Delivery Driver Accident
Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
While most restaurants and takeout food places may still employ their own delivery drivers, many establishments are relying on services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash to deliver meals. This has been particularly true since the pandemic when Grubhub saw a 39% increase in users in 2020 generating over $1.8 billion in revenue. The overall trend also grew in 2020, where 48% of surveyed Americans admitted to using either Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Postmates for takeout delivery with most users ordering multiple times. While these services have added convenience, an Atlanta auto accident lawyer knows these services have also added risks on the roads for delivery driver auto accidents.
For instance, a research study involving ridesharing apps has found they have increased traffic fatalities by 3% per year. While 3% does not sound like a large increase, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are roughly 36,100 motor vehicle fatalities each year. That means a 3% increase in traffic fatalities causes almost an additional 1,100 deaths from just ridesharing services. Although the research study was just surveying ridesharing apps, there is no reason to believe that food delivery apps do not contribute to this trend. Particularly considering that most delivery drivers are operating in congested urban areas, often at night, and usually when weather conditions are more dangerous, hence why customers did not go out to eat or pickup the meal themselves.
Here at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, our Atlanta auto accident lawyer knows that delivery driver auto accidents with Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash can be devastating and result in serious personal injuries or wrongful death. Many times the causes of delivery driver accidents are avoidable with ordinary care when driving a vehicle. Unfortunately, far too many delivery drivers fail to exercise that level of care which can result in reckless, careless, and downright negligent motor vehicle wrecks throughout Georgia. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any auto accident in Georgia, especially a delivery driver auto accident with Grubhub, Uber Eats, or Door Dash, call for a FREE consultation or send us a message.
Recovering Compensation in an Atlanta Auto Accident
Victims and families may be entitled to compensation in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver. A driver is negligent when he or she fails to use reasonable care in the use or operation of a motor vehicle. Some examples of negligent driving include the following:
Improper left turns
Following too closely/rear-end collisions
Failure to yield
Running a red light or stop sign
Driving drunk or driving drugged
Improper lane changes, and
Many other common causes of negligent driving.
Generally, a negligent driver will be reasonably for paying a victim or a family’s “damages.” “Damages” is the measure of relief that a party may obtain in a lawsuit. In personal injury actions, damages are typically monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and for pain and suffering.
Why Delivery Driver Auto Accidents Are Not Like Normal Auto Accidents
If you have been injured by a delivery driver in an auto accident, it may appear like it is a normal type of motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, delivery driver accidents with Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash are anything but normal.
These types of cases are made more complex by the layers of liability that these delivery food companies create to insulate themselves from a lawsuit. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft also act in this way. They do this by hiring drivers as “independent contractors” or “freelancers,” rather than as employees. This is significant because an employer is usually liable for the negligent actions of their employees through the legal doctrine known as “respondeat superior.” It is a type of vicarious liability, meaning one person’s liability can be imputed on another person or business.
But that vicarious liability does not usually transfer over to independent contractors or freelancers. The law typically views these types of individuals as separate from an employer. Therefore, these large companies argue that a negligent delivery driver auto accident will not impute liability on them.
As a result, it means that an injured victim can only sue the individual driver, who often cannot pay your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering, rather than the large corporation which is making the bulk of the profit. At the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, it's understood that isn't fair.
Shifts in the Law to Hold Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Doordash Liable for Delivery Driver Auto Accidents
Even though these large companies started by insulating themselves by labeling drivers as freelancers or independent contractors, fortunately, the law has evolved through the aggressive advocacy of personal injury lawyers like us. More and more courts are holding these large companies liable or partially liable instead of holding a driver fully responsible. This is not always the outcome, but it has created a shift in liability and attitudes by these companies for insuring their drivers to protect victims.
For instance, Uber Eats and DoorDash now offer a commercial auto insurance policy that covers drivers for up to $1 million in bodily injury and property damage during a delivery. Postmates similarly offers an “excess” or umbrella policy of up to 1 million dollars for property damage or personal injuries caused during a delivery. However, Grubhub has still not offered any cover and continues to hide behind legal barriers.
Proving Liability in a Delivery Driver Auto Accident Against Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Door Dash
Although these large companies have attempted to shield themselves from liability, an aggressive Atlanta auto accident lawyer like the one at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel can help pierce that shield to recover compensation for victims and their families. There are generally two ways to do this.
Holding the Delivery Company Liable Through the Actions of Their Drivers
The first way is to establish negligence on the delivery driver and hold the delivery company liable under the normal rules of vicarious liability and respondeat superior.
