With the COVID pandemic, food delivery services like DoorDash have become even more popular. However, driving near food delivery drivers can be more dangerous than most people realize. Delivery services incentivize drivers to make deliveries as quickly as possible, which may result in speeding and reckless driving.
Additionally, DoorDash drivers use a navigation system to get to their destinations, which may contribute to distracted driving. Who is responsible if you get hit by a DoorDash driver? Is the driver at fault, or is DoorDash responsible? Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers discuss whether DoorDash is responsible for accidents its drivers cause below.
Is Doordash Responsible for Accidents Its Drivers Cause?
DoorDash is a food delivery service that partners with restaurants throughout metropolitan areas. Customers order food through the DoorDash app, and its drivers, also called Dashers, deliver it. Dashers are independent contractors who use their own vehicles to complete deliveries.
DoorDash’s Commercial Liability Insurance Policy
DoorDash has $1,000,000 in commercial liability coverage. This policy covers bodily injury and property damage incurred by a third party in the event of a DoorDash accident. It is meant to act as supplemental coverage if the Dasher is liable for damages to another party. However, it is contingent upon certain circumstances.
The company’s drivers must comply with their state’s minimum insurance requirements and obtain their own insurance policy with state minimum required coverages. Delivery drivers should obtain additional insurance coverage because they use their vehicles for work. However, many drivers do not have it, and DoorDash does not require it. If a DoorDash driver is responsible for damages to another party, the Dasher must go through their own auto insurance policy first.
DoorDash’s policy only kicks in after the driver’s car insurance has been exhausted. Exhausted means the driver’s auto insurance carrier denies coverage or the damages exceed the Dasher’s policy limits. In addition, the following circumstances must apply:
- The DoorDash accident occurs when the Dasher is on active delivery. Active delivery includes the time from when the driver accepts a delivery request until the order is marked as delivered, unassigned, or canceled.
- The Dasher has valid personal auto insurance. If the driver does not have up-to-date car insurance, DoorDash coverage may not apply.
DoorDash’s Occupational Accident Policy
The company’s occupational accident policy is an insurance policy that provides benefits to Dashers who are injured in an accident, regardless of accident liability. However, the accident must have occurred during active food delivery. The coverage does not apply to damages that occur while the driver is not on an active delivery. It also does not apply to incurred property damages.
If applicable to the Dasher, DoorDash’s occupational accident insurance coverage covers medical expenses, income replacement, and death benefits. These benefits include:
- Medical expenses up to $1,000,000 with no deductible or co-pay
- Co-pay disability payments of up to $500 per week
- Survivors’ benefits up to $150,000 for eligible dependents
Compensation and Settlements in DoorDash Accidents
The success of your DoorDash accident claim depends on your case’s unique circumstances. You may be able to recover compensation from one or more of the following parties:
- DoorDash driver
- A third party, if multiple vehicles were involved in the crash
- Your own insurance company
Additionally, many factors affect how much compensation you can recover after an accident. For example, a few factors that may affect your claim include, but are not limited to:
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- The severity of your injuries
- Financial damages
- Accident liability
- Pain and suffering
Car Accidents Involving DoorDash Drivers, You, and Other Parties
Many factors may affect your DoorDash car accident claim, including who is involved and responsible for the accident.
- When the DoorDash Driver Is Negligent: The negligent driver in a DoorDash car accident may be liable for damages to another party. Therefore, if you get in an accident with a DoorDash driver and the driver is negligent, they may be responsible for your damages.
- When You Are Partially at Fault for the Accident: Even if you are injured but partially at fault for an accident involving a DoorDash driver, you may still be able to recover compensation for damages. California is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning you can pursue damages even if you are 99% at fault for the accident. Your proportion of responsibility in the accident will reduce your recovery.
- When Multiple Vehicles Are Involved in the Accident: The case may be more complex if multiple vehicles are involved in an accident. More than one party could share liability for the accident and your damages. A multiple-vehicle accident also means more insurance companies would be involved in the legal process. However, if another person or entity’s negligence caused your injuries, you have the right to pursue compensation. We recommend working with an experienced attorney who can investigate the accident and determine liability.
Time Limits for Filing a DoorDash Auto Accident Lawsuit
In California, you generally have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. Missing this deadline may mean losing your chance to pursue damages. We recommend speaking with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. It may be more difficult to strengthen your claim the longer you wait.
What to Do if You Get into an Accident With a DoorDash Driver
If you get into a DoorDash driver accident, you should take a few steps immediately. These steps include:
- The first thing you should do before getting out of the vehicle or checking on others is to examine yourself thoroughly.
- Examine yourself to check for any visible injuries that moving or exiting your vehicle may exacerbate.
- If able, check on your passengers and other parties involved in the wreck.
- You should call 911 and ask for immediate medical help if you or another person is injured.
- If you do not get evaluated at the accident scene, you should get assessed by a medical professional as soon as possible. Sometimes injuries that may not appear to be serious can worsen over time, especially if not treated and appropriately evaluated. For example, it is common for soft tissue injuries to emerge hours or days after an accident.
- You want to ensure that your injuries do not get worse and that you have medical documentation to protect your accident claim.
Call the Police
You should always call the police to request medical help if anyone is injured in a car crash. Depending on the accident’s severity, police may or may not come to the scene. However, even if the accident seems minor, you should call them. There are benefits of emergency responders coming to the scene of an accident. In addition to requesting an ambulance if needed, the police will do the following:
- Protect the scene of the accident: Officers will block off the area around the accident scene in a severe accident. They will keep it clear until the investigation is complete and the area is cleared. Protecting the accident scene allows emergency responders access to the site and mitigates the risk of another accident.
- Create a police report: The police will put together a police report that documents information about the accident. It provides an official accident record and may include information about involved parties, damages, if citations were issued, and witness statements. You will want to get a copy of this report.
Before leaving the accident scene, you should obtain certain information from the other involved parties and take pictures and videos as evidence. Photos and videos of the accident can provide essential evidence about what happened and who was responsible.
For example, during a delivery driver accident, you should get the delivery driver’s name, contact information, and insurance policy information. Additional important information includes:
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Vehicle make and model
If able, take pictures of every vehicle involved in the accident, property damages, and any injuries you have suffered. Images of the accident location, road conditions, and weather conditions may also benefit your claim. Also, note whether you see any surveillance or red-light cameras nearby that may have captured footage of the accident. It is also important to take down the names of potential witnesses and their contact information.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
You should notify your insurance company about the accident. However, we only recommend making a detailed statement once you have discussed your situation with an attorney. For now, stick to the facts and do not apologize, take the blame, or assume anything about the accident.
Seek Legal Counsel to Help You Pursue Your Accident Claim
From distracted driving to speeding, many situations can result in a DoorDash car accident. After a DoorDash accident, consider seeking legal representation to pursue maximum compensation for your damages. A dedicated car accident attorney can help you recover lost wages, financial compensation for medical bills, and other damages.
Request a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Potential Claim
At Steers & Associates, we have extensive experience representing Southern California car accident victims, including victims of DoorDash accidents. We know how to successfully pursue both DoorDash and delivery drivers who have injured our clients.
Call us at (800) 824-5416 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation to discuss your situation. We can answer your questions, discuss your potential legal options, and determine whether we can help. We are available for phone, video, and office consultations.
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.