Pizza Delivery Driver Accident Lawyers in Boulder, ColoradoLast updated on: June 3, 2022
CALL OUR BOULDER PIZZA DELIVERY ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT (800) 863-5312
Pizza is a beloved American staple, and thirteen percent of Americans eat pizza on a given day. In 2020, a time when many restaurants had to close their doors to indoor dining, people turned to pizza deliveries. Delivery has improved peoples’ lives when it comes to convenience, but it can also risk health and safety when there is a pizza delivery driver accident. Boulder pizza delivery accident lawyers can help pizza delivery accident victims pursue compensation if they suffered injuries related to a crash with a pizza delivery driver.
If you or a loved one were in an accident with a pizza delivery driver, it’s important for you to know your rights. Talk with our Zinda Law Group personal injury lawyers in Boulder at (800) 863-5312 and schedule your free consultation.
How do attorneys help victims of a pizza delivery driver accident?
Not only does a personal injury attorney increase your chances of success in the legal process, but they can also also help to relieve the stress you might otherwise experience while dealing with your case. A lawyer can help you with filing your claim and negotiate a possible settlement. Plus, if a personal injury attorney takes your case, they will be able to answer your questions every step of the way. Here’s how a Zinda Law Group personal injury attorney can help you if you’ve been in an accident:
File a Claim for Your Pizza Delivery Driver Accident
In Colorado, you have three years from the date of the accident to sue the person or company that caused your injuries. When you file, you must go to the correct court, follow the appropriate rules of civil procedure, and state a proper claim. If your claim does not clearly state how the other driver was negligent and why you deserve to be compensated, then the defendant could have the court dismiss the matter altogether. Boulder personal attorneys are extremely familiar with the elements of negligence and can help you create a proper claim.
Lawyers Can Negotiate a Settlement
After the claim is filed, the defendant (s) will have the opportunity to respond with an answer or a counterclaim. Then, the parties begin working toward negotiation. The attorneys involved in the case will undergo a process called discovery, during which they conduct interviews with people who saw the accident as well as with the parties directly involved in the lawsuit. These interviews provide the parties with a fuller picture of the accident as well as an idea of the appropriate settlement amount.
Negotiation requires plenty of back-and-forth with the defendant’s legal team, and the defendant will attempt to reduce his or her liability. The defendant’s legal team and insurance company might try to poke holes in your argument to convince you to settle for a lower amount. This is where a Boulder personal injury attorney can stand up for your rights and seek maximum compensation.
How Do Lawyers Determine Compensation?
When lawyers agree to a settlement amount, they predict how the case would come out if the parties were to go to trial. The lawyers base their predictions on the victim’s economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the victim’s financial costs associated with the accident, such as the cost of medical treatment and missed wages. Non-economic damages, however, include the victim’s pain and suffering from the accident.
What causes pizza delivery accidents in Boulder?
Some people might think to blame the driver’s age and inexperience for most pizza delivery accidents, but this perpetuates a stereotype that is no longer true. Most pizza delivery drivers are not caused by gangly teens often depicted in movies and TV shows. In fact, the average delivery driver is forty years old. Here are the most common causes of pizza delivery accidents:
According to AAA, drowsy driving accounts for 9.5% of all automobile crashes. Fatigue affects a driver similar to alcohol. Specifically, it slows the driver’s reaction time and impacts judgment and vision. Most accidents caused by fatigue occur in the late afternoon or between midnight and six o’clock in the morning.
Pressure to Drive Fast
Pizza delivery owes it success to its convenience and the speed of its drivers. Back in the 1980s, Domino’s Pizza guaranteed customers that pizza would arrive within thirty minutes of the time the customer ordered, or the pizza would be free. While this promotion ended as a result of the lawsuits against Domino’s, people still expect fast pizza and will tip (or refuse to tip) accordingly. As a result, employees feel pressured to deliver pizzas as quickly as possible because they know that they can collect a larger tip. This, in turn, leads to speeding, and unsafe driving behavior.
Pizza companies usually deliver within a wide radius, often covering areas of a city they may be unfamiliar with. This lack of familiarity could increase the likelihood that the driver makes a mistake and causes an accident. If the driver cannot find someone’s house or apartment, he or she might be distracted trying to communicate with the customer to find the delivery location instead of focusing on the road.
Who is liable when an accident involves a delivery driver?
In personal injury claims, there is a tortfeasor and a victim. The tortfeasor is the person who caused the accident, and the victim is the party who was injured by the tortfeasor. In an accident with a pizza delivery driver, the tortfeasor’s negligent acts most likely caused the victim’s injury.
Two parties could be held liable for the accident: the delivery driver and the pizza company. While the delivery driver most likely caused the crash, the pizza company might be vicariously liable for the negligent acts of the employee under certain circumstances. Vicarious liability means that the employer must step into the employee’s shoes for the purposes of a lawsuit.
