- 1. Sheltering in Place Puts Pressure on Delivery Drivers, Making Errors More Common
- 2. Was the Driver an Employee, Contractor, or Gig Worker?
- 3. Do You Have Personal Auto Policies That May Cover Your Injuries?
- 4. Delivery Vehicles Often Have Onboard Tracking Systems That Collect Potential Evidence
- 5. Crosley Law: Fighting for Crash Victims in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
If your neighborhood is like ours, you probably see a daily stream of delivery trucks and drivers pass by. Due to COVID-19, more and more people are ordering items and food online; the number of delivery drivers on San Antonio’s roads has skyrocketed to meet our demand.
More delivery drivers and tight deadlines are a dangerous combination. It’s not hard to find news stories about the hazardous working conditions that many drivers find themselves in, and it’s no surprise that these conditions can lead to mistakes and poor decisions that cause car wrecks. However, when a delivery driver injures you or a loved one, you don’t want excuses — you want fair compensation and peace of mind.
Sheltering in Place Puts Pressure on Delivery Drivers, Making Errors More Common
Today, a broad network of delivery drivers helps us get the goods we need, from groceries and paper towels to lunch from our favorite taqueria. Amazon alone partners with roughly 800 delivery contractors that manage 75,000 or more delivery drivers. These delivery partners handle at least 23% of the company’s orders and often face grueling deadlines and unreasonable expectations, which they pass on to their drivers.
Who Is Responsible for a Pizza Delivery Driver’s Car Accident?Read More
While drivers are expected to deliver between 120 and 50 packages during off-peak times, these numbers skyrocket to over 300 daily deliveries during peak periods, which includes during COVID-19 shutdowns. At the same time, orders for oversized items, ranging from furniture and big-screen televisions has increased, making delivery jobs even more difficult.
Many drivers have gone to extreme lengths to meet Amazon and other company’s expectations. Delivery drivers have reported skipping breaks and meals, and many rely on caffeine and other stimulants during the day. In a recent article, one anonymous Amazon driver noted that he has to choose between safety and productivity. The man said he’d even stopped wearing a seatbelt because he couldn’t afford spending seconds buckling and unbuckling it between deliveries.
“It’s a second to cut off the time it takes to complete our routes,” the driver told a journalist, “and one second is a lot of time for us.”
Was the Driver an Employee, Contractor, or Gig Worker?
Commercial vehicle cases are always more complicated than the typical motor vehicle collision that involves two passenger vehicles. Insurance coverage has a lot to do with this added complexity. Texas takes an “at-fault” approach to car crash claims; you’ll typically file claims with the negligent driver’s insurance company. So, before you file an injury claim or a lawsuit, you’ll need to determine the driver’s relationship with the delivery company.
When a delivery driver is an employee, the company is typically responsible for their on-the-job negligence. For example, most UPS drivers are employees. If a UPS driver is texting while driving and rear-ends your vehicle, their employer’s insurance policy should cover your damages.
While most big delivery companies have significant insurance coverage, smaller “mom and pop” delivery services may have much less coverage. In Texas, businesses only have to carry $25,000 in property damage and $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per crash, with a $30,000 per-victim cap in bodily injury claims.
Independent Delivery Partners
It’s easy to assume a delivery driver is a company employee if they’re wearing a uniform and driving a vehicle covered in logos. However, this assumption may be incorrect. Companies like FedEx and Amazon often use delivery partners who use their logos and standardized uniforms. In fact, there’s a good chance that your Amazon delivery driver works for one of the company’s many delivery partners, no matter what their shirt says.
“Big companies rely on delivery partners for one reason: it helps them avoid liability. If one of their partner’s drivers causes a wreck, the victims must sue the delivery partner, not Amazon or FedEx.”
Big companies rely on delivery partners for one reason: it helps them avoid liability. If one of their partner’s drivers causes a wreck, the victims must sue the delivery partner, not Amazon or FedEx.
Many of these smaller “final mile” delivery partners have modest insurance policies. Amazon, for example, favors small delivery companies (with 100 or fewer employees) over larger ones. Small businesses are more likely to cut costs and opt for less insurance coverage.
Companies like UberEATS, Doordash, and Shipt have become part of our everyday life. However, these companies take varying stances for how they cover their delivery drivers, who are gig workers. While UberEATS and Doordash have up to $1 million in coverage per crash, other companies like Shipt, Instacart, and Grubhub do not provide any insurance coverage for their gig drivers. Instead, they insist that the drivers maintain their own insurance policies.
Unfortunately, many personal auto insurance policies will not cover crashes and incidents that occur while the driver was engaging in commercial activity. So, unless the gig driver purchased a special commercial driving policy or rider, they might be uninsured for your claim.
Do You Have Personal Auto Policies That May Cover Your Injuries?
