Louisiana Food Delivery Car Accident Lawyers
A lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is the continued prevalence of food delivery. An industry that only a few years ago was dominated by pizza and Chinese take-out now caters to tastes as diverse as America itself. Companies like Instacart and Doordash paved the way for other players, like Uber Eats and local favorite Waitr, to become profitable with easy-to-use food-delivery apps.
As convenient as these apps are, however, they come with downsides as well. One of those is the rise in food delivery accidents—in 2021 alone, over 1,000 drivers were killed on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, researchers with the Worker Institute of Cornell University found that over half of the food delivery drivers they interviewed had been in an accident while on the job.
If you’re working for one of these delivery apps and you’re involved in a car accident, you might be unsure of your legal options. The same is true if you’ve been hit by a delivery driver. The complex web of driver–company working relationships, and where insurance fits into all of it, can be confusing to navigate. That’s why you need an experienced injury lawyer like Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys to help when you’re in a food delivery accident.
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What Contributes to Delivery Driver Accidents?
Why have food delivery accidents surged in the past few years? A major reason is the great increase in food delivery orders, due to factors like the pandemic and the public becoming more comfortable with app-based delivery. However, those market forces are compounded by other factors, such as the following:
Because of the relatively low rate of pay for food delivery, many food delivery drivers are young and inexperienced. They might be recent high school or college graduates, or they could be workers from other industries trying to make ends meet while between jobs.
Either way, delivery drivers often don’t know the streets they’re delivering on very well, leading to accidental speeding or distracted driving due to checking their GPS. That, plus the loose regulations surrounding independent contractors, makes it hard for governments to legislate minimum driver requirements for delivery apps.
Many delivery apps pay drivers, not a set amount per-hour, but rather per-delivery. In addition, customers generally rate drivers by how quickly they get their delivery. Both of these factors cause drivers to try and make deliveries as quickly as possible, which can lead to speeding and other traffic infractions, as well as delivery accidents.
Long Working Hours
Due to the per-delivery pay structure, many food delivery drivers are also incentivized to work long hours—some have shifts spanning 12–14 hours a day, six days a week. As a result, they can be subject to drowsy driving and exhaustion, which can be more dangerous even than drunk driving. Of course, this leads to an increased risk of traffic accidents.
Few Professional Protections
For delivery drivers, much like other workers in the gig economy like rideshare drivers, professional protections are few. They’re often classed as independent contractors, meaning they are technically self-employed and are in charge of their own taxes, insurance, and other services. While some delivery services have limited liability insurance coverage for their drivers while they’re working, it can be hard to establish that that insurance applies after an accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable After a Food Delivery Accident?
So, if you’re the victim of a traffic accident due to a food delivery driver, who’s liable for your injuries? Louisiana does not consider independent contractors as employees, meaning it can be hard to hold the delivery company accountable for their drivers’ actions. Usually, you’ll need to make a claim with the driver’s personal insurance company.
However, many personal auto insurance companies will refuse to cover an accident that occurred while the driver was working—since they should be covered under commercial insurance. At this point, the delivery company’s liability policy would kick in, if they have one.
Luckily, most delivery companies do provide liability insurance for their drivers while they’re working. However, it can be complicated to establish that the company policy applies, and by how much. This is why it’s so important to hire an experienced delivery accident lawyer to help your case. Liability in this type of accident is a mess of specificity and multiple insurance companies.
What to Do If You’ve Suffered a Food Delivery Accident Injury
After you’ve been involved in a delivery accident, the first thing you should do is call 911. The first responders on the scene will help stabilize your injuries, and their medical report will prove the extent of your wounds when you’re seeking compensation. In addition, the law enforcement officer’s official accident report will serve as the canonical record of what transpired, so make sure to get a copy.
Next, you should contact your insurance to report the claim. However, do not accept any preliminary settlements they may offer until you’ve spoken with a dedicated personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies are not in the business of helping you heal from your injuries, but of making money. As a result, they try to settle claims as quickly and cheaply as possible.
As soon as you can after your accident, call an experienced personal injury lawyer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. You’ll receive a free consultation as to your legal options, and a dedicated legal team will get started on your case right away.
The Necessity of an Experienced Delivery Accident Lawyer
Because of the complexity of delivery driver accidents, it’s vitally important to secure a Louisiana delivery accident lawyer to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Give Gordon a call at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation, and we’ll get started right away on researching the evidence and building your case.
We’ve helped thousands of clients recover over $2.5 Billion recovered for our clients in compensation. We’re so confident we can help you that we offer the G Guarantee: you won’t owe us a dime until we win your case.
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