This can be done through arguments such as the following:
The delivery company is making money off the driver even though the driver is labeled as a non-employee
But for the directions of the delivery company, the accident would not have occurred
The auto accident occurred while the delivery app was open and there was an active delivery occurring
The delivery company has obtained an insurance policy to cover a driver, showing evidence even they believe they are responsible for drivers
Delivery companies pay their drivers through direct deposit
It is against public policy to allow a delivery company to avoid the burden of liability but enjoy the benefit of profit, and
Many other arguments that may apply to the facts in your case.
Holding the Delivery Company Liable Through Negligent Hiring or Supervision
The second way is to establish negligence directly against the delivery company for its actions in causing or contributing to the crash. This can be done through a negligent hiring or supervision claim.
For instance, if Grubhub, Uber Eats, or DoorDash hires a driver who has a suspended license for drunk driving accidents and the driver causes a delivery auto accident while intoxicated, there is a strong case for negligent hiring. Even though these companies will argue that they did not hire the driver as an employer, that does not matter because all companies have an application process and vet their drivers. They also monitor their driver’s conduct through reviews. If a driver has been acting reckless and dangerous but a delivery company fails to take action to protect others on the roads, that could result in direct liability against the delivery company.
In addition, these delivery companies must also monitor and supervise their drivers. If they allow a delivery driver to work for an excessive period of time without rest, it could result in liability for a fatigued driving accident. For example, if a driver is allowed to drive for 12-14 hours and falls asleep at the wheel, the delivery company may be liable in the same way that a trucking company could be liable under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for unsafe delivery schedules or driver schedules.
Using Both Theories to Recover Compensation
Generally, in any type of delivery driver auto accident in Georgia, an Atlanta auto accident lawyer will assert these two causes of action (or claims) in your case. This is known as “alternative pleading” and it allows you to assert several claims that you then will have to prove in the discovery phase of your case. It may allow you to recover compensation under one or both claims.
Common Injuries in a Delivery Driver Auto Accident
Although all motor vehicle accidents could result in serious personal injuries, delivery driver auto accidents are particularly likely to cause serious personal injuries because drivers are often rushing, fatigued, or distracted from using an app or GPS to follow directions. As a result, delivery driver auto accidents in Atlanta, Georgia can result in disabling and catastrophic personal injuries including the following:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
Amputations or loss of a limb
Broken bones or fractured bones
Nerve injuries or nerve damage
Organ injuries or organ damage
Blindness or loss of eyesight (partial or full)
Significant scarring or disfigurement
Burn injuries or burn damage
Torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons
Joint replacement surgery
Dislocations or separations, especially of the shoulder, hip, or knee
Soft tissue injuries
Neck injuries or back injuries
Wrongful death, and
Other injuries result in physical, emotional, and financial harm to a family.
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If you or a loved one were seriously injured, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, in any type of motor vehicle wreck, call the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel for a FREE consultation to learn how to help protect your rights to compensation under Georgia law. This is particularly true if you or a loved one were injured in a delivery driver auto accident. These types of cases have special rules and traps that less-experienced and passive lawyers may fall prey to. Ask an experienced and aggressive lawyer to protect your rights during a free phone call or by sending a private and confidential message through a contact box available here.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident with a food delivery vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. The Atlanta area has seen a surge in the number of delivery vehicles on the road in recent years, and this has corresponded with an increased risk of accidents. If you were involved in such an accident, you may be facing significant medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. A food delivery car accident lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Your lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and will work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If necessary, your lawyer will take the case to court to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait to get help after an accident with a food delivery vehicle. Contact an experienced food delivery car accident lawyer today.
Food Delivery Drivers Are Not Heavily Vetted
Though food delivery drivers do not need to undergo as much vetting as other professional drivers, they must still meet some qualifications.
For example, an applicant for Door Dash must have the following:
A clean background check
A valid driver’s license
A clean driving record
At least 18 years of age
A reliable vehicle
One of the things that makes DoorDash and other food delivery services so appealing is the low barrier to entry for becoming a driver. Unlike other types of driving jobs, you don’t need special training or a significant amount of experience to qualify.
However, this also means that the pool of drivers is relatively untested and inexperienced. While most food delivery drivers are probably safe and responsible, there’s no guarantee that all of them are. Some food delivery drivers may not be heavily vetted before they are hired. This means that they may not have had their driving record or criminal history checked, which could put other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
Additionally, many food delivery drivers are not paid very well. This can lead to them feeling pressure to work long hours, which can further increase the risk of accidents. If you are injured in an accident caused by a food delivery driver, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free consultation.
Possible Causes of Your Food Delivery Car Accident
As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, drivers are responsible for approximately 94% of car accidents. If a food delivery driver caused your accident, your lawyer will work to determine why the collision occurred.