While your liability claims will focus on the driver and their insurance companies, you may also have claims with your own insurer. Most Texas drivers carry at least a modest amount of personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. These policies can provide additional compensation when the at-fault delivery driver has insufficient coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP is a no-fault insurance policy that will help cover your lost income and medical bills. You should have at least a modest amount of PIP coverage unless you declined it in writing. PIP also covers family members that live with you.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Hit by a Delivery Driver, a Pedestrian Gets a Settlement: Zack’s StoryRead More
Even if the at-fault delivery driver has a larger insurance policy, a catastrophic wreck or multi-vehicle pileup can quickly exceed the policy limits. In these cases, UM/UIM coverage will step in and cover your excess losses. As with PIP, you should have at least a modest uninsured and underinsured motorist policy unless you declined the coverage in writing.
Delivery Vehicles Often Have Onboard Tracking Systems That Collect Potential Evidence
Commercial vehicles, including delivery trucks and cars, often have sophisticated systems that track their every move. These technologies, which are called telematics, provide companies with detailed information about drivers’ speed, location, engine performance, and behaviors. Some even have onboard dash cams that record the view inside and outside the vehicle. These systems can provide an essential source of evidence during an injury claim.
Recently, we represented a young pedestrian who was hit by a reckless delivery driver. We quickly sent letters demanding access to electronic data about the driver’s conduct before and after the crash. We discovered a pattern that the driver had a long history of speeding on the job, and that the company had ignored the problem. If we had not acted quickly, the company may have disposed of this essential information. Unlike a commercial truck’s logbooks, there are no rules about how long a company must preserve a delivery driver’s telematics data.
Crosley Law: Fighting for Crash Victims in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
At Crosley Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers have represented numerous victims of commercial vehicle crashes. Whether you or your loved one were injured by an 18-wheeler, a box truck, or a delivery driver’s personal vehicle, we can help you understand your rights and legal options. We offer free consultations, both in-person and by video conference. Contact us today at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our brief contact form to schedule your initial consultation.
Gurley, L.K. (2020, July 1). Amazon delivery drivers are overwhelmed and overworked by COVID-19 surge. Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/m7j7mb/amazon-delivery-drivers-are-overwhelmed-and-overworked-by-covid-19-surge
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Leg Pain After a Car Accident: 6 Possible CausesDec 30, 2020
Leg pain is very common after a car accident, but it can have many causes. Unfortunately, many crash survivors assume that their pain is “just bumps and bruises” and that it will go away on its own. However, that dull or shooting pain may be a sign of a severe injury, like a herniated disc […]
Can I Get Punitive Damages After a Car Accident in Texas?Dec 15, 2020
Maybe you’ve heard of “punitive damages” as something that might be awarded by a court. However, these monetary damages can seem like a myth — they’re fairly rare, and not many people who aren’t lawyers understand when and how courts award them. This blog article will explain what punitive damages are and outline when and […]
Delayed Neck Pain After a Car Accident: What It MeansDec 09, 2020
At first, you didn’t think the car wreck was that bad. The driver behind you was texting and driving, and because they weren’t paying attention, they rammed their vehicle into the back of your car. Your head snapped back and forth upon impact, but other than that seemingly minor injury, you walked away from the […]
How to Talk to a Telehealth Doctor About Your Car Accident InjuriesNov 25, 2020
As Texas grapples with COVID-19, many of us are wondering whether we should go to the doctor. Whether you’re worried about exposure to the coronavirus or using up valuable medical resources, we understand your concern. However, if you have injuries from a car accident, you must get the medical care you desperately need. People are […]
Whiplash vs. Concussion: What’s the Difference?Nov 18, 2020
Concussions and whiplash are two of the most common injuries during a car accident. Many of the symptoms of the two conditions overlap, including headache, neck pain, and concentration and memory problems. Since these injuries can appear similar, how do you get a clear diagnosis and the treatment you need? At Crosley Law, we’ve handled […]
Why Is Drowsy Driving So Dangerous?Nov 04, 2020
Drowsy driving is one of the most common (and underreported) causes of car accidents. While many of us understand the dangers of drunk or distracted driving, we don’t realize that fatigue and drowsiness carry a similar risk level. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one out of ten car crashes involves a tired […]
How to Claim Lost Wages and Income From a Car AccidentAug 27, 2020
In a split second, a car accident can turn your whole life upside down. Not only do you have to deal with a wrecked car, but you may also have to deal with serious physical and emotional injuries. The after-effects of the crash may even prevent you from working and earning a wage. If you […]
What Happens if You Get In an Accident With a Delivery Driver?Jul 28, 2020
If your neighborhood is like ours, you probably see a daily stream of delivery trucks and drivers pass by. Due to COVID-19, more and more people are ordering items and food online; the number of delivery drivers on San Antonio’s roads has skyrocketed to meet our demand. More delivery drivers and tight deadlines are a […]
What Is the Eggshell Skull Rule?Jun 30, 2020
Imagine driving down the road on a beautiful sunny day with not a cloud in the sky. You bring your car to a stop at a red light. Then, out of nowhere, you feel a sudden impact from the rear of your vehicle. You’ve been rear-ended. Luckily, the seatbelt lock engaged and held you in […]
How to Protect Your Child After a Serious Car AccidentJun 23, 2020
Car crashes remain one of the top causes of serious childhood injuries and deaths. Tragically, Texas consistently has one of the highest childhood car wreck fatality rates in the country. In 2018 alone, 172 kids under the age of 18 died in car crashes in our state. At Crosley Law, our hearts break every time […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.