Chicago Food Delivery Accident Lawyer
Delivery drivers are all over the road these days, as companies like DoorDash and GrubHub make huge profits by getting food from restaurants to customers' homes.
The pandemic has increased the size of this market dramatically, since people do not want to leave their homes, and food delivery drivers need work. This increases the risk to the general public of a car accident caused by a food delivery driver in a hurry.
If you suffered bodily injury or property damage in an accident with a car or delivery trucks, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Our experienced attorneys can help explain your legal options in a free consultation when you call to discuss accidents caused by delivery truck drivers.
How Is Food Delivered?
Food is delivered to stores and customers in a number of ways. Delivery trucks are all over the road in Cook County, Lake County and other locations in the Chicagoland area.
These days, you see more and more trucks bearing the logos of companies like Walmart and Target. Even your local grocery store now has a delivery service.
In addition, there are companies like Instacart that will deliver your groceries for you. Customers do not even have to leave their homes to order groceries. Instead, they leave the job to delivery vehicles.
Everyone Can Be a Food Delivery Driver
The same thing that makes life convenient for people who are ordering food makes life more dangerous for drivers on the road. The gig economy allows practically anyone with a driver's license and car to earn some extra money delivering food.
It is incredibly easy to be out on the road earning extra money in a very short period of time. The companies claim to do a background screening on drivers, but they also promise that they can earn money easily, meaning that the checks are not as extensive as they could or should be.
Even large stores and trucking companies are clamoring for drivers, since there is a truck driver shortage. They simply cannot find enough people to drive the delivery trucks.
Calling a Food Delivery Service for Restaurant Meals
The pandemic changed the way that people dine. With many people afraid of restaurants (and others closed), customers ate restaurant food at home after calling to order food or using an app. This turbocharged the business of companies like:
For a fee (and a tip to the driver), these companies will deliver food to your doorstep.
Delivery Drivers Are in a Hurry
Food trucks and cars of all sizes are on the roads in Kane County, Dupage County, Winnebago County and Peoria County. This includes 18-wheelers and large vans. Other drivers will use their own personal vehicles to do their work.
A delivery company is in a hurry. Regardless of who is ordering the food, there is an extra need for it to arrive on time. Restaurant patrons want their food quickly and while it is hot. Stores that have ordered food want to sell it when it is fresh.
As a result, most delivery drivers are pressed for time, and they may cut corners in following traffic laws. They are usually found on the road in inclement weather because that is often when the demand for restaurant food is at its highest.
Determining Liability in a Food Delivery Accident
Your legal claim depends on whether you can show that the other driver was at fault for the accident. The same rules of negligence that apply to every personal injury case will apply to your delivery truck lawsuit.
There is a four-part test to determining liability in a delivery truck accident:
- The delivery driver owed you a duty of care
- The delivery driver breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
- You suffered a personal injury
- You would not have been injured had it not been for the actions of the delivery driver
Car accident cases are all about the facts.
Companies Can Be Held Liable for Accidents
When a delivery truck driver is an employee of a company, their employer can be held liable for anything that the worker does while they are on the job. Many restaurants employ their own delivery people because they do not want to do business with food delivery services.
These restaurants would need to pay for the damage that their drivers cause in an accident. The same goes for large food businesses like Walmart, Target and Amazon that send thousands of trucks out onto the roads each day.
Not All Delivery Truck Drivers Are Employees
How you are compensated for delivery truck accidents all depends on the driver's arrangement with the food delivery company. Some companies, such as Uber Eats, do not hire the drivers onto their payroll.
They enter into arrangements with them as independent contractors because they want to save money and protect themselves from legal liability. When that happens, these food delivery companies will make it as hard as possible to sue them for your injuries.
When an Accident Occurs With an Independent Contractor
The law states that independent contractors are not employees of any company. While DoorDash and its competitors make money off of the efforts of these drivers, they will not put them on the payroll. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that the company will not have wage and benefit rules apply to an independent contractor.
The second is that the company cannot be sued when personal injury was caused by someone who was not an employee, and independent contractors are not considered employees.
Therefore, you will have difficulty filing a lawsuit against Uber Eats and Grubhub. You may be able to file a lawsuit for negligent hiring if the driver had a previously poor driving record, but these are not always easy to win.
Liability Coverage for Food Delivery Accidents
Legal claims are still possible in food delivery crashes, even when you have been in an accident with an independent contractor. Food delivery companies must still maintain insurance coverage for when drivers are working on their behalf. This covers the time period when both the food and driver are in the car.
Different food delivery companies offer varying levels of coverage for accidents. Some will also cover the time period when the driver has accepted an order, and they are on their way to a restaurant to pick up the food.
Personal Auto Insurance to Cover Food Delivery Accidents
When Postmates and Uber Eats drivers are not covered by the corporate liability insurance policy, their personal auto insurance policy may cover the accident damages that were caused.
However, some auto insurance policies may try to exclude coverage for accidents that happened when a driver was working.
Some corporate coverage operates as an excess policy, meaning that it kicks in after the driver's personal policy limit is exhausted.
How Insurance Coverage Works in Food Delivery Accidents
The insurance company operates the same in every accident, no matter what type of accident happened. They could care less about your legal rights. They care only about their own profits and their bottom line.
This is the same whether you are dealing with a driver's personal insurance policy or a corporate liability policy. No insurance company will make it easy for you to receive fair compensation, especially when you have suffered severe injuries and there is a larger check at issue.
You will need to negotiate with the insurance company after an accident. First, you must prove that the delivery driver was responsible for the accident.
The insurance company may contest liability. After all, a corporate insurance policy is a big piece of business for the insurance provider, and they want to make as much money as they can from it.
Even when the insurance company offers compensation, chances are that it is far below the amount that you deserve. Their initial settlement offers are known to be low.
Experienced attorneys know how to value your personal injury claim, and they realize when the insurance company is trying to save money at the expense of your legal rights.
Getting Fair Compensation From the Insurance Company
These insurance companies have been in business for decades or centuries, and they know how the game is played. They are expecting you to reject the initial settlement offer as too low. You can negotiate with them and present your own counteroffer.
If they will not offer you enough money, you have the ability to file a lawsuit to fight for what you legally deserve when the insurance coverage is trying to save money at your expense.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we commit to fighting for you to obtain every penny that you legally deserve. Insurance companies respect us because they know that we will fight for our clients.
Damages in Delivery Truck Accidents
When you have been injured in an auto accident, the liability coverage should pay you for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- Pain and suffering (for things such as broken bones and anxiety/depression from an accident)
- Emotional distress
More serious injuries will result in higher compensation.
Call an Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
After you have been injured in a delivery truck accident or by delivery vehicles, you need a personal injury lawyer to fight for you to obtain fair compensation.
You may even consider calling a lawyer from the accident scene to give your attorney the best chance to gather the evidence that may be used to prove liability.
Call the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers toll free at (888) 424-5757 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Our law firm can offer a free case evaluation, so call our office today or go online and fill out a contact form to begin our attorney client relationship.