The Dangers of Gig Economy and On-Demand Worker Injuries
In recent years there has been a massive increase in gig workers. Gig jobs offer people the opportunity to make money at their own time, whether part-time or full-time. Other than making it easy for people to earn money, they also provide valuable services for people. These services include transportation, food delivery, and product delivery. Companies that provide these services are Uber and Lyft, among others for transportation. Postmates, Grubhub, door-dash, and Uber eats offer food delivery services. Instacart offers grocery delivery. Amazon is another company that hires independent contractors as drives, through their Amazon Flex program.
The demand for these services
These services make getting food, groceries, products, and transportation extremely convenient. A study was done in 2018, showing that 36% of people use Uber and Lyft as a means of transportation. Compared to a 2015 study, that is a 21% increase. On average, that’s about 15 million rides a day.
Food delivery companies have become the easiest way for people to get food. Few clicks on your phone or computer, and your food is there in about 30 minutes. Every year the popularity of these companies increases. It has been estimated that there are over 5 million orders a day on average.
Instacart allows people to order their groceries in the comfort of their own home. Instacart reported that there are over 750,000 orders per day.
Accidents rates for gig drivers
With so many drivers on the road, the chances of an accident are high.
There are over 3 million rideshare drivers in the US. With that many drivers, the odds are good that an accident will happen. Annually there are more than 1,200 fatal accidents reported and thousands of non-fatal, for rideshare companies. On average, the food delivery drivers get into more accidents because they are in a rush to make deliveries. They also don’t worry about a passenger complaining about how fast they drive.
What is covered during the accident?
Rideshare companies carry “$1 million insurance policy,” but they don’t always cover everything.
- They won’t cover if the driver is not actively logged on to the driving app. The driver would have to use their own insurance.
- If the driver is actively driving but does not have a passenger, they will only cover up to a limited amount.
- Third-party liability if your personal auto insurance doesn’t apply
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
- They will only fully cover if the driver is actively logged on and has a passenger in the vehicle.
- $1,000,000 third-party liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive and collision
Food delivery companies, on the other hand, don’t have insurance that covers an accident. Instead, the driver needs to use their own personal insurance. Because of that, the coverage may vary.
What to do after an accident as a driver, passenger, other drivers
As a rideshare or delivery driver, passenger, or the other vehicle involved in the accident, it is crucial to drive as safe as possible. If you do end up in an accident, it is essential to document everything.
- Take note of the exact time of the accident
- Take note of who or what caused the collision?
- Was the rideshare driver’s app switched on when the crash took place?
Along with this, it is also very crucial to:
- Call the police and emergency services. The police officer can give you a report that will be used to make your case stronger, and they will get you the medical help that you may need.
- Collect as much information as possible: the other driver’s ID card information, Insurance details, and a phone number. It is also important to get contact information of any witnesses that saw the accident
- Photograph the area and all the damages done to the cars involved. Pictures don’t lie, and these will come in handy when your attorney is negotiating with the insurance companies.
- Visit a doctor. Even if you don’t feel any pain right away, it is crucial to get examined by a medical professional. Due to the increase of adrenaline, most people don’t feel pain right away. Instead, it all kicks in a few days later.
- Contact a trusted attorney that specializes in accident cases.
Contacting an Attorney
To get compensated after an accident, you must file an insurance claim. When you are involved in a collision with a gig worker, things can get complicated. If you end up filing by yourself, some insurance companies might give you a minimal amount and close the case. With the varying amounts of coverage and different contingencies, it is critical to get an attorney to represent you. An experienced attorney can get you the maximum settlement with additional coverage for:
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages from work
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair costs
- And much more