Pizza Delivery Driver Accident Lawyers in Fort Worth, Texas
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Quickly placing an order from the comfort of your home or office and having a hot, fresh pizza delivered to your door can be extraordinarily convenient, especially when you need to feed unexpected guests or large groups of people. However, while pizza delivery drivers are rushing to deliver your pizza quickly so that it will still be hot, these drivers may not always drive safely. Our Fort Worth pizza delivery accident lawyers are here to help.
If you or loved ones have been involved in a car accident in Fort Worth involving a pizza delivery driver, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312. Schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Fort Worth pizza delivery accident lawyers, who will help you determine your next steps after your accident.
It would be our honor to help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
why pizza delivery driver accident are more complicated than other auto accidents
Seeking compensation after any car accident is complicated. There may be multiple factors that played a part in leading to the accident, and it may be difficult to prove the at fault party’s liability for the accident.
This is especially true in cases without any witnesses or other evidence helping to prove which driver’s version of events may be most accurate. Unfortunately, if your accident involved a pizza delivery driver, proving liability may be even more complex.
Employment Status of Pizza Delivery Drivers
Liability for a car accident involving a pizza delivery driver can be difficult to prove, and even more complicated than other vehicle accidents because of the employment status of the delivery driver. While employers are liable for auto accidents caused by their employee if that employee was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, a pizza delivery driver’s status creates a more unique and uncertain situation.
Most pizza delivery drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees of the pizza company, for the drivers typically use their personal vehicles to make deliveries rather than company vehicles. As a result of their independent contractor status and use of personal vehicles, the pizza company’s insurance coverage will not pay for any accidents involving the driver. Rather, the driver’s personal insurance coverage will instead be applicable.
However, pizza delivery drivers may not realize that their standard personal car insurance policy does not provide coverage for an accident that occurs while the vehicle is being used for commercial purposes, such as delivering pizzas. Further, most pizza companies typically do not explain this distinction to their delivery drivers nor might they explain the need for these drivers to purchase additional insurance coverage for the commercial use of their personal vehicles.
As a result, pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages after pizza delivery accidents in Fort Worth can be more complex than other vehicle accidents. Hiring a skilled Fort Worth personal injury lawyer with years of experience helping other victims of pizza delivery driver accidents will is crucial to successfully seeking maximum compensation after your accident.
What If My Accident Involved Multiple Vehicles?
In addition to the difficulty of determining liability after an accident when a pizza delivery driver is involved, there can be additional complications involved when multiple vehicles have been involved. What if more than one driver was at least partially at fault for causing the accident?
In these situations, having the assistance of the skilled team at Zinda Law Group can allow you to address each of these complicated issues individually. With investigation, we can determine who may be liable for the accident as well as how to prove each party’s liability as we help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and damages.
While pursuing these claims, if your attorney is not able to reach settlement agreements, he or she will need to be prepared to take your case to trial against one or all of the potentially liable parties. The involvement of multiple parties will take additional time.
Though there may be additional complexity and potential delays because the accident involved multiple vehicles, your attorney can potentially seek compensation from these multiple parties, including the pizza delivery driver. In some cases, this may mean that there may be multiple insurance policies providing coverage for the accident, which can be especially significant in cases where the delivery driver’s insurance coverage is either inapplicable or insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages.
Can i sue the pizza company after a delivery driver accident?
It may be difficult to file a claim against a pizza company after a car accident involving one of their delivery drivers, but your Fort Worth injury attorney is experienced with holding pizza companies liable for car crash injuries and damages. For example, pizza companies have been held liable for accidents caused by delivery drivers who were speeding or otherwise driving recklessly in an effort to meet their employers’ delivery policies.
When a company puts significant pressure on its delivery drivers to meet very tight delivery timeframes, this pressure—whether positive through various incentives, or negative through threats to job security or shifts—can help skilled attorneys like the team at Zinda Law Group hold the pizza company liable. We have been able to do so in several cases where car accidents involved delivery drivers whose official employment status was “independent contractor” rather than an “employee.”
Factors That May Determine A Pizza Company’s Liability for Accidents
When attempting to hold a business liable for an accident, the most important determination is whether the person who caused an accident or otherwise caused injuries or damages was an employee or independent contractor of the business. Was that person acting within their scope of employment at the time of the accident? If yes, then they are classified as an employee.
For pizza delivery driver accidents, an experienced attorney can demonstrate that the driver’s work status should be reevaluated and even changed, regardless of their typical status as an independent contractor. We can successfully sue even if the driver had a specific, independent contractor agreement with the pizza company.
