors and not employees, so you should go after the driver’s insurance company or your own insurance company if the driver is insured or underinsured. 

However, it must be pointed out that Governor Newsom signed into legislation California Assembly Bill 5 last September 2019, which took effect on January 1, 2020. This law addresses the misclassification of gig workers, including food delivery drivers, and works against the interests of businesses that hire gig workers. Under the new law, instead of gig workers being automatically classified as independent contractors, businesses are now required to implement the ABC test before classifying all gig workers as independent contractors. As employees, employers should provide benefits to gig workers, including sufficient auto insurance coverage. 

Due to this reclassification law, businesses are now more vulnerable to various lawsuits and claims, which include those brought on by accident victims of negligent drivers. In general, these injured victims can include pedestrians, other motorists, skateboarders, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. This also means that food delivery companies can now be held liable for their delivery drivers’ negligent actions. 

So, for example, if a food delivery driver causes an accident while delivering a meal for the food delivery business, the business can be held vicariously liable or responsible for the driver’s actions. The problem is that this law is still considered new, and liability for accidents might be difficult to determine, depending on the specific facts of the case. This is especially true in cases where vicarious liability is involved. 

Food Delivery Accidents in Los Angeles and their Common Causes

It’s no secret that food delivery drivers are always rushing because they’re under immense pressure to complete their delivery schedules. This helps ensure customer satisfaction and repeat transactions. It also means more income for the drivers. In general, the quicker that the delivery drivers complete their deliveries, the quicker they can move on to the next deliveries. On the other hand, rushing could lead to carelessness, which, in turn, could result in all kinds of traffic accidents due to negligence. Below are the most common causes of accidents due to driver negligence: 

  • Speeding: For a lot of food delivery drivers, the money they earn for each delivery is directly dependent on the speedy delivery of orders to customers. This situation somehow forces drivers to drive faster than usual.  
  • Distracted Driving: When out on deliveries, food delivery drivers are naturally focused on navigating their delivery routes, searching for the next address, and completing each order as soon as possible. With all the pressures and distractions that come with their jobs, they may not be able to act accordingly and avoid accidents. For instance, food delivery drivers usually need to look at their phones to ensure that they have the right address. Sometimes, they may also have to answer messages or phone calls from customers, restaurants, or grocery stores. In some cases, drivers may also use their phones for personal reasons, like calling or texting a friend. 
  • Driver Fatigue: Just like a lot of delivery drivers, food delivery drivers may have multiple routes and tons of deliveries to complete every day. They’re usually overworked and also under immense pressure to complete their deliveries as fast as they can, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they could be driving while fatigued.
  • Unfamiliar Locations: Food delivery businesses are frequently expanding their services. But because of this, drivers sometimes end up getting lost in unfamiliar locations during deliveries. Drivers who aren’t familiar with a specific location might prioritize not getting lost over driving carefully. They may also find themselves on the wrong street, panicking at the prospect of a late delivery, or driving in areas that aren’t really meant for motor vehicles. 
  • Aggressive Driving: Besides speeding, some food delivery drivers may also engage in aggressive driving tactics in a rush to fulfill deliveries. These dangerous tactics can include tailgating, weaving through traffic with abrupt lane changes, failing to signal, cutting off other motorists, running stop signs or red lights, and ignoring right-of-way rules. 
  • Improper Driver Training: Some companies may skip or rush the driver training process in order to put more drivers on the road, which leads to many improperly trained drivers scrambling to complete deliveries and risking not only their safety but the safety of other road users as well.  

But whatever the reason for the accident, food delivery drivers should always exercise reasonable care when driving because all road users owe other road users a duty of care. This means that drivers are legally obligated to take reasonable care and make certain that their actions don’t cause injuries to other people or damage to vehicles and other property. Remember, a momentary lapse of focus could result in an accident. 

