Pizza Delivery Driver Accident Lawyers in Dallas, Texas
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Everyone enjoys having food delivered right to their door; with new delivery app services popping up every day, people are having food deliveries made at higher rates now than ever before. With the increase in demand, there comes an increase in delivery drivers on the road. Naturally, with more food delivery drivers on the road, there are more pizza delivery accidents in Dallas. That’s why it’s important to know experienced Dallas pizza delivery accident lawyers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a pizza delivery driver, you may be able to recover the costs associated with your injuries with the help of a Dallas injury attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you hold the responsible party liable for your accident. Don’t suffer needlessly from an injury after a pizza delivery accident; call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with one of our Dallas pizza delivery accident lawyers.
Common causes of pizza delivery accidents in Dallas
Whether your lawyer tries to sue the individual driver, the company they work for, or both, depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident and what the cause of the accident is determined to be. Depending on the cause of the accidents, the employer of the driver may or may not be liable for what happened. The following are common causes of pizza delivery accidents.
Fast Delivery Times
Many food delivery services boast that they can deliver the goods to your home or office within a set amount of time; for example, Domino’s used to guarantee delivery in thirty minutes or less. Unfortunately, this type of guarantee has ended up being one of the leading causes of food delivery-related accidents. Because drivers are pressured to reach their destinations within a set number of minutes, many are motivated to use risky driving behaviors such as speeding, cutting off other cars, disobeying stop signs, and frequently change lanes.
A fast-delivery policy may also force drivers to drive recklessly in bad weather and poor road conditions. In cases like these, while the driver may be found at fault, the company is also liable because of their company policies. For this reason, Domino’s dropped its thirty-minute or less delivery guarantee years ago.
Overworked or Fatigued Drivers
Long work hours resulting in fatigue also contribute to pizza delivery driver accidents; commercial drivers in Texas can only drive a maximum of 12 hours, and they can only do that after being off duty for 8 hours. Because food delivery is in demand right now, however, many drivers are going past mandated work hours, which is resulting in fatigued, sleepy, and distracted drivers. Drivers who are impaired because of fatigue can make critical mistakes on the road and are less mindful of other motorists, which increases the risks of an accident.
Who is liable in this situation depends on the reason the driver was on the road past their legally allowed number of hours. If their employer forced them into working over the allotted 12 hours per day, then they would be liable, along with the driver, for the damages associated with your injuries.
Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Accidents may also happen because of vehicles that were poorly maintained. In this situation, liability depends on who owns the vehicle, and who is responsible for maintaining the vehicle. Most delivery drivers use their personal vehicles when they are working; if the driver was using their own vehicle when they hit you, then the company they work for will not be responsible for the accident. Sometimes, though, drivers are using company cars to deliver food, and in this case the employer can also be responsible for the accident.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT
There are several steps that you should take when you are injured in a crash with a pizza delivery driver. First, seek medical attention for any serious injuries; if you have suffered only minor injuries or appear uninjured, be sure to see a doctor after leaving the accident scene. Next, call the Dallas police; the police will investigate the scene and create a police report which will help you later.
Next, get the driver’s information, including his or her name, address, phone number, and insurance. Ask the driver for the contact information of his or her employer. You should also try to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident and take pictures of relevant information from the scene such as speed limit signs, skid marks, traffic control devices, and the relative positions of both vehicles.
Contact our DALLAS Pizza Delivery Accident Lawyers As Soon As Possible
After notifying your insurance company, treating your injuries, filing reports, and documenting the scene, you should contact a Dallas injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled many similar cases will be able to provide sound advice for your case and walk you through your next steps. Finding the right personal injury lawyer in Texas may seem difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to make the process easier; for example, you can ask friends or family for recommendations, or even conduct a simple internet search using terms such as “Dallas injury lawyer,” “Dallas personal injury lawyer,” or “Dallas injury attorney.”
Another option when looking for reliable legal representation is to look for an attorney through the American Bar Association’s online directory. You can also find a lawyer through the Texas State Bar Association’s website or the Dallas Bar Association’s lawyer referral service.
Choose a personal injury attorney who has the experience and skill needed to handle your case, and a track record of success in pursing personal injury claims. Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers have experience with personal injury claims involving car wrecks with food delivery drivers and an outstanding record of success in handling matters like these for our clients.
TEXAS STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
If you believe that your commercial vehicle accident was caused by another’s negligence, contact a Dallas personal injury lawyer right away, for there are time constraints, such as statutes of limitations, involved in civil cases that determine how long you will have to file your claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations for commercial vehicle accident cases is two years; this means that you would have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim.
If you attempt to file your claim beyond that two-year limit, your claim is barred. This means that it is not allowed and will be dismissed. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine when you will need to file, and if you are subject to any of the exceptions that exist to “toll” or delay the statute of limitations.
WHAT YOU CAN RECOVER
You may be able to recover the costs associated with your injury and recovery through a personal injury claim. The severity of the injury and recovery time directly affects the amount of recovery for a personal injury action; your injury may leave you unable to work or perform daily tasks, and you might require ongoing medical care and extensive rehabilitative therapy. You may be able to recover the costs in the form of compensatory damages; an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Recoverable damages include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the actual, monetary costs of your injury. Noneconomic damages cover the mental and emotional toll the injury has taken on your life and are recovered in the form of compensation for pain and suffering.