While conducting a thorough investigation of your accident, your attorney will look for specific attempts by the pizza company to exert control over the delivery driver’s actions while delivering their pizzas. They may have done so by:
- Requiring delivery drivers to wear company-provided uniforms, such as ones similar to those worn by the company’s employees working inside the stores
- Exerting control over the delivery driver’s routes and their schedules
- Establishing rigid delivery rules, time frames for delivery, and other rules controlling the delivery driver’s behavior while he or she is delivering pizzas
- Issuing procedure manuals or handbooks to delivery drivers that include rules or expectations to be followed by the drivers
- Conducting consistent and real-time monitoring of drivers’ routes
- Having stringent policies related to drivers’ vacation time, especially if drivers are included in policies applicable to other employees
- Treating delivery drivers identically to other employees in various policies or otherwise including delivery drivers in ways equivalent to other employees
- Requiring delivery drivers to attend mandatory work meetings
- Making delivery drivers subject to routine or random inspections
Most businesses will typically not be held liable for an accident caused by an independent contractor, because while the company expects the independent contractor to accomplish a certain result, the independent contractor is actually responsible for how he or she ultimately decides how to achieve that result. However, if your attorney is able to provide evidence that the pizza company made specific efforts to exert control over how delivery drivers delivered pizzas, she can prove that the delivery driver should be considered an employee of the pizza company. This will allow you to pursue compensation from the pizza company itself.
Can The Pizza Company Be Liable Even If The Driver Is Not Considered An Employee?
Your attorney may be able to hold the pizza company liable for your car accident by proving one or more factors demonstrating the pizza company’s exertion of control over the delivery driver. Perhaps they essentially treated their driver as an employee rather than as an independent contractor, regardless of the official classification given to him by the pizza company. Actually, the company may be liable in some cases even if there is not sufficient evidence of control to treat the driver as an employee.
Your attorney may be able to prove that the pizza company itself was negligent in some cases. Did they hire the driver without checking his driving record? That’s negligence. If their negligence led to your accident, you can pursue compensation from the company itself, regardless of the delivery driver’s status or treatment.
In many cases, the pizza company may pressure drivers to deliver multiple pizzas while attempting to meet strict deadlines, which in turn pressures delivery drivers to drive recklessly. They may avoid taking appropriate care while behind the wheel, greatly increasing their chances of causing an accident. Other examples of potential negligence or actions by the pizza company that could make the company liable for your injuries and damages include:
- Demanding, incentivizing, or otherwise applying pressure to delivery drivers to deliver their pizzas as quickly as possible, such as by enforcing strict delivery timeframes
- Directly encouraging or instructing delivery drivers to speed, ignore traffic laws, or otherwise engage in reckless driving behaviors while delivering pizzas
- Hiring delivery drivers with a history of car accidents or traffic citations
- Hiring or retaining drivers with alcohol or substance abuse problems or with one or more DUI charges on their driving record
- Requiring drivers to use hand-held devices such as mobile phones or GPS devices while driving instead of hands-free devices
- Hiring drivers with little or no driving experience
After your accident, the pizza company, its insurance company, and attorneys for both will do their best to avoid accepting liability in any capacity for your accident. Nevertheless, your skilled Fort Worth injury lawyer can help you hold the company accountable by using evidence of any of these behaviors or failures by the company to prove their liability, even if the driver is treated as an independent contractor.
will my insurance cover my accident?
In some cases, your insurance policy may provide compensation for your accident. For example, if your auto insurance policy includes uninsured or underinsured coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company. This policy coverage typically applies when you are involved in a car accident caused either by a driver who does not have any insurance or whose insurance coverage fails to adequately cover the full extent of your injuries and damages.
As a result, it is helpful to maintain uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage as part of your auto insurance policy to protect yourself against accidents such as those involving a pizza delivery driver. You do not want to be struggling to find ways to financially recover if the delivery driver is the only liable party and he or she is uninsured or underinsured.
If you intend to seek compensation under your own insurance coverage, it will be important to have the other driver’s insurance information after the accident. Your insurance company will need additional documents as they evaluate your claim, such as your medical bills for diagnosis and treatment of any injuries you suffered in the accident, as well as the cost to repair or replace your vehicle. The amount you will receive in compensation will naturally depend on the extent of your insurance coverage.
Contact skilled fort worth pizza delivery accident lawyers near you today
Car accidents—while a frequent occurrence on roads across the United States for decades—have become even more common over the past several years as more and more vehicles are on the road and especially as Texas’s population has exploded. Meanwhile, in cities like Fort Worth, traffic gets increasingly more dangerous with pizza delivery drivers and others often in a hurry, always raising the potential for painful, expensive accidents.
If you or some loved ones have been involved in pizza delivery accidents in Fort Worth, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with a Fort Worth injury lawyer. We want to discuss how you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. We can determine as well who may be liable for the accident.
Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and how much compensation you may be entitled to after your accident, as well as help you pursue maximum compensation by using his or her years of experience helping other Fort Worth car accidents pursue accident claims. Hiring an experienced attorney from Zinda Law Group will give you some peace of mind, as you rely on our skilled team to handle your case, helping you recover financially from the accident while you and your family focus on recovering physically from your injuries.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.