Case Results

  • Personal Injury / Wrongful Death Result

    $9.8Million

  • Personal Injury / Wrongful Death Result

    $3.4Million

Damages in Food Delivery Accident Cases

Food delivery drivers may only have insurance coverage for personal injury under the minimum liability limits imposed by California, which are $15,000 per individual and $30 for every occurrence. The problem is that depending on the accident victim’s type and severity of injury, the insurance may not be adequate enough to cover everything. There’s also the compensation for damages, which can include: 

  • Medical bills, including future medical treatment and rehabilitation bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment or reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

Furthermore, food delivery drivers’ insurance coverage greatly varies from one individual to another. In most cases, their personal liability insurance is considered the primary coverage for accidents, and the insurance coverage of the food delivery company they work for is secondary. This means that the food delivery company’s coverage will only be triggered once the driver’s coverage has been exhausted. But not all companies provide insurance to their drivers, so some drivers only have their personal coverage to fall back on in case of accidents. 

In addition, depending on the specific terms of the driver’s own insurance coverage and the food delivery company’s insurance coverage, a gap may exist between the two insurance policies. For instance, drivers may be covered under the food delivery company’s policy while delivering orders, but not while they’re heading to a restaurant to get a customer’s order. 

Types of Insurance Coverage for Major Food Delivery Companies in California

DoorDash

DoorDash provides food delivery drivers auto insurance coverage of up to $1 million for property and bodily damage if the drivers cause an accident during active deliveries. However, this coverage is considered an excess insurance policy, meaning that if drivers cause accidents during deliveries, the coverage of DoorDash will only kick in once a driver’s personal insurance has been exhausted. So DoorDash’s policy won’t cover drivers who don’t have their own auto insurance. 

Instacart

According to the independent contractor agreement of Instacart, drivers should have their own insurance coverage in accordance with the state’s legal requirements. The company doesn’t offer excess insurance coverage for its drivers. 

Uber Eats

Uber Eats covers food delivery drivers for up to $1 million from the minute they accept a delivery until the delivery’s completion. The company also has comprehensive and collision coverage for vehicle repairs if the driver’s car was damaged during a delivery, but there’s a $1,000 deductible. However, these are contingent upon drivers having their own comprehensive and collision insurance policies.

Uber’s policy could also cover drivers between deliveries when they’re waiting for their next delivery assignments if they don’t have their own insurance. Uber also has a commercial liability policy of up to $25,000 per accident for property damage, $50,000 for every accident for bodily injury, and $100,000 for bodily injury in accidents where multiple people have been injured.  

Postmates 

Postmates has excess liability insurance coverage of up to $1 million for every accident for injuries and property damage their drivers caused in an accident. Food delivery drivers are also required to have personal auto insurance because the Postmates policy will only take effect after the driver’s own coverage limits have been exhausted. 

GrubHub

Similar to Instacart, GrubHub requires its food delivery drivers to have personal auto insurance and doesn’t offer its drivers commercial liability coverage. 

So if you sustained injuries and/property damage in an accident that a food delivery driver caused, you have all the right to pursue a claim and seek compensation for your losses. It is, however, very crucial to note that you shouldn’t expect the driver’s insurance company to just accept your insurance claim. Keep in mind insurance companies prioritize collecting premiums and settling claims for as little money as possible. 

How to Deal with Insurance Companies

You should also be aware that in most cases, a defendant’s insurance company adjuster or representative may try to get in touch with accident victims even before the victim has filed a claim. The alleged purpose of this interaction is to simply see how the victim is doing. But this isn’t really the case because the real purpose of the interaction is to try and obtain statements from you. 

Take note that you’re not legally obligated to give the adjuster any kind of statement before a claim is filed. Also, the adjuster already has the facts of the accident through the defendant and may have also examined the police report about the accident. So whatever the adjuster says, do not give a statement. You may unintentionally say something that may be used against you to refute or downplay your claim. Leave the negotiations and discussions to your attorney. 

Get Legal Advice from an Experienced Los Angeles Food Delivery Accident Attorney Now

After getting injured in California due to the careless actions of a food delivery driver, consult with one of our skilled Los Angeles food delivery accident lawyers here at The Ride App Attorneys. You should bring all liable parties to justice or risk having someone else getting injured due to their negligence. We have extensive experience in handling insurance companies, and we know how to fight them if they don’t play fair. 

You can reach The Ride App Attorneys by phone at 866-641-0497 or contact us online to schedule your free case review and consultation with a Los Angeles food delivery accident attorney. 

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
Auto Accident Client

Tenny Mirzayan is the best out there. She handled our car accident case, and destroyed the other side. Farmers Insurance offered us $0, and she got us deep into the six figures. She did not let us get pushed around. Thank you!!!

-Lyle T.