Legal Help for Food Delivery Accident Victims

New York City is home to almost every type of food imaginable, from massive chain restaurants to boutique bakeries and bistros. The wealth of options has simplified the lives of some residents with specialized tastes, demanding food from only select restaurants. Before the advent of food delivery apps, these customers would have to trek across multiple neighborhoods for specific meals, but now they can easily request a driver pick up their order for them.

Sadly, these on-demand services come with several risks, including careless delivery drivers. Drivers may become rushed by a delivery company or customer to complete an order quickly, which can lead to speeding, reckless turns, and distracted driving. When they are not careful, other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists can easily become the victim of a serious and costly auto accident.

Victims of delivery driver accidents do not deserve to suffer under a mountain of medical bills over a simple take-out order. Instead, they deserve fair representation in an auto accident claim from an experienced New York food delivery accident attorney. If you were injured in an accident with a food delivery driver, contact the legal team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, by calling (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case.

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Types of Delivery Services in NYC

Several services operate throughout New York’s neighborhoods, including:

  • Uber Eats
  • Postmates
  • DoorDash
  • Grubhub
  • Instacart
  • Wholefoods through Amazon Grocery
  • Takeout orders for a specific restaurant

Food delivery apps have spread throughout the country and become extremely popular in New York, but they are not the only delivery drivers on the road. Many restaurants still operate their own delivery services by phone or online. This is especially common for pizza delivery companies who want to control the delivery times and expectations of customers. Sadly, most drivers are not given specialized training for navigating New York roads and can become involved in an accident.

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Why Do Delivery Accidents Occur?

Driving in New York City can be stressful, especially for delivery drivers. They are expected to stick to tight schedules, take as many orders as possible to maximize their payout, ensure the food is delivered safely, and meet every customer’s demands, as many rely on customer tips and ratings. Their safe driving habits can quickly be pushed aside during a delivery, resulting in:

  • Speeding
  • Not checking blind spots
  • Rolling stops at intersections
  • Reckless left-hand turns
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Distracted driving due to customer calls and texts, their GPS, and delivery app notifications
  • Fatigued driving due to driving all day or night
  • Confusion, if they are unsure about a neighborhood or where to park
  • Cruising to find more orders

Anyone of these negligent actions can open a driver up to liability in the event of an accident, however, the insurance policies for delivery drivers are rather complicated compared to a standard auto accident.

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Liability Policies for On-Demand Deliveries

Drivers for food delivery apps are required to have personal auto insurance policies, however, these policies often do not cover accidents that occur when a driver is using the vehicle for work. Instead, drivers should take out commercial policies, but many do not. Luckily, most food delivery companies that utilize third-party drivers have liability coverage in cases of property damage and bodily harm, meaning you may be covered under that policy after an accident.

However, the specifics of the policies and when they apply do differ depending on what service the driver was delivering for, including:

Uber Eats: Like Uber’s rideshare services, there is a liability policy in place in the event of an accident involving bodily harm or property damage. If a driver is in the middle of a delivery, either on the way to pick-up or drop-off food, they are covered by a $1,000,000 policy limit. If they are live on the Uber app for but have not picked up an order, the policy is $50,000 in coverage for personal injuries, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

Postmates: Postmates provides liability insurance in excess of the driver’s personal policy. If the damages you suffer exceed the driver’s policy limit, then Postmates provides up to $1,000,000 in coverage if the driver was on the app at the time of the accident.

DoorDash: Doordash’s policy is almost exactly like Postmates, providing $1,000,000 in coverage in addition to the driver’s personal policy.

Grubhub: Grubhub currently does not have a liability policy in place in the event of an accident involving a delivery driver. As such, your claim might be with the driver’s personal policy, which may deny coverage if the driver was in the middle of an order.

Instacart: Like Grubhub, Instacart does not have a liability policy for delivery drivers and you may have to file a claim directly with the driver’s personal or commercial auto insurance policy, if available.

Amazon Grocery: While Amazon traditionally does not have a liability policy for delivery drivers, grocery deliveries are processed through Whole Foods, which does have a commercial auto insurance policy that includes a $1,000,000 policy per accident involving bodily injury or property damage.

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Knowledgeable Representation After an Accident

At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, our attorneys have a wealth of experience negotiating with at-fault insurance providers to reach fair settlements for our clients and advocating on their behalf in a trial. We have a thorough understanding of the New York court system and are prepared to pursue every avenue available to hold at-fault delivery drivers accountable for their actions. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 to secure the representation of a knowledge New York delivery driver accident attorney.

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