Food delivery has expanded far beyond just pizza in the past few years. Hungry consumers can have just about anything they want delivered to their doorstep with just a few button clicks on their phone or other smart device.
The convenience of food delivery is great, but what happens when you collide with a food delivery driver? Unfortunately, food delivery app accidents can be more complicated than standard passenger vehicle collisions, especially when determining who should be held liable. To receive the fair amount of compensation you deserve, consider seeking counsel from an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney.
Food Delivery in New Jersey
In the next decade, the U.S. food delivery industry is expected to hit $46.5 billion, according to the Food App Delivery Market Statistics 2023 report. The number of people using food delivery apps is expected to reach 44 million by the end of 2023. Another recent report shows that New Jersey ranks 9th in the nation for Google searches for food delivery options. These are the most popular food delivery apps across the state:
- DoorDash (51%)
- Uber Eats (26%)
- Grubhub (22%)
- Postmates (1%)
- Caviar (<1%)
New Jerseyans spend an average of $2,427 annually on food delivery each year, which works out to $39.46 per order. Overall, the only state that uses food delivery more often than New Jersey is Iowa. On average, people in New Jersey order delivery five times per month. With so many deliveries happening around the state, food delivery app accidents are bound to occur.
Who Is Liable for a Food Delivery App Accident?
Liability in food delivery app accidents is more complicated because drivers, like rideshare drivers, are not employees of the company. Instead, they are typically considered independent contractors. However, unlike rideshare drivers who have an obligation to purchase specific auto insurance in addition to standard New Jersey requirements, there is no additional coverage necessary for food delivery providers.
Depending on which service the driver you were in a collision with is working for, you may be able to access coverage from the food delivery app company, which could be important if the delivery driver’s personal insurance is insufficient to cover your injuries. Here is a brief overview of what could be available from some of the major food delivery apps.
Coverage from DoorDash is available from the time a DoorDash driver or “Dasher” accepts a delivery request on the platform until the order is marked as delivered, unassigned, or canceled. If Dashers are online but have not accepted a delivery request, their auto insurance is primary. For the company’s insurance to apply, the Dasher must be the at-fault driver, and the Dasher’s insurance must deny the claim.
Uber carries coverage for each delivery driver in a format similar to how they apply the policy to their rideshare drivers. For drivers who are just waiting for an order, Uber Eats has limited liability coverage that could potentially apply.
Drivers may be fully covered by the Uber Eats insurance policy when driving to and from a delivery location. This policy provides $1,000,000 in combined third-party liability insurance and comprehensive and collision coverage if the driver has this type of coverage on their auto insurance policy.
Like the DoorDash insurance policy, Postmates drivers are covered from when they accept the delivery request to when it is delivered. Coverage can be up to $1 million in liability insurance and includes deliverers on bicycles. Postmates does recommend drivers carry their own insurance.
Delivery drivers for GrubHub are responsible for any accident while driving, regardless of whether a delivery is in progress.
What to Do After a Food Delivery App Accident in New Jersey
While protecting your rights in any vehicle accident is important, the most important concern is taking care of yourself. If you have sustained serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, do not hesitate to leave the scene to receive the necessary care to prevent further damage to your well-being. If you are able to stay at the scene, these are some of the things you can do to help support your delivery driver accident claim:
- Call the police. Even if vehicle damage or injuries are minor, it is important to have a police report on file that can be referenced by the insurance company. The report will detail the time and place of the accident as well as other pertinent information that may be used to prove how the accident occurred.
- Take photos. Your phone camera will do just fine to document the accident scene. Try to take photos of the bags of food the driver was carrying, which can help you prove that the driver was en route to make a delivery at the time of the accident.
- Speak to witnesses. If someone is kind enough to stop and help, they may consider providing their contact information so you can follow up on what they saw. You may even consider exchanging email addresses or phone numbers and asking them for a statement that way.
- Seek medical attention. Do not try to be tougher than your injuries. It is important to seek professional medical attention as soon as reasonably possible. Injuries can worsen over time and sometimes take months to be fully realized.
Whether you are in an Uber Eats delivery accident, DoorDash, Grubhub, or any other type of food delivery app accident, it is always a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney who can help ensure you are in the best position to receive maximum compensation.
Experience matters when you are hurt in a food delivery app accident. These delivery app companies expect accidents to occur with so many drivers on the road. Food delivery companies are, therefore, well-versed in how to get out of paying for damages caused by drivers delivering on their behalf. You need a legal team who knows how to handle these complicated cases. At Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., our attorneys have been serving New Jersey for over three decades and have obtained multi-million dollar results to help clients recover from serious injuries. Our experienced attorneys can help put your mind at ease by handling your claim from start to finish, keeping you informed the entire time. Contact us to schedule your consultation.