Fresno has been a leader in agriculture for well over a century now. We ship fruits and vegetables, and other goods out to the world each day. Moving products is a local specialty and now on a smaller scale, Central Valley rideshare and food delivery drivers continue that tradition.
These drivers can drop hot meals or frozen groceries on your doorstep in a flash. Services like Uber and Lyft can also transport people anywhere they need to be. The rise of the instant delivery age can certainly be noticed on local streets. These employees are on-the-clock and behind the wheel as they travel Fresno all day and night. The extra traffic can be a nuisance, but even more concerning, these drivers can add extra risk to any trip you take.
Help for Victims in an Accident with a Delivery Driver
The danger is clear if you stop to think about it. Any driver can be distracted and become a danger to everyone else on the road. What if you were working at the wheel and a cellphone played a big part of your job. You might have more reason to be distracted than anyone else.
A delivery or rideshare driver may glance down as they get a new request or order and suddenly they’ve veered off course and into your car. The driver’s error in judgment has now left you with potentially serious injuries. As you begin an expensive recovery, you’ll start to question your next move.
Can the driver be held accountable for the accident? And what about the company the driver works for? Will a rideshare service like Uber or a fast-food delivery company like Postmates take responsibility for their driver?
The attorneys with Martin Gasparian’s Maison Law of Fresno understand these concerns and want to make sure victims know all of their options when they begin facing the physical, emotional, and financial costs that arise after an accident. Martin Gasparian created Maison Law to give everyday people a voice when standing up to major corporations and insurance companies to seek the compensation they need. Mr. Gasparian offers honest advice and personalized attention to anyone who contacts Maison Law.
Fresno Delivery Driver Accident Dangers
Distracted driving is one of the top reasons for car accidents each year and drivers for companies like Lyft or Amazon are doing much more behind the wheel than the average motorist.
Every year, the California Highway Patrol warns the public about the dangers of inattentive driving. In one year they attributed 118 traffic deaths to distracted driving. Another 10,902 injuries were reported in accidents where the driver wasn’t paying attention. In fact, these numbers are probably very low because investigators can’t always tell when distracted driving was a factor in a collision and drivers won’t always admit to looking at their phones before causing an accident.
Rideshare drivers can be cruising aimlessly as they wait to get a request from their next rider. Amazon workers can be speeding in their big vans to their next location to make sure they get out their hundreds of packages for the day. Any distraction in these key moments can lead to a devastating crash.
Some of these drivers even work for more than one company at once. They may have to switch apps on the fly to see if there are new orders on Grubhub or Instacart at any one time. Even drug and alcohol abuse can factor into a rideshare driver’s negligence and lead to a dangerous move into your lane.
Holding a Delivery or Rideshare Company Accountable
As you might’ve guessed, these delivery companies like to place all of the blame on their drivers when accidents happen. Uber and Lyft designate their drivers as contract workers so they can escape liability in many cases.
These companies require their drivers to carry their own insurance coverage, but many insurance companies often won’t cover policyholders when it’s discovered they were working from behind the wheel. Even if a driver’s own insurance will cover an accident, they may limit your compensation and you could end up paying for some of the costs of your recovery yourself. At this point, it may be necessary to get the driver’s parent company involved in a civil lawsuit.
Delivery companies generally have some coverage that kicks in to help accident victims, but it usually only covers workers during certain parts of their day. Only when they have their app open or when they have food and grocery bags in their cars. Amazon may offer coverage for their drivers, but they often employ local logistics companies to make their deliveries, and those smaller companies may also be liable in some cases.
It can be a confusing mess when someone who is on the job and on the road causes an accident. An attorney with Maison Law can help you sort out just who might be involved when you file a claim for damages over your injuries. A local attorney on your side can also investigate several factors that may force a national company to accept liability for the drivers they hire.
- Hiring Practices – Were proper background checks performed on the driver? Was a violation like a DUI or other traffic citation missed?
- Safety Practices – Are drivers trained and instructed on safety? Does a company like Uber ask employees to engage in unsafe practices to complete the job?
- Driver Fatigue – Was a driver working too many hours straight? Was the employee working for many companies at the same time? Some companies have hour limits that don’t always get monitored properly.
- Vehicle Safety – Was the vehicle the driver uses safe and well maintained? Companies can be held liable if they provide the vehicle or even if the driver’s personal car is utilized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I talk to representatives for a rideshare or delivery company after an accident?
You should refuse to give a statement about the accident to anyone claiming to be with the driver’s company. California does not require that you give these companies a statement.
These calls will likely be from the company’s lawyers or insurance agents. They will try to ask leading questions so that you say something on record that could be used to hurt your case. Let your attorney handle all communication with the rideshare or delivery company.
Will I need to prove a driver was working at the time of an accident?
Immediately after an accident, it’s important to get any confirmation you can that the driver is on the clock for Instacart, Grubhub, or anyone else. If they won’t admit it, you might notice any signage or logos in their windows. Get photos. Note any grocery or fast food bags in the car. Mention your suspicion to the police. This evidence may act as proof that the driver was working when they caused your collision.
How long do I have to file a case against a delivery driver?
The countdown starts on the date of the accident and from that day you have two years to file a civil lawsuit over your injuries. You have two full years but it’s important to file this claim for damages as soon as possible, especially when a company or corporation is involved. Evidence and documents will be easiest to collect if little time has passed. The at-fault driver may not even be working for the company in a year.
We Represent Delivery Driver Accident Victims In Fresno
Rideshare and delivery companies make billions of dollars a year off of our orders and requests. They are wildly profitable partly because they don’t always back their employees like they should with benefits and proper pay. They also don’t always take responsibility for their drivers when they send them out on our streets and highways each day.
A collision can leave a victim with severe injuries and a long, expensive recovery ahead. And if the accident involved an employee for a major corporation, victims should be able to count on more help as they heal and try to get back to a normal life, not less.
At Maison Law in Fresno, we work hard to ensure the injuries our clients suffered are never ignored. Victims should never be made to feel alone as they face hospital bills all while missing time from work and losing paychecks.
Here’s a list of some of the company’s we can you help file a claim against:
Contact a Fresno Auto Accident Attorney
We believe all parties that share blame for your accident should be held accountable and made to share in the burden of your recovery.
After an accident involving a serious injury in Fresno or anywhere in Central Valley, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. You may have more options than you realize. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and personalized attention to detail their case deserves.