The following are common economic and noneconomic damages you may be entitled to recover:
You may be able to recover the cost of medical bills you have paid out of pocket since the accident. This includes doctor’s visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and medication. You may also be able to recover the costs of any future appointments, medication, or treatments necessary for your recovery.
If you are out of work due to your injury, you may recover what you would have earned from the time of the accident until you can return to work as a part of your economic damages.
Diminished Earning Capacity
In addition to lost wages, you may be able to recover loss of earning capacity. If your injuries from the accident prevent you from going back to your job or working at another job for similar compensation, you may be able to recover the difference between what you were earning before the accident and what you are earning now.
Your non-economic damages include pain and suffering that result from the accident. Any kind of car accident takes emotional and mental tolls on a person and their family. You may be able to recover for this mental anguish itself, and the cost of mental health treatment that may stem from the accident.
Whom CAN YOU SUE?
What makes pizza delivery driver accidents complicated is the possibility of multiple defendants; you will likely be able to sue the driver of the vehicle personally and may also be able to file a claim against their insurance company. If the driver is found to be liable, you may recover costs from the driver and his or her insurance company. Sometimes, the driver may be unable to pay your costs due to lack of their own resources; what can you do then?
Aside from the driver of the vehicle, the company that employers the delivery driver may be held liable as well. If you pursue a claim against the company and they are found liable, you may be able to recover the costs associated with your injuries from the company itself or its insurance company, thereby giving you another avenue for recovering damages on your claim beyond that of just the driver.
Liability Issues in Pizza Delivery Driver Accident Claims
When drivers use their personal vehicles for making deliveries on a for-hire basis, their personal insurance usually will not cover any accidents that occur while the driver is “on the job.” A food delivery driver must get an additional type of commercial coverage to pay for damages if the driver causes any accidents. Many drivers fail to realize that they need to have this additional coverage until it is too late; sometimes, the company they work for also fails to tell them they need to carry this additional insurance at the time they are hired.
Pizza delivery drivers in the DFW metroplex also may not be able to afford the additional coverage since their incomes are relatively modest. The issue with lack of insurance is further complicated by larger companies classifying their delivery drivers as “independent contractors,” which also limits the company’s liability for accidents involving their driver.
How to Identify Liable Parties
Typically, if the driver has personal insurance that can cover some costs, the company the driver works for will likely not pay to cover the rest. There are certain situations, however, in which employers will be held responsible for the actions of their employees and will thus be a liable party from whom you can seek compensation after an accident.
Under a legal principle called respondeat superior, also known as vicarious liability, employers are liable for the negligent actions of their employees when the employees are acting within the scope and course of their jobs. This means that companies that employ the drivers may be liable to pay damages when the negligence of their employees causes accidents and injuries. Restaurants may carry commercial general liability coverage that lists all of their drivers; if they do, these commercial policies often have much higher policy limits than personal insurance policies.
This legal principal does not apply in certain situations though. For example, while the driver is traveling to or from work at the beginning or end of the day, their employer is not liable for accidents that occur during that time frame.
Some restaurants are franchises of large parent companies; if the driver who caused your car wreck is employed by a franchise, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the franchise and the parent company. For example, Domino’s is a large franchise company; if you were injured by a Domino’s driver, you may be able to recover not only from franchisee (the store your delivery driver works for) but also from the corporation that owns Domino’s as well. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to hold the parent company liable if it does not exercise much control over the day-to-day operations of the franchise; still, companies that exercise greater amounts of control may be liable.
Delivery App Services
Some drivers do not work directly for restaurants or franchise companies and instead work for delivery apps. Apps like DoorDash or Grubhub, and rideshare apps with additional features such as Uber, tend to have additional coverage available depending on the circumstances of when the accident occurred. However, these companies sometimes do not have any additional insurance at all.
Grubhub, for example, does not carry liability insurance for its drivers. Instead, people who sign up to drive for the app must provide their own insurance coverage; this means that you will have to go after the driver instead of the app. However, it is still possible for you to recover from the company if the company was negligent in hiring a driver.
Uber Eats carries liability insurance at three tiers for its drivers; if you were injured by a driver who is considered not on the job or “off app,” then the company will not provide any additional insurance coverage. The company will cover any driver who is on the app and waiting for a delivery job to generate; these employees are considered “on the job” and are given additional coverage. For employees who are actively performing pick ups and deliveries, Uber Eats offers their maximum amount of additional coverage for any accidents that occur.
A Way to Help Yourself: Uninsured insurance, underinsured insurance, and personal injury protection
If you have an uninsured and underinsured insurance policy, you may be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company. This type of insurance is an additional policy that compensates you when you are involved in an accident with a person who has no insurance or insufficient insurance. Having this type of coverage is a good idea because a delivery driver who only has a personal insurance policy may not have coverage to compensate you for your losses.
HOW ZINDA LAW GROUP Dallas Pizza Delivery Accident Lawyers CAN HELP
We at Zinda Law Group understand the pain and confusion you may be feeling after being injured in any sort of automobile accident. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving a pizza delivery driver, or any food delivery driver, our expert attorneys will be by your side to help you navigate the difficult insurance claims process to ensure you are protected and compensated.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Dallas will guide you through the often-complex legal system to file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. We will take care of the legal work so you can focus on yourself and your family during this time of recovery. If we do not win your case, you will not pay any fees; this is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has suffered from an injury after a pizza delivery accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Dallas pizza delivery accident lawyers.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.