Omaha Delivery Driver Accident Attorneys
Filing a Claim Against Negligent Delivery Companies
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As expedited shipping has become the new norm through the United States, delivery drivers are in high demand to maximize the shipping speed of online business. Whether big or small, numerous companies across the country provide fast shipping options to meet consumers’ demands, often utilizing major companies like FedEx, UPS, or DHL. In addition, restaurants and grocery stores have steadily converted to using third-party drivers to handle food orders, adding to the number of delivery drivers on the road every day. With all this added traffic by rushed drivers, it is inevitable that delivery driver collisions would occur.
Negligent hiring, distracted driving, and speeding have all contributed to devastating and fatal collisions across the country, and Nebraska is no different. If you were injured by a negligent delivery driver, you may be eligible for a claim against their parent company and their insurance policy. To learn how to pursue compensation, contact an Omaha delivery driver accident attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. by calling (402) 505-8234.
Poor Driving Habits That Contribute to Delivery Driver Collisions
Delivery driver crashes can be broken down into two different categories: package handlers who must fulfill hundreds of orders a day and gig-workers who handle local deliveries for restaurants and grocery stores. Both share similar driving habits that contribute to delivery accidents, but there are key differences that can affect how they acted negligently.
Package handlers for UPS, FedEx, and DHL, as well as third-party contractors who work with Amazon, all tend to drive large delivery vans that are akin to passenger vans. These vehicles are top-heavy, meaning they are prone to rollovers if not driven properly. Drivers are also expected to have commercial driving licenses to learn the unique techniques required to safely maneuver these vehicles. For example, when fully loaded, these vehicles can tip over, causing a rollover, or take longer to stop at a traffic signal, causing a pedestrian accident in the crosswalk.
If not properly trained or rushed to complete a delivery, a package handler can cause a collision by:
- Making sharp turns
- Becoming distracted by GPS devices
- Overload their van
- Fail to fix a maintenance issue, such as low tire pressure or overused brakes
While package handlers may be trained and hired by major brands, food delivery drivers are often untrained and work for technology companies like UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Instacart. Food delivery drivers are also only paid by the delivery, rather than by the hour, and utilize their own personal vehicles to handle orders. In an effort to their maximize income, delivery drivers may drive more recklessly than other passenger vehicle drivers. These drivers also tend to work at later hours to receive bonuses on late-night orders. A food delivery driver involved in a crash may have been:
- Speeding to a destination
- Driving fatigued
- Driving distracted
- Violating another driver’s right-of-way
- Making improper lane changes
- Cruising, or driving around aimlessly looking for orders
All of these actions can constitute negligence in a car crash claim and make the driver liable for any injuries or damages they caused. However, liability insurance policies differ between each company and service, as well as when the driver was “on the clock” and driving in their free time.
Liability Policies for Delivery Companies
Generally, when a driver is involved in a collision, their liability coverage will kick in if they were acting negligently at the time of the crash. In contrast, commercial policies utilized by delivery companies operate under different circumstances. If a driver is on the clock, meaning they are performing their regular duties, then they are likely covered under the liability policy. This can vary between delivery companies, however.
Package Delivery Companies
Package handlers for UPS, FedEx, and DHL all have general liability policies that allow up to $1 million in coverage for individuals injured in a crash. Amazon, on the other hand, does not have a liability policy in place because it does not directly handle delivery drivers. Instead, the company utilizes a series of third-party contractors who sign strict contracts that require them to bear full responsibility in a wreck. That means, if you are injured by an Amazon delivery driver, you will have to file a claim with a third-party, rather than Amazon directly. Luckily, third-party companies are required to have thorough commercial liability policies, meaning you may be able to collect a large settlement or verdict if the other driver is found at fault.
Food Delivery Companies
Food delivery companies like UberEats, DoorDash, and Postmates utilize different systems for determining liability.
UberEats: Similar to a rideshare accident, UberEats offers different levels of insurance depending on whether or not the driver is delivering an order. When a driver has turned the UberEats delivery app on, but has not accepted an order, the driver is only covered for $50,000 per individual, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. If they have accepted an order, then they are covered for $1 million.
DoorDash: DoorDash’s policy only applies in excess to the driver’s own auto insurance policy and is applicable when a driver is currently delivering an order. If a driver is on the way to pick up an order or cruising, then you can only file against their own insurance policy. If they have picked up an order, then the driver is covered for up to $1 million in addition to the driver’s personal policy.
Postmates: Postmates’s policy is essentially the same as DoorDash’s in terms of requirements to be covered and the amount of the policy.
Sadly, companies like Instacart do not have a liability policy in place to cover at-fault drivers. In this situation, you may have to file a claim against the driver’s personal auto insurance policy or a commercial policy, if they have one. You may also be eligible to file an underinsured or uninsured car accident claim if a driver’s policy is not enough to cover your damages or if they lack insurance.
Holding Negligent Companies Accountable
While most of these companies have large insurance policies to cover collisions, they also have teams of aggressive corporate lawyers who often defend against high-value injury cases by rejecting claims. That is why it is important to contact an equally skilled attorney who can push back against negligent insurance company tactics.
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., our lead attorney has learned first-hand how to deal with at-fault insurance companies, from the tactics they utilize against plaintiffs to how they handle themselves in a courtroom. With his knowledge, he has represented multiple clients in receiving fair and proper compensation after a collision with a negligent driver. Working with the legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C., including a skilled Omaha car accident lawyer, could be your best bet at successfully recovering compensation. Call us at (402) 505-8234 to see if we are the right firm for you.
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