While food establishments are ceasing or strictly limiting dine-in operations, many of us are turning to delivery and takeout services. As a result, companies like Instacart and DoorDash are experiencing an upsurge in business as those sheltering in place rely on contactless food services. But what happens if the delivery drivers for these companies get involved in a car accident? Who is liable for the resulting damages? The delivery driver or the delivery company? Both?
Insurance requirements for food/grocery delivery vehicles
Under Texas law, drivers are required to have minimum liability insurance to protect themselves if they are responsible for causing a crash. Best known as “30/60/25” coverage, a driver in Texas must have at least:
- $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person.
- $60,000 in coverage per accident.
- $25,000 of coverage for property damage.
When a driver works for a food or grocery company like DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc., this “30/60/25” coverage policy often doesn’t include coverage for such commercial driving activities. Not only does this pose a problem if the delivery driver causes an accident, but also if they are a victim of one. That’s why it’s always advisable for delivery drivers to contact their auto insurance carrier to understand whether they need to carry a commercial insurance policy in addition to their existing personal insurance policy.
Liability in food/grocery delivery accidents
Delivery drivers are often classified as independent contractors. Under Texas law, these individuals are not considered employees, meaning that it might be difficult to hold the delivery company liable in case of an accident. So if a victim sustains injuries in an accident caused by a delivery driver, it’s the responsibility of the delivery driver’s insurance carrier to cater for the victim’s damages.
But while a delivery driver is required to carry their own vehicle insurance, this may not be enough to cover all the resulting damages, especially in serious crashes. Even worse, most personal vehicle insurance providers may not be willing to pay if the driver was in an accident while they were working. Luckily, some food/grocery delivery companies such as UberEats have limited insurance liability in place for their delivery drivers.
However, it can be tricky to establish when the company’s limited insurance liability coverage applies and for how much. That’s why it’s best to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can review your case’s specific circumstances to establish whether you qualify to recover compensation from the delivery company’s liability policy.
Injured in an accident involving a food delivery driver in Houston?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a crash caused by a food delivery driver, reach out to the Houston car accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP to understand your rights and legal options. Johnson Garcia LLP will dedicate 100% of our legal resources to identify the liable party and ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation available. Call (832) 844-6700 for a free initial consultation.