One or more of the following risk factors may have contributed to your accident:
Poorly maintained vehicle
If any of these factors led to your accident, you may be able to hold the driver and/or their employer responsible for your damages. To learn more about your legal options, contact a personal injury lawyer today.
While many food delivery drivers take their jobs seriously, there are some who get behind the wheel while distracted. This can lead to accidents that injure innocent people. Any time a driver glances at or interacts with their driver app while the vehicle is moving is distracted driving, and these app-related distractions may have been a factor in your accident. Food delivery drivers can also suffer from the same distractions as other drivers.
Texting or phone calls
Eating or drinking
Talking to passengers
Adjusting the GPS or music player
All these activities take the driver’s attention away from the road. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you investigate your accident and file a claim against the responsible party.
Aggressive or Careless Driving
Drivers who fail to obey traffic laws and drive recklessly are a danger to themselves and others on the road. When these drivers cause an accident, they may be held liable for the damages caused. If you were involved in an accident with a driver who was speeding, running red lights, making unsafe turns, or tailgating, you may be considered to have been driving aggressively. If the driver was not paying attention and drifted into your lane, they may be considered careless.
Either way, if you were injured in an accident caused by another driver’s aggressive or careless driving, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Insurance Might Cover the Losses From Your Accident
When you’re in an accident while using a food delivery service, the first thing you may wonder is whether you’re covered by insurance. The good news is that most food delivery services maintain liability coverage for their drivers, which means that if you were injured in an accident caused by another driver, you may be able to recover compensation through their insurance policy.
Of course, every case is different, and it’s important to speak with a lawyer who can review the specifics of your accident and the insurance coverage of all involved parties. They will be able to advise you on whether seeking compensation through insurance is the best option for you.
In the meantime, it’s important to know that Uber, for example, maintains $1 million in liability coverage while the driver is actively fulfilling a delivery. other coverage amounts may apply when the driver is not actively participating in a delivery but is designated as “available” for new orders. So, if you’ve been injured in a food delivery accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lawyer to discuss your next steps. You may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Your Lawyer Will Target Compensation for Your Losses
Your lawyer will target compensation that covers your accident-related losses.
Some of the losses that your lawyer may consider when seeking compensation are:
Past and future pain and suffering
Any damage that your vehicle has sustained
The cost of your medical care
Income that you cannot earn because of your injuries
Funeral costs and other losses that come from a wrongful death
The decisions you make just after an accident can have serious financial implications, and a lawyer will help you act appropriately after your food delivery car accident.
Common Injuries in Food Delivery Car Accident Cases
There are several different injuries that can be sustained in a car accident, and many of them can be quite serious. When you’re working as a food delivery driver, you’re constantly on the road and exposed to the risk of an accident.
Here are some of the most common injuries associated with food delivery car accident cases:
Whiplash: This is a neck injury that occurs when your head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. It can be very painful and may require extensive medical treatment.
Back injuries: These are some of the most common injuries in car accidents, and they can range from mild to severe. depending on the force of the collision. Back injuries can cause a great deal of pain and may require surgery or other medical treatment.
Head injuries: Even if you’re wearing a seatbelt, it’s possible to suffer a head injury in a car accident. These can be very serious, and even fatal in some cases. If you think you may have suffered a head injury, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
Broken bones: Broken bones are another common injury in car accidents. They can be extremely painful and may require surgery or other medical treatment.
Internal injuries: These are some of the most serious injuries that can occur in a car accident. Internal bleeding, organ damage, and other internal injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
If you’ve been involved in a food delivery car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t think you’re injured. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. And, even if your injuries seem minor, they could still require extensive medical treatment. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you understand your legal options and get the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations on Delivery Car Accident Cases
There are time limits for taking legal action after a car accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you were injured in the accident, the two-year period may not start until you discover the injury. This is known as the discovery rule.
If the accident resulted in the death of a family member, you may have up to two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations may be different if the accident occurred on government property. You may have as little as six months to take legal action.
If you’re not sure whether the statute of limitations has expired in your case, you should speak with an experienced car accident attorney. They can help you understand the laws in your state and ensure that your rights are protected.
Comparative Fault in Food Delivery Car Accident Cases
Comparative fault systems are used to determine how much each party is responsible for an accident. In many states, if you are found to be even slightly at fault for an accident, you may not be able to recover any damages from the other party. However, some states have a “pure comparative fault” rule, which allows you to recover damages even if you are 99% at fault for the accident.
If you are involved in a food delivery car accident, the comparative fault rule will likely be applied to determine how much each party is responsible for the accident. If the other driver is found to be even slightly at fault, they may not be able to recover any damages from you. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover any damages from the other driver.
It is important to speak with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you understand the comparative fault rule and how it may apply to your case. Reach out today for a free consultation.