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Who Covers the Costs for Delivery Driver Accidents?

Who Covers the Costs for Delivery Driver Accidents?

In the event of an accident involving a delivery driver, it can be difficult for those involved to determine who is liable for the damage. Victims navigating the situation can work with a lawyer to determine if the fault lies on the driver, the driver’s company, other entities, or some combination of entities. This article dives into the different factors that determine where the liability lies and explores what damages can be recovered from such an accident.

The Driver’s Employment Classification

The employment classification of the driver plays a major role in determining the responsible party for a plaintiff’s lost wages and other losses. In instances where the driver is an employee of a company, the injured person would typically sue the company.

However, with the rise of delivery services like Amazon, DoorDash, and Instacart, it is becoming more common that plaintiffs blame contractors outside the larger company. Amazon, the United State’s fourth-largest delivery service, partners with more than 800 contracting companies to oversee over 75,000 delivery drivers. Therefore, in instances of delivery driver accidents related to Amazon, victims usually hold the contracting delivery company liable, not Amazon itself.

Often when drivers classified as independent contractors are involved in an accident, plaintiffs file the claim against the driver’s personal liability insurance, the company, the company’s liability policy, or a combination of all parties. In short, the situation becomes more complicated when the driver at fault is a contractor and not an employee.

The Driver’s Activity

The involved driver’s activity also helps to determine who should be held liable for an accident. Depending on each driver’s insurance policy, he or she may only have coverage if he or she was performing services related to employment. Additionally, in cases where a driver practiced negligent driving, he or she may hold sole liability for the accident.

Variability Based on Delivery Service

There are multiple delivery services working in the United States today. A claim in each instance will look different from the next. Liability and compensation depend in large part on the insurance policies held by the delivery companies.

Covid-19’s Impact on Delivery Services

The effects of Covid-19 are felt on the delivery service industry in the United States and worldwide. With people unable to leave their homes for fear of catching the virus, delivery services like Amazon grew immensely in popularity.

The increased demand put on delivery services has forced many drivers to make rash, dangerous decisions on the road. Amazon employees frequently disobey traffic signs, speed, and run stoplights in order to reach their delivery quotas. This behavior, plus skipping meals and breaks, has increased the risk of accidents caused by Amazon drivers. If those drivers experience injuries on the job, they can recover damages with the help of a work accident attorney.

What Damages Can Be Recovered?

Victims of accidents involving delivery drivers should know what they can recover from the incident. The term “damages” refers to a sum of money lost due to a breach of duty. It is the money a victim gets back from a claim based on what was lost.

A person who files a claim against a delivery driver or the driver’s company can recover damages such as lost wages, costs for immediate and long-term medical treatment, cost of medical equipment, and property damage. A victim could also ask for compensation for “pain and suffering.”

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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.