Hit By A Delivery Driver? 3 Things To Know About Their Insurance
Everyone loves to get a package delivered from their favorite online platform. But those packages are also traveling back and forth on America's roads in delivery vehicles of all sorts. And if one of those vehicles hits you, who pays for the damage or injury?
This may be a more complex question than you think. Here are three things you need to know to protect yourself.
1. Many Drivers Are Independent
Delivery vehicles may bring your packages from a single online retailer, but that doesn't necessarily mean the company owns them or that the driver is its employee. Why? Many deliveries are outsourced to independent contractors, which are individuals and small businesses who contract for the work. If this is the case in your accident, the driver and/or vehicle owner is the one who may be liable — not Amazon, Wal-Mart, or their competitors.
On the other hand, not all vehicles or drivers are outsourced. You may end up dealing with a completely different insurance scenario than your friend who was hit by an outsourced vehicle.
2. Drivers Must Carry Insurance
The good news for pedestrians, other drivers, and everyone around them is that contracted delivery drivers must generally carry sufficient liability insurance to cover accidents. They also often provide their own commercial insurance.
For example, Amazon Flex drivers are covered by its auto insurance with $1,000,000 liability coverage while they are on duty for the company. Even if the online retailer doesn't provide something similar, they or the state usually mandate minimum amounts of personal insurance.
3. The Vehicle May Be Off Duty
The definition of an off-duty vehicle can be hard to pin down. As mentioned, large retailers and platforms may insure contracted vehicles while those vehicles are performing services (i.e. actively delivering). But the company doesn't cover personal business. So, what is personal and what is business?
Consider a delivery driver who has finished their route and logged out of the app. They are clearly off duty to the company. But what if they stop midway to go through a drive-through for lunch and accidentally hit your car? This is unlikely to be considered on duty by the company, but there may be confusion if they are logged into an app — accidentally or intentionally.
Where to Start
Does this sound confusing? Most would agree. So the best thing you can do for yourself is to meet with a qualified car accident lawyer in your state to get help navigating this challenge. Call a local car accident attorney for more info.