Delivery drivers play a very important role in the modern economy. They allow retail businesses and restaurants to get goods directly to consumers very quickly. Delivery drivers allow bigger retail operations to maintain control over order fulfillment, particularly when those companies develop in-house delivery fleets. They also offer consumers options when it comes to shipping so that they can keep their costs a little bit lower.
In theory, their presence can minimize the number of vehicles on the road, as one delivery driver could stop multiple people every shift from driving to a restaurant or shop. Unfortunately, the large number of delivery service providers on the road has an association with increased crash risk overall.
Delivery drivers often have to drop off dozens of packages for each hour they work, forcing them to drive in aggressive ways and park in irresponsible places. Delivery drivers may cause crashes either due to how they operate a vehicle or where they park. When crashes involving these drivers occur, it may be tempting to assume that they are personally responsible for any harm caused. However, this isn’t always the case.
Employers are often responsible for wrecks caused by deliveries
The exact circumstances of the crash and the employment arrangements for the delivery driver will directly influence who is ultimately responsible for a collision. Technically, companies usually have legal and financial responsibility for negligence and mistakes made by their employees while they are on the clock.
However, if someone causes a crash while technically not on the clock, there can be questions about liability. There is also an uncomfortable gray area for liability when a company classifies a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Big businesses with large delivery fleets and independent contractors augmenting their in-house staff will often go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for collisions. Still, if a collision involves a fleet vehicle operated by someone on the clock, many times the businesses will technically have legal and financial liability for the collision that occurs.
It can be difficult to determine who is actually liable for a crash and even more difficult to deal with a business’s attorneys and insurance provider after establishing that a company has liability. Learning more about the rules that determine who covers the costs of a delivery driver’s crash can help people seek compensation from the right party after they’ve been injured in a collision.