Food delivery services like Uber Eats have become a staple for many households. However, what happens if things go wrong? Maybe you were hit by an Uber Eats delivery driver while driving, or maybe you had a bad experience, and your food was damaged. Can you sue Uber Eats for damages? Below, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers discuss what to know about Uber Eats and what steps you can take if you suffer injuries or losses.
How Does Uber Eats Operate?
Uber Eats is a branch of Uber. It is a popular online food delivery service that operates in more than 500 cities across the United States.
Users can access Uber Eats through the food delivery app or on its website. After registering an account, users can browse local restaurants, view menus, select the food they want, and place orders. Once a user places an order for food delivery on the platform, they can track their order progress in real time.
Just as Uber has drivers for its ridesharing service, Uber Eats has delivery partners for its food delivery services. These can be drivers using cars or, in some cities, people using bikes or scooters. Once the restaurant has prepared the order, the Uber Eats delivery driver receives a notification to pick it up. The driver collects the order and then uses the app to navigate to the customer’s delivery address.
Can I Sue Uber Eats for a Car Accident?
If you are injured in an accident caused by one of their delivery drivers, you may be able to sue Uber Eats through a delivery driver accident lawsuit. Uber Eats generally argues that it is not directly liable for the actions of Uber Eats delivery drivers because they are independent contractors and not employees. Even so, your accident may be covered under the Uber Eats commercial auto insurance policy. An Uber Eats accident lawyer can help you understand your potential legal options for seeking compensation.
Can I Sue Uber Eats if an Uber Eats Driver Crashed Into Me?
If an Uber Eats driver crashes into you and is at fault, you have the legal right to seek compensation for injuries and damages through an Uber Eats accident lawsuit. When on an active delivery, Uber Eats drivers are covered by the company’s insurance policy, which provides coverage for third-party liabilities in the event of Uber Eats accidents.
However, if an Uber Eats car hit you and the driver was not on an active delivery, their personal auto insurance would typically be the primary coverage for the accident. In this case, you may need to file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy before pursuing other options.
What Are My Options if I Am an Uber Eats Driver and Get Into a Car Accident?
Are you an Uber Eats driver who suffered damages in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence? If so, you have the legal right to pursue compensation against the at-fault party.
If you were online in the Uber Eats app during the accident, you may also be able to file a claim against Uber’s Injury Protection insurance. Uber covers delivery drivers in California with Injury Protection insurance. Injury Protection includes the following coverage:
- Disability payments of up to $1,324 per week
- Medical expenses related to the accident of up to $1 million
- Survivor benefits of up to $320,000 for eligible dependents in the event of death
Additionally, if you were en route to pick up a delivery or on your way to drop off a delivery when the accident occurred, you may be able to recover compensation for your vehicle damages through Uber’s comprehensive and collision coverage. This coverage is contingent upon whether you have personal comprehensive and collision coverage and a $2,500 deductible.
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We recommend consulting with an experienced Uber Eats accident attorney who can help you understand your legal options. An attorney can help you find all avenues of potential compensation so you can fight for maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Is the Uber Eats Accident Policy?
Uber Eats maintains a commercial insurance policy to cover its drivers, passengers, and other third parties in the event of Uber Eats car accidents. The company’s insurance is most comprehensive when an Uber Eats driver is on an active delivery, meaning they are en route to pick up food or during delivery. It provides up to $1 million for third-party bodily injuries and property damage if the driver is at fault.
If the driver is not on an active delivery but has the app open and is waiting for a request, the coverage provided by Uber Eats is much lower. Uber’s third-party liability policy limits drop to $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident. Additionally, it acts as secondary coverage, only applicable if the driver’s insurance has been exhausted.
In situations where the driver is not using the app, any accident claims would need to be filed against the driver’s personal auto insurance. We discuss Uber Eats insurance coverage in more depth below.
Understanding Uber Eats Accident Insurance Coverage
Uber Eats provides commercial auto insurance for its delivery drivers when they are online in the app. However, the amount and types of coverage available depend on whether the driver is waiting for a delivery request or actively on a trip.
When the Driver Is Online Without an Active Delivery
When an Uber Eats driver has the app turned on and is waiting for a delivery request, Uber offers third-party liability insurance. However, it acts as secondary coverage if the delivery driver is at fault for an accident. The driver’s personal auto insurance is the primary insurance in the event of an accident.
Uber’s insurance may apply if the delivery driver’s insurance does not apply to the accident or is insufficient. It includes the following third-party liability coverage:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
When the Driver Is Online With an Active Delivery
Uber Eats provides $1 million in third-party liability insurance for its delivery drivers when they are actively picking up or dropping off food orders. This insurance helps cover bodily injury and property damages to other motorists and road users if a delivery driver is at fault for an accident.
