Three or four years ago food delivery and other delivery services were just beginning to make a strong appearance in the everyday consumers life. It was simply being used for convenience and was commonly thought of a service that only the wealthier population utilized on a regular basis. This kind of service had been used by businesses for many different things too, but when COVID-19 hit, food and grocery (among many other things) became more popular than we could have foreseen. Food and grocery delivery went through the roof and the demand was hard to keep up with.
People were too nervous to go out for groceries or already made meals from restaurants due to possible exposure. So they simply placed online orders for their food to be delivered. That way, their exposure to COVID-19 was limited.
Food delivery was how many businesses and restaurants stayed open during the pandemic. Although third party delivery services were initially avoided, they became the only option to stay in business. In the midst of all this, delivery driver rights had not even been a thought to most of us. We just wanted our food, right?
Food Delivery is Here to Stay
Some people are still being extra careful with COVID-19 still keeping us a little on edge. Many are still using the food and grocery delivery religiously. Others have found during the pandemic the simplicity of ordering delivery as well as the time and effort that can be saved when opting for their goods to be delivered. The demand appears to be here to stay.
With the delivery service demand at an all-time high, the demand for delivery drivers have increased too. This is a great opportunity for driver jobs. It also means there are more delivery drivers out on the roads as well as entering personal property of those that place orders. More drivers out and about making deliveries means more chances for injury.
So, what if a delivery driver does get in a car accident while working or falls on someone’s uneven steps when making a delivery? Who is responsible or liable for the injury? It can be very complicated. Let’s look into the details of delivery driver rights and who could be responsible for their injuries.
Employed Delivery Driver Rights
When a delivery driver is in a sudden accident and is injured, one of the first things to look at as far as liability is if the driver is employed by a particular company or if they are working as an independent contractor.
If the driver is employed by a company to make deliveries, then they will most likely be covered under workers’ compensation which can help with medical coverage as well as income replacement. Grocery stores and many restaurants are examples of companies that are most likely to employ people to make their deliveries.
While workers’ compensation is helpful, it means that you cannot file a personal injury suit against your employer if you accept their payments even if they are in the wrong or negligent in some way. You can however file a suit against a third party, for example, another driver that caused the accident. It’s important to keep in mind though, you don’t get to receive money twice for the same losses. If you are awarded compensation from a third party, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) may be able to be paid back for some of the money it has paid you already.
Obtaining a lawyer for these kinds of cases is an important step in protecting yourself and your injury compensation. AMA Law has worked with workers’ compensation and personal injury claims for years and has your best interest in mind. We know how to work through the proper channels to get you the best outcome possible. Make getting an attorney one of your very first steps after an injury or accident.
Independently Contracted Delivery Driver Rights
Companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, Ubereats, and more are generally independent contractors and do not usually provide workers’ compensation. Any kind of accident that happens will go through insurance companies. Just like any other car accident that happens on personal time.
If the car accident is another person’s fault, a personal injury claim can be made towards the person at fault. Also, depending on the circumstances if it’s the delivery person’s fault, even though they are independent contractors the other party can technically file a claim against the company they are contracted under if the company was part of any kind of negligence that caused the accident.
Do you have any questions or are unsure of whether you can qualify for workers’ compensation or any other compensation? AMA Law can help clear up any confusion. We know the law and can pass on our expertise to you so that you aren’t taken advantage of.
Accidents on Customer’s Property
When a delivery driver makes it to the address of the customer there are various accidents that can happen at the home. A driver could walk up on a porch and trip over toys that are left out, they could slip on ice that wasn’t properly cleared or a customer’s dog could come around the yard and bite the driver. There are all kinds of possibilities.
Workers’ compensation will cover these types of injuries for employed individuals. For independent contractors though, workers’ compensation most likely won’t be accessible. There are however some third-party companies that provide a portion of medical coverage and disability payments. If you are an independent contractor, make sure to find out what kind of coverage you have before an accident occurs.
Know Your Rights
It’s important to know your delivery driver rights if you are working in the delivery industry. Accidents happen and you need to know what to do and where to go if it happens to you. If you do get injured, reach out to our team for an experience that you can trust. Call AMA Law, your Oklahoma attorney, to learn more about our available services.