Given our present situation of staying at home and often working at home, millions of Americans are opting for ordering groceries online and having them delivered there. That’s what Instacart does. It shops and drops right at your front door. Many grocery businesses like Instacart have drivers on the road at just about any hour. Then, there are any number of food delivery services like Grubhub too. Many delivery drivers don’t stand out in traffic though. They use their own personal vehicles when they’re working. That business arrangement presents several business issues though.
Instacart Doesn’t Offer its Drivers Insurance
Most delivery companies that do business in California offer their drivers excess liability insurance coverage in case a driver is held liable for a severe injury or even a wrongful death. Instacart doesn’t offer anything. Its drivers use their own vehicles and insurance. Instacart drivers need only carry the California minimum liability insurance limit of $15,000 per person, $30,000 total per occurrence and $5,000 in property damage. That’s frighteningly low for you if an Instacart driver’s carelessness and negligence causes a delivery accident that results in a serious spinal injury like a fractured vertebra and a disc herniation. That $15,000 isn’t going to come anywhere near the cost of spinal surgery and rehab.
The Commercial Purpose Policy Defense
Here’s another big problem. If you’re hit and injured by an Instacart driver who is making a grocery delivery, that driver is using his or her personal vehicle for a commercial purpose. Car insurance companies prohibit using a personal vehicle for such a purpose. If a driver is going to do that, he or she must have a commercial endorsement from their insurer. Without that endorsement, the insurer can walk away from covering an accident, even if the driver was insured for far over the $15,000 minimum California limit. What that means is that if you were in a crash that was caused by an Instacart driver who was on a delivery, there’s a good chance the other driver’s insurance company will walk away from covering the accident.
Can’t Instacart be Held Liable?
Anybody who delivers for Instacart acknowledges in writing that they’re an independent contractor. That job classification strongly suggests that Instacart had no control over its driver’s act or failure to act that caused an accident. That liability shield may or may not be shattered, depending on the facts of the case. For example, maybe a driver had a poor driving record, DUIs, reckless driving convictions or a consistent and long history of driving infractions. Those might be a basis for finding negligent hiring liability on behalf of Instacart. You don’t want to try proving that yourself though. It’s a challenging endeavor, even for an experienced trial lawyer.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
If you covered yourself appropriately, it’s entirely possible that your own uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance might end up being your source of compensation for your injuries. Your own insurer then becomes your opponent. Don’t expect it to treat you fairly though, no matter how many years that you’ve been a loyal customer. Like any other claimant, you’ll be treated with skepticism and disdain. You’ll be in need of an experienced California delivery accident lawyer who can professionally and effectively represent you in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.
California Instacart Accident Lawyer:
After being hit and injured by an Instacart or any other delivery driver anywhere in California, contact our offices right away to speak with our California delivery accident lawyer at no cost at all. You’ll be listened to carefully, and your questions will be answered. Then, you’ll be advised on what we think we can do for you to get you the highest compensation that you deserve. If we’re retained to represent you, no legal fees at all are due unless we obtain a settlement or award for you.