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Who Is Liable for a Crash Caused by a Delivery Driver?

Who is liable for a crash caused by a delivery driver?

We see the big blue Amazon trucks and red DoorDash bags all over, constantly dropping off packages and food to customers. They have quotas to meet and hot food to deliver and they often drive fast or stop in places that aren’t designated parking spaces.

What happens if you get into a fender bender with them? Who is liable for a crash caused by a delivery driver?

In this post, we’ll dig into how often delivery drivers are involved in car accidents and who you can hold liable if you’ve been in a wreck with one.

How Common Are Wrecks With Delivery Drivers?

Delivery drivers are notorious for driving fast and often recklessly, as well. They’re in a hurry to get to their destination to meet quotas and ensure their customers are happy. With food delivery services such as DoorDash, UberEats, or GrubHub, the drivers get paid for every order they deliver and will rush through orders to make as much money as they can. But, when drivers are in a hurry or on a deadline, as most delivery drivers are, they have a much higher chance of getting into an accident.

These are some of the most common reasons why a delivery driver could cause a crash:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Fatigued driving

Most delivery companies require their drivers to provide proof of insurance before being hired and they may also check a person’s driving record to ensure that the drivers working for them will be safe out on the road. However, no matter how clean a driving record or how safe a driver may be, delivering packages or food for hours every day can wear down even the best drivers and cause them to make mistakes that lead to serious car accidents.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Delivery Driver Accident?

When you’re in a vehicle collision, it’s usually a straightforward process where you exchange information with the other driver, file with your or their insurance, and move on. However, in the case of a crash with a delivery driver, it may be more complicated to determine who to hold liable, as it depends on the company involved or if the driver is in their own personal vehicle versus a company-owned car. There are a few different people or entities you might be able to hold responsible for your accident caused by a delivery driver.

The Driver

If an individual drives for a company such as DoorDash, for example, they are an independent contractor, not an employee. They must use their own vehicle, and if they’re involved in a collision, they would have to use their own insurance policy to cover damages to their vehicle or others. DoorDash does provide free occupational accident coverage to their drivers in the case of a crash, but it only covers injuries that happen to the DoorDash delivery driver, not any property damage or injuries to others involved.

In this instance, the driver could be held liable for their negligent actions that caused your accident and you would likely not be able to pursue a claim against DoorDash. However, in the case of Amazon or another company where the driver may be an employee as opposed to a contractor and drives a company vehicle rather than their own personal car, you may be able to hold the company responsible as well.

The Delivery Company

A lot of companies use their employees to make deliveries, whether it is Amazon or a local grocery store, so when the driver causes a collision, the company that hired them may be held liable. This is sometimes referred to as the “theory of vicarious liability”, which means that although the company itself wasn’t responsible for your collision, because they approved their employee to drive, they share some amount of responsibility for the employee’s actions.

To ensure a successful claim against an employer, the driver must have acted within the scope of employment at the time of the accident, meaning that there is an employer/employee relationship and the employee was working within the scope of their duties, ie. driving the delivery vehicle. Often times, companies may attempt to push the responsibility onto the employee or others, which is why having an experienced car accident attorney is important.

Another Party

In some cases, it may not be the delivery driver’s actions that caused your crash. There could be a manufacturer’s defect that caused mechanical failure in their vehicle, or they may be driving a company car that has not had regular maintenance. If a problem with the delivery vehicle is shown to be the cause of your accident, then your lawyer can help you pursue a claim against the car manufacturer or whoever is in charge of ensuring the company cars are maintained.

As you can see, there are nuances to an accident caused by a delivery driver, and it may not be a cut-and-dry situation like other accidents are. Having a competent lawyer on your side can help even the most complex of cases. Our legal team at Shrager, Sachs & Blanco has the necessary experience to assist you and our first conversation is always free.

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