What to do if you have been involved in an accident with a food delivery driver such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, Caviar, and Postmates? The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm explain.
Is the Food Delivery Company or Their Driver Liable for a Car Accident in Philadelphia?
The convenience of the services offered by companies such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar, and Postmates is quite understated. They deliver food right to your door, however; to the relief of many, delivery is no longer limited to the local pizza place or Chinese take-out. While they cater to the palates of many, these companies are fully dependent on the rise of the “Gig Economy.” The Gig Economy, as defined by the National Association of Counties, is made up of three components: independent workers, consumers who need a specific service, and the companies that connect the two. In this scenario, the independent workers are the delivery drivers. Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar, and Postmates classify these delivery drivers as “independent contractors” and not “employees.” Therefore, the delivery companies are not liable for the negligent acts of the drivers. For instance, Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar, nor Postmates could be held responsible for a car accident caused by a driver while completing a delivery for them in Philadelphia.
Establishing Liability in a Food Delivery Driver Car Accident in Philadelphia
Because Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar, and Postmates are often shielded from any liability, both parties involved in the accident may be left without recourse. Therefore, in order to mitigate the loss resulting from an accident, some of the delivery companies have attempted to provide these drivers and those hit by them with some options. Others, have held tight to the driver’s status as an independent contractor, and offer no solution at all. Below is a breakdown of what is offered to help you better understand what is or isn’t available to you if you were involved in such an accident. The options are divided into two categories, a category for the delivery drivers and a category for third parties.
Food Delivery Company Auto Insurance Offered to Drivers
Those who sign up to drive for any of these delivery companies are required to have individual automobile insurance for them to start working. Unfortunately, the drivers are unaware that their personal auto insurance policy may not cover them if they are in an accident while making deliveries. Making deliveries constitutes a “business activity” that is often excluded from coverage on their personal insurance policy. So, what do Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar, and Postmates offer their drivers to help cover them after an accident? The companies are listed from best to worst in terms of what they offer. They are as follows:
Of the five companies mentioned, Uber Eats is currently the only company that offers coverage for the property damage done to the delivery driver’s vehicle. As long as the driver maintains their comprehensive and collision personal coverage, Uber Eats provides insurance for the property damage done to the driver’s vehicle due to a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. This property damage coverage is capped at the cash value of the car after a $1,000 deductible has been met. This coverage is only available for motor vehicle accidents that occur during the time that a driver has accepted a delivery until the time it is completed.
Postmates, DoorDash, and Caviar
Postmates, DoorDash, and Caviar do not cover any property damage done to the driver’s vehicle. However, they offer drivers “Occupational Accident Insurance.” This insurance provides benefits for medical expenses, temporary and continuous total disability, loss of life, and survivor benefits. Drivers are automatically eligible for this coverage at no additional cost and just like Uber Eats, it only covers accidents that happen while the drivers are completing a delivery. Postmates’ website states that a delivery is “from when you click accept until your customer receives their order.” Benefits include:
- Medical expenses up to $1,000,000
- Temporary and continuous total disability is up to $500 a week
- Accidental death up to $100,000
- Survivors benefits up to $100,000/ $150,000 for DoorDash drivers
Grubhub does not offer any kind of coverage for their drivers.
Liability Insurance Offered to Food Delivery Drivers
Since the delivery drivers’ personal insurance policies will most likely exclude coverage for them in these circumstances, the next step in the inquiry is to consider what is available to those hit by one of these drivers in Philadelphia. Liability insurance is an option that Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash have embraced. Like the coverage offered for drivers, this option is contingent on the driver maintaining their own insurance. Therefore, those that do provide liability insurance, specify that it is available as a supplement to their personal coverage or only for excess damages not covered by their policy. Again, these companies are listed from best to worst in terms of what they offer, they are follows:
Uber Eats offers $1,000,000 in liability insurance for their drivers for accidents that happen during acceptance to delivery. This is the standard amount for the companies that choose to offer this coverage. What places Uber Eats in first place and makes them unique in their benefits, is that they offer liability coverage for their drivers when they are “available” but not actually engaged in a delivery. They offer $50,000 per individual with a max of $100,000 per accident, and up to $25,000 for property damage.
Postmates and DoorDash
Postmates & DoorDash also offer $1,000,000 in liability coverage for accidents that occur while the driver is on an active delivery. DoorDash defines “active delivery” as the time when the drivers are “in possession of goods to be delivered.” Both companies warn that this option won’t be available, if the driver fails to maintain their own coverage.
Grubhub and Caviar
Grubhub and Caviar do not offer any kind of liability insurance.
Call Our Philadelphia Lawyers for Your Food Delivery Driver Accident
Overall, it seems that “being on active delivery” may be determinative of what is available to you. However, exploring all of your options, as a driver or third party, can be difficult and fact-dependent. If you are a driver for Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, Grubhub, or Caviar or you were involved in an accident with a driver from one of these companies, there may be resources available to you that you do not know about. Contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney at the Reiff Law Firm today to discuss your options.