What Happens When A Door Dasher Hits Me In North Carolina

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In today’s world, getting our favorite meals delivered by services like DoorDash is super convenient. But here’s the catch, sometimes accidents happen with DoorDash drivers. Accidents can happen anywhere, and even in North Carolina, they’re a chance occurrence. If you’ve been in a collision with a DoorDash driver recently, you might wonder who’s responsible, how insurance works, and what legal steps you can take.

Common Causes Of DoorDash Accidents

With more and more people using food delivery services like DoorDash, there are also more accidents happening with their drivers. These accidents can occur because of different reasons, and knowing what these common reasons are can help both drivers and people walking on the streets be safer.

  • Distracted Driving. These accidents typically happen since DoorDash drivers get distracted while driving. Sometimes, they’re paying too much attention to their GPS, looking at orders or using their app while they’re supposed to be driving. These distractions make them not pay attention to the road.
  • Speeding. DoorDash drivers often want to finish delivering food right away so they can get good ratings. But if they try to go too fast, they might end up speeding leading to them not being able to react quickly if something surprising happens.
  • Delivery Pressures. Because DoorDash drivers have to finish delivering food quickly, they might sometimes make unsafe choices. They might go through red lights, make an abrupt turn or park where they shouldn’t. 
  • Fatigue. When DoorDash drivers spend a really long time driving, they can get tired. When they’re fatigued, they can’t react as quickly and it’s harder for them to stay focused.
  • Inadequate Training. Not all DoorDash drivers might know how to handle busy streets and traffic very well. Some of them might not have enough practice or training. Because of this, they might make mistakes in deciding what to do.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions. Bad weather, like rain or snow, can make roads tricky to drive on. It’s also harder to see in bad weather. DoorDash drivers who don’t change how they drive based on the weather are more likely to get into accidents.
  • Vehicle Maintenance. Cars that aren’t taken care of well are more likely to be in accidents. Problems like brakes that don’t work well, lights that are broken or tires that are too worn out can make it harder for a driver to control the car and handle unexpected situations.

Right After The Accident

The moments after a collision are crucial. Your safety and the safety of everyone else involved is top priority. Here are some steps to take immediately after a DoorDash wreck.

  • Check For Injuries. Take a moment to check how you’re feeling physically and do the same for everyone else who was in the accident. If you notice that someone is hurt, make sure they get the medical help they need as soon as possible. 
  • Document the Scene. it’s a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene. Capture how the cars are placed, any damage they have, the condition of the road, and any noticeable landmarks around. These photos could be really helpful in the future.
  • Exchange Information. Make sure to get hold of the DoorDash driver’s contact info, their insurance details, their driver’s license number, and info about their vehicle. Don’t forget to give them your info too. It’s all about making sure everyone can stay in touch and deal with things properly.
  • Witnesses. If there were people around who saw what happened, try to get their contact info. These witnesses could be important if things end up going to court. Their stories might really help sort things out.
  • Notify DoorDash. As soon as you can, let DoorDash know about the accident. They might have their own set of rules for dealing with these situations, so it’s good to keep them in the loop.

Determining Liability

The party responsible for the accident isn’t always straightforward. It depends on aspects like how careful everyone was, the rules of the state, and what insurance covers. Here are a few important questions that need to be addressed.

  • Driver Negligence. Was the DoorDash driver driving responsibly and in accordance with traffic regulations? Were they adhering to the established rules while driving?
  • Company Liability. Was the driver working for DoorDash and actively doing their job when the accident occurred? This detail can play a crucial role in deciding if DoorDash should also take responsibility for what happened.
  • Vehicle Maintenance. If the collision happened because the vehicle wasn’t well-maintained, both the driver and DoorDash might have a part in the responsibility for the incident.

Insurance Coverage

Getting the right insurance coverage when DoorDash drivers are in accidents can be a bit tricky to figure out. DoorDash offers third-party auto liability insurance to their Dashers when they’re in the “Delivery Service” Period and get into accidents. According to their Independent Contractor Agreement, Dashers are also required to have their own primary auto insurance, meeting the minimum limits as set by the local insurance laws. Theoretically, this ensures that both DoorDash and the drivers have coverage in case of accidents during delivery.

In practice, however, this system creates many gaps in coverage. Personal auto liability policies almost always exclude coverage while someone is on the clock for food delivery such as DoorDash, or a transportation service such as Uber. But DoorDash’s insurance applies, right? Not so fast. The window when DoorDash’s liability coverage applies is narrower than just being on the clock—the driver must be in the “Delivery Service” period. So, if the driver is on the clock with DoorDash but not in that delivery period (e.g., waiting on an order), their personal insurance will deny coverage because they’re on the clock, but DoorDash will deny coverage because they’re not actively making a delivery. This person would effectively have zero liability coverage and would be personally responsible for any wreck they caused. 

Similarly, if a DoorDash driver gets hit by someone else, but the at-fault driver doesn’t have any insurance, the DoorDasher will likely be unable to go through their own Uninsured Motorist coverage on their personal auto policy. Again, coverage will be denied due to the driver being on the clock with DoorDash at the time of the wreck. DoorDash does not provide its drivers with Uninsured Motorist coverage, so one of its drivers who is the victim in a wreck with an uninsured person may have no recourse for medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. 

To protect against these types of circumstances, DoorDash drivers can purchase additional coverage from their personal auto insurance company that will provide liability, underinsured, and uninsured coverage.

Legal Recourse And Possible Outcomes

If you decide to take legal action after a collision with a DoorDash driver in North Carolina, there are several things that could happen next.

  • Insurance Claim. If you’ve got insurance that takes care of accidents, you can let your insurance company know about the situation. They might talk to DoorDash’s insurance to get the money reimbursed or they might even decide to take legal action themselves. It’s like they’re stepping in to help you sort everything out and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
  • Personal Injury Lawsuit. If you get seriously hurt, you might think about taking legal action by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the DoorDash driver and maybe even the company itself. But to make this lawsuit work, you’ll need to show that they were careless or at fault in some way. This is really important for your lawsuit to be successful.
  • Settlement. A lot of times, instead of going to court, the people involved in the accident agree to a deal. They talk it over with their lawyers, and they decide on a certain amount of money that makes up for things like medical bills, damage to stuff, and other losses you might have had. This way, they sort things out without having to go through a court trial.
  • Court Verdict. If they can’t agree on a deal, the situation might end up in a courtroom. A judge or jury would listen to all the information and arguments from both sides. They would then make a decision about what should happen based on all the facts and what everyone said. 

Navigating Your DoorDash Accident: Let Us Assist You

If you or a loved one has been severely injured, don’t delay – call (800) 529-0804 right now for a free consultation with an expert car accident lawyer. When dealing with a stressful situation, you need a knowledgeable personal injury team to guide you through the recovery process. Contact Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC right away! There is no obligation, and it will not cost you anything to learn about your legal possibilities for pursuing compensation.

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