Online food delivery services such as Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEats have been increasing in popularity, as these services allow many restaurants which never employed delivery drivers to offer food delivery to customers. However, with more and more customers taking advantage of food delivery services to order food from a wider variety of restaurants, that means more vehicles on the road driving for these services.
When a food delivery service driver is involved in a car accident, who bears liability for the injuries and property damage caused by the crash?
New Jersey Driver Insurance Requirements
Under New Jersey law, all drivers of personal vehicles need to purchase auto insurance coverage that, at a minimum, meets the requirements of a “basic policy.” A “basic policy” provides coverage that includes:
- $5,000 in property damage liability coverage
- $15,000 per person, per accident of personal injury protection coverage (or up to $250,000 for catastrophic injuries)
- Optional bodily injury liability coverage of $10,000 per person, per accident
Most drivers will opt to purchase a “standard policy,” whose coverages include:
- At least $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage
- At least $5,000 of property damage liability coverage
- At least $15,000 per person, per accident of personal injury protection coverage (or up to $250,000 for catastrophic injuries)
However, many insurance policies don’t offer coverage for drivers when they are engaged in “commercial” activity, such as driving for a food delivery service, when involved in an accident. Food service delivery drivers will need to purchase a commercial auto liability policy or a rider on their personal auto insurance policy that provides coverage for their delivery driving.
Delivery App Insurance
Most food delivery app companies also provide insurance coverage to their drivers if they are involved in an accident while driving for the service. This coverage kicks in only if the driver’s own auto insurer denies coverage or if the driver exhausts the coverage limits of their own policy.
In addition, some delivery app companies only provide coverage while the driver is driving to pick up or deliver an order, while other companies provide coverage so long as the driver is logged into the app and awaiting an order to pick up. Coverage while picking up or delivering an order can be as high as $1 million, while coverage provided while a driver is waiting for an order to accept may be as low as $50,000.
Can You Sue Delivery App Companies for Negligence?
In most cases, people who are injured in car accidents caused by food app delivery drivers cannot sue the food delivery app company directly. This is because drivers are normally classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Companies normally cannot be held liable for the negligent actions of independent contractors they have hired. But if the delivery app company offers insurance to their driver, that can help compensate injured victims of accidents.
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Food Delivery Driver Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a food delivery driver accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of food delivery driver accidents in Hoboken, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, East Orange, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, Trenton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.