Uber also offers comprehensive and collision coverage to its drivers. Regardless of who is at fault for the car accident, Uber will cover physical damage to the delivery driver’s car up to its actual cash value. However, the coverage depends on whether the driver has comprehensive and collision coverage through their personal policy. Additionally, a $2,500 deductible applies.
When the Driver Is Offline
When drivers are offline, Uber’s insurance does not apply in the event of Uber Eats accidents. In this case, if you suffer damages because of a delivery driver’s negligence, you may file a claim against their personal auto insurance policy.
Can I Sue Uber Eats for Damaged Food?
Customers request refunds from Uber Eats for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Missing items. The customer did not receive one or more items in their order.
- Incorrect items. The customer received one or more things that were not as ordered.
- Wrong order. The customer received the wrong order.
- Damaged order. The customer’s food arrived spilled, crushed, tampered with packaging, or in another damaged condition.
- Undelivered order. The customer never received their order.
- Food condition. The condition of the food at the time of delivery was poor, such as food arriving cold.
- Food quality. The customer received food that was not fresh, cooked properly, or tasted bad.
- Incorrect charges. The customer was overcharged or billed for items they did not order.
If you have received damaged food in your Uber Eats order or have another dispute with Uber Eats, you may have a few options in trying to resolve the issue. These options may include the following:
File a Complaint Directly With Uber Eats
Before considering any legal action, communicate your concerns directly with Uber Eats. The platform has policies in place for addressing problems with orders. If your food arrives damaged or your order has missing items, you can report the issue through the app. Uber Eats may offer a partial or full refund or credit, depending on the situation.
When you file a complaint, be specific about your issue and include pictures when applicable. A few examples of situations in which you may file a complaint with Uber Eats include:
- Receiving incorrect items in your order
- Receiving missing items in your order
- Receiving the wrong order
- Receiving damaged items in your order
- Not receiving your order
- Being overcharged or charged twice for an order
File a Complaint Against Uber Eats
Have you had a poor experience with Uber Eats and feel that the company has not addressed your concerns? If so, you may have a few formal avenues to file a complaint. According to USAGov, your options may include the following:
- Local Consumer Protection Office. Local consumer protection offices provide another avenue for filing complaints against businesses, including Uber Eats. In California, you may contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs to learn how to file a complaint against Uber Eats. Your local office may refer you to another local agency, depending on your complaint.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB handles consumer complaints against companies like Uber Eats. While it does not have legal authority, it is a consumer advocacy organization. It has been able to help resolve more than 11,500 consumer complaints filed against Uber since late 2020. You can visit the BBB’s website, search for Uber’s business profile, as Uber Eats is a subsidiary of Uber, and click on the “File a Complaint” option. Once you submit your complaint, the BBB will process it and notify Uber. You can learn more about how the Better Business Bureau handles filed complaints from consumers here.
Uber Eats Dispute Resolution by Arbitration
Uber Eats, like its parent company Uber, includes an arbitration clause in its user agreement. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution where parties agree to resolve their conflicts outside of the traditional court system. In arbitration, an impartial third party, known as an arbitrator, hears the arguments and evidence from both sides and then makes a binding decision.
The Uber Eats arbitration clause states that users must address their disputes with Uber Eats individually through arbitration, rather than through litigation. It also includes a class action lawsuit waiver. This waiver states that users of the service agree not to participate in or bring forward a class action lawsuit against the company. It is meant to minimize litigation risks for the company by preventing many people with the same Uber Eats issue from coming together against the company in a class action lawsuit.
While Uber Eats includes an arbitration clause and a class action lawsuit waiver, not every dispute is bound to it. In fact, Uber Eats has faced a class action lawsuit in the past. Additionally, under the clause, you retain the right to bring an individual action in small claims court.
Sue Uber Eats in Small Claims Court
If you have exhausted other avenues for resolving your issue and have not been successful, you may consider suing Uber Eats in small claims court. In California, small claims courts focus on minor civil disputes, with a maximum claim amount of $10,000.
Small claims court offers a more straightforward, cost-effective, and expedited process than conventional litigation. Additionally, in most small claims courts, like in California, you cannot be represented by an attorney, so it is an option for people who are hesitant about hiring a lawyer. In small claims court, both sides present their case to a judge. Then, a judge makes a ruling. There is no jury.
Contact Our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Have you suffered damages due to an Uber Eats driver or Uber? Do not hesitate to discuss your situation with our Los Angeles delivery driver accident attorneys during a free consultation. We have extensive experience filing claims against food delivery companies like Uber Eats.
Our team is here to discuss your potential options for taking legal action and pursuing compensation. Call the Law Offices of Steers & Associates today at (800) 824-5416 or contact us online to get started.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.