Being involved in an accident is never easy. But, things can get even more complex if you end up in an auto accident with a delivery vehicle. Aside from the damages and possible injuries, you’ll have to deal with many challenges. The biggest problem may be whether or not the delivery vehicle driver is employed or just collaborates with the company. If they’re employed, things won’t be so complex, but if they’re just a collaborator, things may get messy.
Hire a New York car accident attorney, if you were in such an accident.
Employee, Contractor, or Gig Worker?
Colliding your vehicle with a commercial one can be a complex case because of many reasons. First of all, the biggest challenge will be insurance coverage. If you want to file an injury claim in your lawsuit, you’ll have to determine whether the delivery vehicle driver works for the company, or they’re independent delivery drivers.
When such accidents happen (the driver is an employee), the company is typically responsible for this negligence. For example, if you were involved in an accident with a UPS vehicle, you can expect them to be employed in the company. If the driver was texting and driving and hit your car from the back, then the employer’s insurance policy will cover your damages.
Most big delivery vehicle companies have solid insurance coverage, but you can’t expect that from a smaller company.
Independent Delivery Partners
Many people believe that just because a driver wears the company’s uniform and drives their delivery vehicle, they’re employed. Many drivers are independent delivery partners. This is especially common with big delivery companies for one simple reason – avoiding liability.
If a delivery partner causes an accident, the victims will sue the partner and not the company.
You can’t expect the delivery partners to have a rich insurance policy.
Big companies wouldn’t mind hiring gig workers, instead of employing them.
Some companies like UberEATS have up to $1 million in coverage per accident, while other companies like Shipt don’t provide any insurance coverage for their gig drivers. Instead, they insist that the drivers have their insurance policies.
The not so pleasant truth is that many personal auto insurance policies won’t cover accidents that happen when the driver was doing a commercial activity. If the gig driver didn’t have a special commercial driving policy, you won’t be able to file for a claim at all.
Personal Auto Policies
You may also have claims with your insurer. Most New York drivers have personal injury protection (PIP). These policies can give you additional compensation when the liable delivery driver lacks enough coverage.
Delivery Vehicles May Have Onboard Tracking Systems
This is important because it could easily show how the accident happened. This technology is called telematics, which provides the company with detailed info about the driver’s location, behaviors, speed, and engine performance. Some vehicles even have onboard dash cameras that record the inside and outside view of the vehicle.
What You Need to Do After the Accident
If you’re able, make sure to note the following things:
- Was the driver talking, listening, texting, looking at Google maps for directions on their phone.
- Was the driver eating, drinking, adjusting the navigation system, or the radio?
- Was the driver speeding, going through a stop sign, looking out the window?
- If there were any witnesses.
If you’re injured (even with minor injuries) don’t hesitate to seek medical help and keep the medical records.
Don’t forget to call the police. When the police arrive, stay call and tell them what the other driver did. Try not to explain what happened or if you made any mistakes.
Meanwhile, don’t post anything on social media, even if you’re pissed off, or injured. Even if your social medial is locked, attorneys can get to them (attorneys from the other party).
Do You Need a Lawyer?
These accidents are complex and may require longer time and experience to deal with. This is why you need to seek legal help. When you’re injured it would be challenging to collect all evidence, file the lawsuit, and negotiate with the insurance company.
This would be easier if you hire a skilled attorney to represent you. Dealing with a big company that has hired a gig driver can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking, so having a lawyer who knows how to deal with this could ease things up for you.
Need legal help asap? Cellino Law will answer your questions