DoorDash is a food and product delivery service operating in hundreds of major cities across the U.S. Founded in the Bay Area in 2013, DoorDash relies on drivers, who are independent contractors,1 to pick up and deliver customers’ orders. While this business model offers some advantages and freedoms to drivers, it can also come with some significant drawbacks and complications – especially when DoorDash drivers (“dashers”) are involved in accidents.
At the Amaro Law Firm, our attorneys know the types of complications that can arise with DoorDash delivery accident claims – and how these difficulties can trip up victims’ claims for recovery.
That is why we are driven to provide victims with exceptional advocacy as we help them navigate the challenges of the claim and recovery process.
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Background: Insurance Requirements & Coverage for Dashers
Similar to delivery services like GrubHub and Instacart, DoorDash has a list of requirements2 that prospective dashers must meet in order to deliver for and earn money with this company. Among these requirements is having personal auto insurance coverage, which must comply with the state-set minimums.3
DoorDash considers this to be dashers’ primary coverage.
Whenever dashers are “on an active delivery” – meaning they are transporting the goods to be delivered, they are also covered by DoorDash’s commercial insurance policy.4 This policy, provided through the James River Insurance Company (JRIC):
- Will NOT apply if a dasher fails to maintain personal auto insurance coverage – So, if a dasher’s personal coverage lapses, for instance, DoorDash’s policy will not provide coverage for accidents occurring during an active delivery.
- Provides up to $1,000,000 in coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage – In other words, DoorDash’s policy may cover the injuries and damage suffered by people other than the dasher, such as other motorists, pedestrians, etc.
- Only comes into play once a dasher has gone through his or her own personal auto insurance first – This means that DoorDash’s coverage is secondary to the personal auto insurance coverage.
Dashers’ Insurance Gap
Despite the coverages from a personal auto insurance policy and the DoorDash commercial auto insurance policy, dashers may fall into an insurance gap in some situations. Specifically, a coverage gap can arise whenever dashers are driving for the company but they are not carrying goods for delivery.
During these periods:
- The personal auto insurance provider may deny or refuse coverage, arguing that the personal policy does not cover commercial driving (i.e., driving in exchange for compensation).
- DoorDash’s policy will also not apply because it only comes into play when drivers are transporting items for delivery.
In the event a dasher is at-fault for a crash during a gap period, accident victims can face an uphill battle when filing claims and dealing with insurance companies.
After a DoorDash Delivery Accident: How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can be incredibly helpful in the aftermath of DoorDash delivery accidents, assisting victims in:
- Identifying all at-fault and liable parties – A dasher may be only one of the at-fault parties after a DoorDash delivery crash occurs. While other motorists may also contribute to and be at-fault for these accidents, it is also possible for DoorDash itself to hold some liability (like, for instance, when it fails to verify the validity of a dasher’s driver’s license or when it hires dashers who are known to be unsafe drivers). Determining all of the liable parties is the key to helping victims seek the full recoveries they deserve.
- Dealing with insurance companies – Though insurers should provide coverage in certain situations, they may be reluctant (and possibly actively averse) to doing so when claims are filed. In fact, insurers (like JRIC) commonly try to leverage unclear policy language, potential insurance gaps, and policyholders’ confusion to deny (or underpay) valid claims. The lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm have prior experience in insurance defense, empowering us with the knowledge and skills to effectively fight insurers’ tactics and make these companies pay our clients’ valid claims.
- Setting valid claims up for the best possible outcomes – Our attorneys can do everything from conducting further investigations and retaining expert witnesses to managing claims’ administrative needs, negotiating with insurers, and, whenever necessary, representing our clients in trial. We are relentless about helping DoorDash accident victims obtain the recoveries they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, damaged property, and other losses.
Get More Answers & Effective Advocacy for a Claim: Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston car accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you set a DoorDash delivery accident claim up for success.
Experienced, tireless, and strategic, the attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm are skilled at helping accident victims navigate the complexities of the claims process. While we realize that serious injuries and permanent losses may never be erased by monetary compensation, we also know that these recoveries can be pivotal to rebuilding lives.
1: Complete Text of the DoorDash independent contractor agreement
2: More on the dasher requirements
3: More on the minimum auto insurance required by Texas law & the new requirements set by Texas House Bill 1733
4: More on DoorDash’s commercial coverage for dashers