This is currently a very hot issue and with good reason. Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) and Proposition 22 have caused a stir in California’s food delivery business, and companies, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates. The debate over whether food delivery drivers are employees or independent contractors has yet to be resolved.
Below, we will discuss further about the employment status of a food delivery driver and the important considerations a personal injury attorney will consider when determining liability after a food delivery accident. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a food delivery accident, our qualified food delivery accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are always here to answer any questions you may have about claims and damages available to you.
For the most part, an employer has a significant amount of control regarding worker performance and job-related tasks. The more control an employer has over things like scheduling and hours worked, the more likely a food delivery driver is an employee and not an independent contractor. The issue as it affects food delivery drivers, however, was clarified back in September of 2019 with the passing of AB5.
However, Prop 22 soon came into effect in November of 2020, which reclassified rideshare and food delivery drivers as independent contractors. Prop 22 was later considered as unconstitutional by the Alameda Superior Court of California. Uber and other app-based services announced their intent to appeal to the decision. The ballot is expected to make its way to California’s Supreme Court where it will be settled on whether Prop 22 should remain active. Until then, Prop 22 will still be in effect.
Food delivery accident claims are very complicated. It’s not uncommon for some of these companies to outright deny that their drivers are employees and argue that they are “independent contractors.” In most cases, legally speaking, employers are not held liable for the negligent conduct of independent contractors.
The three most commonly used food delivery services in California are DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates. Insurance policies for these companies vary in regards to the amount of coverage they provide for damages arising from food delivery accidents. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of insurance policies used by these three companies.
According to DoorDash, they provide excess auto insurance for DoorDash drivers, but only for property damage or bodily injury caused to third parties. DoorDash requires a personal auto insurance policy for all drivers, which serves as the primary coverage in the event of an accident. The driver’s own automobile insurance is considered primary coverage.
If your damages exceed the delivery driver’s policy, and the accident happened when the driver was on active delivery, DoorDash’s contingent liability policy of $1 million will go into effect.
Insurance coverage for Uber Eats is similar to an insurance policy for the Uber ridesharing company. If the app is currently on and the driver has not yet begun to pick up or deliver food (or if the driver is in between deliveries), the driver is covered for up to $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 (per individual/accident/property damage).
If the driver is on an active delivery (already accepted a request and is picking up or delivering food), auto liability coverage increases to $1 million. Please note that Uber Eats’ insurance policy will not cover any accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Postmates’ insurance coverage is similar to DoorDash. Postmates provides $1 million in excess liability to third party claims and will only come into play after the Postmates driver’s personal auto insurance coverage has been exhausted.
Postmates offers additional coverage called “accidental occupational liability” coverage, which allows up to $50,000 to cover the costs of medical expenses for injuries suffered while on the job.
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a food delivery accident, our food delivery accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for your losses, which includes medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.