Like so many professions, food delivery is undergoing a rapid evolution. These days a food delivery driver might be doing the conventional work for a pizza chain or a single restaurant, but he or she could also be working for an Internet-based service like GrubHub. Because delivery workers drive for their jobs, they have a certain risk of being in accidents. For someone who gets into an accident with such a driver, the question of liability can raise interesting issues.
Who is liable?
There are a few related components to the question of who is liable when a delivery driver gets into an accident. The first question to ask is whether the driver was “on the clock” at the time of the accident. A driver who is out making a delivery or driving back to the restaurant to pick up more food probably is being compensated for that time. But the employer may argue that people working outside of those boundaries was driving on personal time. For example, accidents during normal commutes typically fall on the side of personal time.
A second question that can be a factor in these cases is whether the driver is an employee or an independent contractor of the employer. From a legal standpoint this distinction shouldn’t really matter as far as the plaintiff is concerned, but it can add a layer of complexity to the case. Businesses are increasingly trying to shift obligations onto their workers by categorizing them as contractors. Part of this trend has been to make contractors more responsible for their mistakes. The reality is that an injured plaintiff should be able to overcome the employer’s attempt to hide behind a contract, but it may require a bit of extra work. For most cases where these issues arise, the question of ultimate liability may be resolved between the employer and contractor without the injured plaintiff’s involvement.
A third component to the analysis can be the ownership of the vehicle involved in the crash. The owner of a vehicle used for business purposes has an obligation to maintain it in good working condition. If the driver also owns the car the driver may bear special responsibility if the accident was the result of a mechanical failure. One thing to note is that the employer will look for strategies like this to shift blame away from itself.
Insurance for food delivery drivers
Every driver in Nevada is required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance that protects other people in the event that the driver causes an accident. The minimum coverage limits ($25,000 per bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury to more than one person, and $20,000 of property damage) are quite low. On the one hand this makes policies affordable for people who work in low-wage jobs, like food delivery. On the other hand it can leave injured people under-covered in the event that an accident causes serious harm.
The good news for people injured in this type of accident is that a driver who is working at the time of the accident should be covered by the employer’s insurance. If the employer’s insurance is inadequate to cover the full value of the plaintiff’s damages, the employer probably has other resources that the plaintiff can pursue to get compensation.
GGRM is here to help victims of car accidents in Las Vegas
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented Las Vegas clients in accident cases. If you have been injured in an accident with a food delivery driver we can help you examine your legal options and begin the process of recovering compensation. Reach out to us today for a free attorney consultation about your case. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or through our site.