Instacart delivery drivers handle everything from a quick run to the grocery store to an extensive stock-up shopping trip, all so the customers using the app don’t have to deal with the hassle of buying groceries the old-fashioned way. This means Instacart drivers are spending more time not just inside grocery stores but also in their crowded parking lots and driving across town to deliver groceries to customers.
Anyone who drives for a living is at a greater risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. After all, you’re spending more time on the road compared to people whose jobs—whether full-time employment or side hustle—don’t require driving. Even if you’re exceedingly careful behind the wheel, you can’t control the potentially dangerous actions of the other motorists you have to share the road with. As more people have turned to app-based delivery services like Instacart, the delivery drivers behind these services face increased risks associated with spending more time on the road.
If you were injured while working as an Instacart driver in New Jersey, you deserve compensation from the at-fault party for the injuries you sustained and the harm you suffered. Our experienced delivery driver accident attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of gig worker accident claims. For a free, confidential consultation, call 866-778-5500 today or complete our online form.
A motor vehicle crash has a way of turning your life upside down. It can be difficult to think through what to do next after a collision—and even more so when dealing with the complexities of being on the job at the time of the crash.
In the case of any accident, your health and safety should be your number-one priority. First, get to a safe place so no further harm can come to you. If you’re able to, assist any other injured parties in getting to safety, too.
Call 911 for emergency assistance. Cooperate with the police, but don’t make statements like “I’m sorry,” “I shouldn’t have…,” or “I’m okay.” Until a thorough investigation of the accident and a medical examination have been conducted, it may not be clear who is at fault or whether you are, in fact, okay. While on the scene of the accident, allow emergency medical personnel to examine you and, if necessary, take you straight to the hospital.
If your injuries aren’t so urgent that you need to take an ambulance to the emergency room, you should still make it a priority to see a doctor as soon as possible. What at first seems like only minor injuries may turn out to be more extensive and more serious once the shock of the accident wears off. Waiting to see a doctor may exacerbate your injuries and leave you with a worse prognosis than if you had gotten the medical care you needed promptly.
Instacart shoppers are also supposed to report any motor vehicle accident they get into while making a delivery to Instacart right away. While doing so is important, it’s not more important than your health and safety.
Sometime after the immediate aftermath of the crash, injured accident victims usually begin contacting the insurance companies involved. Even in the simplest of motor vehicle accident claims, reporting a collision to insurers is a process that’s full of potential pitfalls. Common mistakes accident victims make when reporting a collision to an insurance company include:
If you have to contact the insurance companies yourself, be aware of these mistakes that could hurt any claim for financial compensation you pursue later. Keep the conversation short and to the point: that you’re reporting an accident you were in. Decline to talk about your injuries or who is at fault until more information becomes available.
Better yet, consider speaking to an experienced delivery driver accident lawyer first. Allow us to handle the hassle of reporting the accident to the appropriate insurance companies on your behalf. We can avoid any of the pitfalls that injured accident victims so often encounter, and you can focus on more important things, like getting better.
Auto insurance coverage is what typically pays for the economic and non-economic damages that result from a motor vehicle accident. In the case of an Instacart delivery driver injured while working, auto insurance can become complicated.
Too many Instacart drivers find out after an accident occurs that no one is on their side—not the company they shop and drive for, their own insurance company, or another motorists’ insurance company.
Unless the Instacart driver has purchased a special insurance policy that covers accidents that occur while doing gig work, their own insurance company will often turn them away.
That’s an especially big problem in New Jersey. The state’s no-fault laws establish a driver’s own auto insurer as the primary party responsible for paying their accident-related medical bills regardless of who is at fault. If your insurer denies your claim on the basis that you were working for Instacart, not being able to get your car fixed may not be your biggest problem. Even more serious is the issue of not being able to pay for the medical care you need to get better.
Why would your own auto insurer deny your claim? Insurance companies lose money when they pay out claims, so minimizing payouts or denying coverage altogether is in their best interests.
In the case of Instacart driver accidents, insurers often have an easy excuse for denying claims. If you have a regular personal auto insurance policy, it only covers personal use of the car. Driving the vehicle while logged into and actively using the Instacart app may be considered commercial use of the vehicle. If you don’t have an expensive commercial vehicle policy (or at least an add-on endorsement that enhances your coverage), your insurance company will probably deny your claim since the accident occurred when driving the vehicle for commercial use rather than personal use.
We are here to help.
