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New Jersey Accident with an Uber Eats Driver

Car accidentBeing hit by an Uber Eats driver is only the start of your problems.

On top of the painful and debilitating injuries, the medical bills piling up, and the time you’re missing from work, you’re facing another challenge. Even though the food delivery driver was at fault for the crash, no one’s in a hurry to help make things right.

While the delivery driver’s own insurer and Uber Eats are passing responsibility for your damages back and forth, you’re the one suffering, wondering how you will afford the medical care you need or support your family when you’re too badly injured to work.

You need professional legal guidance to navigate the complex insurance issues involved in an Uber Eats accident claim. That’s where we come in. For years, the delivery driver injury attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. have helped the victims of accidents with app-based food delivery drivers get maximum compensation for their claims. It costs nothing to review your case with an experienced legal professional and get your questions answered.

For a free consultation, call 866-778-5500 or complete our online form today.

What to Do When You’ve Been Hit by an Uber Eats Driver

After any collision, the health and safety of the people involved matter most. Cars can be repaired or replaced, but people can’t. Get to safety so you’re not in the path of another potential collision. Be mindful of your injuries, and if needed, ask for help from whoever is on the scene.

Call 911 to report the crash to the police and request help from emergency medical personnel. While you’re waiting, you can try to take photographs and notes that could serve as evidence for any claim you end up filing—just be careful not to make your injuries worse.

After the first responders arrive, provide the information required to cooperate with the police. Get checked out by emergency medical personnel to assess how immediate your medical needs are.

If necessary, go straight to the emergency room. Even with less critical injuries, diagnosing and treating the damage requires a more thorough evaluation than emergency medical personnel can provide on the scene of the crash. It’s best to see a medical professional as soon as possible. The sooner you seek medical attention, the sooner your doctor can order tests to diagnose your injuries and start putting together a treatment plan to give you the best possible prognosis.

Contacting the insurance companies involved in the accident—yours, the delivery driver’s, and Uber Eats’—is more than a hassle. The process is full of potential pitfalls that could undermine your claim. Even innocent small talk with a seemingly sympathetic insurance adjuster can be twisted and used to minimize your damages.

It’s a good idea to at least speak to an attorney about the legal process and your rights and responsibilities before you contact the insurers. If you decide to hire an attorney to represent you in an Uber Eats delivery driver accident claim, your legal team can take on the task of notifying the insurance companies for you.

New Jersey Accidents With Uber Eats Drivers

Uber Eats has facilitated food delivery in NJ since 2017, NorthJersey.com reported. Although the company launched its food delivery services in the Garden State in North Jersey (Hudson County), Uber Eats delivery is now available across the state.

Wherever you live, work, and routinely travel in NJ, you’re likely sharing the road with Uber Eats drivers—not only when you’re near restaurants but also on the residential streets where these delivery drivers are dropping off orders.

What Is Uber Eats?

If you think of Uber as a rideshare service, not a food delivery service, you’re not alone. Uber Eats is Uber’s delivery subsidiary. Like Uber’s rideshare business, Uber Eats is an online platform. Drivers use a mobile app on a smartphone to accept and fulfill requests. The difference is that these requests are for deliveries of takeout food orders, not ride services.

The potentially distracting use of an app isn’t the only thing Uber Eats has in common with Uber’s ridesharing service. They also share a business model under which the drivers who perform the service aren’t legally considered employees. Because these drivers are considered independent contractors, Uber Eats doesn’t have the same level of responsibility for their actions—a detail that can cause complications in an accident injury claim.

Common Causes Of Uber Eats Accidents

A combination of distractions and the pressure to deliver orders fast can make Uber Eats accidents more likely. There’s nothing inherently dangerous about picking up takeout—but being in a rush and constantly checking a mobile app while behind the wheel makes a driver much more likely to cause a crash.

Why the rush? Some Uber Eats orders promise delivery within as little as 10 to 15 minutes of placing the order. Depending on where the driver is starting from, that may not give them much time to first get to the restaurant, then go inside and pick up the order, and finally take it to the customer’s destination. Any delay can cost the driver financially, in the form of getting a good tip or even, for multiple or serious late deliveries, deactivation from the app.

The pressure isn’t only to avoid these negative consequences. Uber Eats drivers are paid per delivery rather than per hour worked, so the more efficiently they deliver orders, the more money they earn.

This work structure incentivizes drivers to rush from one destination to the next. For Uber Eats drivers who are struggling to make ends meet, it’s no surprise that the constant pressure to make deliveries faster can contribute to risky behavior behind the wheel, including:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to stop or yield

The Uber Eats app itself can distract delivery drivers. While they should be keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, they’re instead checking their phones to respond to new order requests, follow navigation directions to delivery destinations, and field calls and text messages from customers. That’s exactly the sort of distraction that, too often, causes serious collisions.

Know your legal options.

Who Pays for Injuries Caused by Uber Eats Delivery Drivers in NJ?

When an accident with a delivery driver has left you injured, the consequences are costly in every possible way. Someone should pay for the medical bills, loss of income, and life-changing physical and emotional pain and suffering you’ve been through. The question of who pays for damages like these is especially complicated in Uber Eats accident cases.

What Your Own Insurer Pays in an Uber Eats Accident Claim

Even if it’s 100% clear that the Uber Eats delivery driver was fully to blame for the crash, your auto insurance company—and, to some extent, you personally—will be partially responsible for paying for the damages that result. New Jersey is a no-fault state, where each driver’s own auto insurer pays for their policyholders’ damages, regardless of who is at fault.

