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Who is liable when a delivery driver causes a crash?

Delivery drivers often feel a sense of pressure that leads to unsafe behaviors at the wheel. Those who conduct customer-facing deliveries, like grocery and pizza delivery professionals, recognize that faster deliveries often result in bigger gratuities. They might violate traffic laws to get to a customer’s home more quickly and potentially increase what they earn for the delivery.

Other times, the source of pressure that motivates someone to speed or otherwise violate traffic laws is their employer. Companies may place very unreasonable demands on delivery drivers, requiring that they keep each trip under a certain amount of time or that they complete a set amount of deliveries each day. Ultimately, when this pressure causes a delivery driver causes a crash, accident victims could end up struggling with property damage and injury-related expenses.

Employers are often responsible

One of the many risks associated with employing professionals is the legal and financial liability an organization will have for that worker’s negligence while on the clock. The legal concept of respondeat superior generally establishes organizational responsibility for employee negligence that harms others.

Such rules help deter unsafe business practices and motivate companies to engage in better employee screening and training. They also help those affected by business activities, like pizza delivery, secure appropriate compensation. An individual making minimum wage plus gratuities while driving for work may not have the resources necessary to compensate someone severely injured by a crash.

Their employer, on the other hand, likely has a commercial insurance policy that provides more coverage and more assets that could be subject to liquidation to pay a judgment secured in a lawsuit. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Scenarios involving intentional law-breaking on the part of the worker may extend protections to their employer that minimize their liability.

Additionally, if the company hired someone as an independent contractor rather than a direct employee, the business may not have liability for the contractor’s actions. However, if it is possible to establish that the worker was actually an employee that the company misclassified as a contractor, the business may ultimately still have liability should a collision occur.

Holding the right party responsible for a crash can make it easier for those harmed in a collision to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim successfully. Exploring the circumstances of a crash with an attorney can be a good way to clarify an accident victim’s situation.

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