Since you were working for Instacart at the time of the collision and your auto insurance won’t cover the crash, you might assume that Instacart will. It’s possible that your insurer even told you that you have to file a claim with Instacart’s auto insurance company. However, Instacart doesn’t provide commercial auto insurance coverage for shoppers injured in motor vehicle accidents while delivering groceries.
Under the Independent Contractor Agreement (as of October 2023) that applies to Instacart shoppers and drivers in the United States, the company states that:
“You understand that Instacart does not provide any insurance listed above, you should verify whether your automobile insurance covers performance of your services, not all insurance policies cover such services, and you are not entitled to receive such insurance coverage from Instacart.”
Instacart shoppers who expect Instacart to stand behind them after they have been injured while driving to make deliveries on behalf of the company aren’t just disappointed. They’re left facing a mountain of medical bills and, often, unable to work, at least in the early stages of their physical recovery.
For injured Instacart delivery drivers, the situation may start to look pretty bleak. However, while Instacart doesn’t provide auto insurance coverage per se, injured drivers may be able to get medical expenses covered through the Shopper Injury Protection coverage program the company adopted in 2019. “If a shopper is injured while shopping or delivering, you have access to shopper injury protection, which is insurance available for all U.S. full-service shoppers free of charge,” a 2021 Instacart Shopper Community article explained.
Unfortunately, many Instacart delivery drivers injured in the course of their work don’t know that this coverage exists or that they may qualify for it in the case of a motor vehicle accident injury. This means that injured Instacart drivers may be missing out on compensation that they need and are entitled to, all while being told that no auto insurance coverage is available to help them.
Workers’ compensation insurance is insurance that covers an employee’s medical bills and a percentage of lost wages in the event of a work-related injury, no matter whose fault that injury is. For delivery drivers, collisions that occur while they are working constitute work injuries.
The problem is that Instacart provides workers’ compensation coverage for employees but not for gig workers who perform the critical role of actually shopping for and delivering the groceries customers order. Instacart shoppers and delivery drivers are typically classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Since you’re legally not an employee of Instacart, you’re not covered under its workers’ compensation insurance. You can’t seek compensation through this avenue.
Assuming someone else is at fault for the crash, one source of coverage from which you may recover compensation is the other driver’s auto insurance policy.
Getting compensation from the other driver’s insurer isn’t an automatic occurrence or an easy process. To successfully recover compensation, you’re going to have to show that the other driver (or other party) is the one who caused the collision. Accomplishing this may be easier in some situations than in others. It’s often in an injured driver’s best interest to hire professional legal representation to handle this matter for you. Even if a police report shows that the other driver received a citation for violating traffic laws and you did not, the insurer may not want to accept responsibility for the crash—and they may try to put the blame on you instead of where it belongs.
If you believe the other driver is at fault but their insurance company is denying the claim or offering you a payout that doesn’t begin to cover your damages, it’s time to bring in professional legal representation. A thorough investigation can help prove their policyholder’s negligence. Even if you share some of the fault for the crash, you can still pursue financial compensation if the other driver was more at fault than you were—even if their insurance company doesn’t want you to know that.
In some cases, there may be more than one other party involved in the crash who bears some or all of the fault for the collision. The other driver may have also been working at the time of the crash, and if they were legally classified as an employee rather than an independent contractor, their employer could be responsible for paying your damages. In certain situations, defendants aren’t other motorists at all but rather mechanics who negligently maintained vehicles, auto parts manufacturers that produced defective parts, or entities that allowed dangerous road conditions to put motorists at risk. If you’re not sure exactly how the crash occurred or who is to blame, having a New Jersey Instacart driver accident lawyer undertake an initial investigation to find out more can help you identify all of the possible defendants.
To navigate the complexities of NJ Instacart driver accidents, you’re going to need a professional. The experienced Instacart driver accident attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. are familiar with the unique challenges that arise in accident cases that involve working for app-based delivery services.
We have followed evolving case law since the beginning of these app-based services and have spent years helping injured individuals in situations just like yours. As a result, we understand not only the obstacles you are likely to encounter in your case but also how to confront them and get you the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
The legal process, particularly for an Instacart driver accident claim, is complicated. We’re here to simplify it at no upfront cost to you. Our NJ Instacart driver accident injury attorneys represent all of our clients on a no-win, no-fee basis. It costs you nothing to get your legal questions answered by experienced professionals or to have us investigate the crash and potential sources of insurance coverage. If you decide to move forward with a claim, you owe us nothing unless and until we secure financial compensation for you.
You’ve got enough to worry about. Let us handle the legal matter. If you’re ready to move forward with an NJ Instacart driver accident claim, we’re ready to help. Just call 866-778-5500 or contact us online today for a free, confidential consultation.