Factoring in the deductible and your copayments for medical expenses, you’re likely to be on the hook for over a thousand dollars of medical costs, if not more. That’s a lot of money to pay for someone else’s mistakes, and unfortunately, it’s only the beginning.

NJ drivers injured in a crash with an Uber Eats delivery driver should have an auto insurance policy that covers their medical bills, but what about passengers, who may not have this coverage? It’s particularly important for injured passengers to explore sources of medical coverage. Depending on your situation, you may be covered by a resident relative’s policy even if you don’t have a car yourself, or you may need to seek coverage through the defendant’s medical payment insurance. An experienced NJ car accident attorney can help injured passengers figure out where to turn to get the medical care they need when they need it.

In some food delivery driver accident claims, the victim’s own auto insurance may also come into play in the form of an uninsured motorist (UM) claim. In cases in which the delivery driver who hit you worked for Uber Eats, Uber provides insurance coverage, at least in certain situations. However, if neither the driver’s insurance company nor Uber’s insurance applies, a UM claim may be the injured victim’s best option. If insurance coverage is available but isn’t enough to cover your damages, you might have the option of pursuing a payout through any underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage available through your auto insurance policy.

In both UM and UIM claims, your own insurer stands in for the defendant’s insurance company. Although you are its policyholder, the insurer will try to minimize your payout for its own financial benefit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a UM or UIM claim is any easier to win just because you’re going up against your own insurer in the claims process. You have to be just as thorough in documenting the other driver’s fault for the crash and the extent of your damages in this situation as you would when seeking money damages from a defendant’s insurer. The insurance company isn’t on your side.

Suing the Uber Eats Delivery Driver

The delivery driver is the one who hit you, causing all of these problems. Shouldn’t they be accountable for the consequences?

Uber Eats drivers are required to have auto insurance. Unfortunately, when victims injured in accidents with Uber Eats drivers try to file claims with the delivery driver’s insurer, their claims are often denied. That’s because many Uber Eats drivers don’t have the right type of auto insurance coverage for the work they do.

A personal auto insurance policy only covers personal use of the vehicle, not commercial activities like using the vehicle to provide food delivery services for payment. Once an insurance company finds out that their policyholder was working as an Uber Eats driver at the time of the collision, the company will likely deny the claim on the basis that the accident occurred during commercial use of the vehicle.

Unfortunately, it isn’t only the Uber Eats driver who suffers when their auto insurer denies the claim. For you, this coverage denial may be a big setback. You need compensation for your damages, and the most obvious source of coverage—the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy—is now a dead end.

We are here to help.

Insurance Coverage Through Uber Eats

Uber, the parent company of Uber Eats online food ordering and delivery platform, is a multi-billion dollar company. Can you count on Uber Eats to pay for the damages you suffered when you were hit by its delivery driver?

Uber provides auto insurance coverage in most states, including New Jersey, but there are restrictions to Uber’s delivery driver auto insurance.

Most importantly, Uber’s delivery driver insurance does not apply if the delivery driver was offline or not using the Uber Driver app when the crash happened. If the driver began rushing to a “hotspot” near restaurants to wait for delivery orders before logging into the app, Uber provides no insurance coverage. Instead, Uber points to the delivery driver’s personal auto insurance company as the responsible party—even though the insurer may deny the claim once the adjuster learns the policyholder was driving for Uber Eats.

During much of the time an Uber Eats driver is on the road, they’re online and using the app in some capacity. When the Uber Eats driver is available to take on a delivery request in the app—likely while circling areas near restaurants—Uber provides $50,000 of third-party liability insurance for bodily injury per person or $100,000 total per accident.

Once an Uber Eats delivery driver has accepted a delivery order request, any victims of their negligence have the benefit of much more extensive insurance coverage limits. When an Uber Eats driver is on the way to pick up an order or deliver it to its destination, Uber provides $1,000,000 in third-party liability insurance coverage.

The amount of coverage available to you depends on the stage of delivery work the driver was in at the time of the crash—a factor that’s both outside of your control and unrelated to the severity of your injuries. Documenting in what capacity the Uber Eats delivery driver was performing work for the company when the collision happened may require an investigation by an experienced legal team.

No-Win, No-Fee Legal Help for People Injured in an Uber Eats Accident

No Fee PromiseIt doesn’t take long for the financial costs of an Uber Eats accident to pile up enough to drastically impact your life. You’re worried about how you’re going to support your family and afford the medical care you need. It’s not all about these economic losses, either. You’re living with considerable pain and a frustrating inability to do the things you used to do.

None of this is fair. As many injured car accident victims find out, the legal process isn’t always fair, either—especially when you’re going up against multiple defendants, insurance companies, and their teams of attorneys all on your own. If you’re going to get the maximum amount of money for your claim, you need professional legal assistance.

When you’re already struggling (financially and otherwise) with the consequences of an accident, you might think you just can’t afford to hire experienced Uber Eats accident lawyers. What most people don’t know is that you can pursue a personal injury claim against Uber Eats and its delivery driver at no upfront cost. The dedicated legal team at Console & Associates, P.C. represents all clients on a no-win, no-fee basis. We can review your case, investigate the accident, and handle every aspect of the claim without ever once handing you a bill. You’ll only ever owe in attorneys’ fees a percentage of the money we succeed in securing for you.

Ready to find out more? Call 866-778-5500 or contact us online today to get your questions answered and your case reviewed at no cost.

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