Sometimes the victims in car accidents partially caused the crash. Fortunately, under Colorado law, a plaintiff can still recover for the injuries from a crash he or she partially caused, so long as the plaintiff’s fault is not greater than the defendant’s fault. However, this means that the amount of compensation the plaintiff may receive is reduced by the amount of fault the plaintiff must take. For example, if the plaintiff would have received $100,000 in compensation but was 25% at fault, the plaintiff may receive $75,000.
When the Pizza Delivery Driver is Liable
While there are certain circumstances under which the pizza company must take responsibility for the employee’s negligent acts, the company can argue that the employee was not working for the company at the moment the accident occurred. In those instances, the company will not likely be part of the lawsuit and the plaintiff only has recourse against the pizza delivery driver.
There are a few ways that the pizza company could argue that the pizza delivery driver was not working for it at the time of the crash. First, according to the Going and Coming Rule, an employer typically does not have to take responsibility for an employee’s negligence if the accident happens during the employee’s routine commute to or from work. If there are special circumstances surrounding the commute, a lawyer might argue that the employee was performing a task to further the employer’s business, so the employer must be liable. In general, if the employee was not on the clock, the employer is not vicariously liable.
On the other hand, if the employee was delivering pizzas when he or she crashed, it would be difficult for the pizza company to argue that it should not be held liable. Similarly, if the employee crashes while driving back to the pizzeria after delivering pizzas, the company will probably be held responsible for the accident. Any accidents that occur within the employee’s scope of employment give the victim a way to recover against the pizza company.
When the Pizza Company is Liable
We have seen how the pizza company can be liable for the negligent acts of the employee, but is the pizza company ever negligent on its own? Yes. The pizza company might hire someone who is unfit to deliver pizzas because he or she has a bad driving record, does not have insurance, or does not have a safe, dependable car. A driver who lacks those qualifications increases the risk of crashing with other drivers on the road, and the pizza company should have foreseen how hiring the driver could cause an accident.
The pizza company may also have been negligent by failing to properly train the employee. Companies experience high turnover rates with delivery drivers, so they constantly train new employees for the job.. Pizza companies must exercise the appropriate amount of care in training pizza delivery drivers to prevent potential future collisions.
Finally, the pizza company could be negligently creating a work environment that encourages unsafe practices. For example, the company might encourage drivers to speed in order to fit as many orders in a day as possible.. The pizza company should foresee how this policy can cause accidents involving the pizza delivery drivers.
What is Negligence in an accident with a pizza delivery driver?
Now that you have an idea of who is liable when an accident includes a delivery driver, you may want to know what that means for your legal claim. Usually, the appropriate claim in a pizza delivery accident is negligence. There are four elements that a plaintiff must prove in a negligence claim:
- The delivery driver or company owed you a duty of care.
- The delivery driver or company breached that duty of care.
- You were injured in a way that allows you to be compensated.
- The delivery driver or company caused your injury.
Duty of Care: The Delivery Driver vs. The Pizza Company
The duty of care that the delivery driver owes other drivers on the road is the level of care that a reasonable person would take under those circumstances while driving. For example, a reasonable driver would slow down for different road conditions like construction or weather that causes poor visibility. Drivers who show the right level of care can prevent foreseeable harm.
A pizza company owes drivers on the road a duty of care by ensuring it hires qualified drivers. For example, when Domino’s lost a massive lawsuit due to the unsafe “thirty minutes or less” guarantee, the result sent a message to the pizza delivery industry that such guarantees are unsafe. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to see whether the driver or company in your case showed the correct level of care.
Breach of the Duty of Care
A driver breaches the duty of care when he or she fails to uphold the level of care that a reasonable person would take. For example, a driver beaches his or her duty of care by speeding when there is ice on the road. A pizza company breaches its duty of care when it violates industry safety standards.
The Injury Must Be Compensable
The last two elements of negligence pertain to the injury you received. It must be compensable, meaning it is covered under the law. If a pizza delivery driver merely cut you off in traffic, you have probably not suffered a compensable injury. On the other hand, if you received economic or non-economic damages or some physical injury, then your injury is likely compensable.
The Defendant Must Have Caused Your Injury
Finally, the person you sue must have caused the injury. If a pizza delivery vehicle was merely involved in the accident but did not cause it, then the driver or company probably does not fulfill this final element of negligence. Crashes involving multiple vehicles can be tricky, so talk with a lawyer to see whether the defendant caused your injury.
Let our Boulder pizza delivery accident lawyers at Zinda law group help you
Depending on the kinds of injuries you received in a pizza delivery crash, one negligent act could affect you for the rest of your life. You may think that a lawsuit is the last thing you want to add on top of all of your medical expenses and appointments, but a lawyer can help you with your claim. Also, filing your claim may be the only way you can seek compensation for the injury that the delivery driver caused.
At Zinda Law Group, we offer a free consultation with our attorneys. If we represent you in your claim, you can reap the benefits of our No Win, No Fee Guarantee and not have to pay us unless we win your case for you. Let our lawyers help you with your next steps. Call (800) 863-5312 to talk to a passionate personal injury lawyer today.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.