Food delivery services were the rare industry to experience significant growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Firms such as DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart became essential while people were locked down and craving their favorite foods. Even established firms like Uber have diversified into this emerging market. Food delivery almost became an escape. A vital way to get out of the house for a world going stir-crazy. Many continue to supplement their income with a few hours spent delivering food or groceries each week. But driving for these services comes with a not insignificant number of risks. Unfamiliar or treacherous roads, cramped parking lots, and hazardous weather conditions can complicate the life of a food delivery driver. If you’ve been injured while working for a food delivery service, it’s important to understand your rights. A gig work accident attorney can assess your unique situation and help you seek justice.
The majority of food delivery and related gig work apps (such as ridesharing) offer pay increases for workers during periods of increased demand for their services. Like any other free market this pay scale will move in response to observable trends. For instance, large numbers of people tend to order out on Fridays and Saturdays, thus leading to a recurring increase in driver demand and therefore making each individual driver working on those days more valuable. This is a drawn out way of saying that drivers can maximize their revenue by driving at times when they’re likely to receive more orders for more money.
However, truly dramatic peaks in pay will often accompany irregular circumstances, especially inclement weather. Heavy rain or snow can send driver pay skyrocketing as regular drivers choose to stay in and the company struggles to meet demand. This pay is no doubt tempting. However, in these circumstances the most prudent thing you can do is to stay home. Car accidents become much more common in inclement weather, especially when driving on unfamiliar and often narrow residential streets. Whatever short term gains you make are not worth the risk of injury and risk of damage to your vehicle.
Like any other form of gig work, an injury suffered while delivering food will not qualify for worker’s compensation. This is because workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is only available to employees. Gig workers are classified as independent contractors, which means that they are not considered to be employees. Therefore, they are not covered by workers’ compensation.
There are a few reasons why this is the case. First, because gig workers are not considered to be employees, they are not covered by the same laws and regulations that apply to employees. This includes the law that requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Second, gig workers are usually paid on a per-job basis, rather than receiving a regular salary. This means that they do not have a steady income, which makes it difficult to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Finally, gig workers are often considered to be self-employed, which means that they are not eligible for government-provided benefits such as workers’ compensation.
Despite the fact that gig workers are not eligible for workers’ compensation, there are still some options available to them if they are injured while working. For example, gig workers can file a claim with the company that they were working for at the time of their injury. They can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company that caused their injury.
Just as there are many different ridesharing and food delivery platforms there are a myriad of liability and insurance complications that gig workers must deal with. Some firms such as Uber and Doordash only offer insurance under certain circumstances. Some don’t offer it at all. Reading the terms of service on any gig work platform you plan to use is essential to protecting yourself.
If you are a gig worker who has been injured while working, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. Malloy Law Offices, LLC are the DMV’s gig work injury specialists. Our experienced attorneys will negotiate with the insurance and gig work companies to obtain the maximum settlement on your behalf. Call today for your free consultation.