With the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of online shopping, the trend has made delivery drivers ubiquitous. The pandemic has pushed retail businesses to offer online shopping. From big items for holidays to daily grocery shopping, consumers are using online delivery services to get the items they need.
However, this increased demand also comes with increased risks and challenges for delivery drivers. As this is a fast-paced role, there are chances for drivers to sustain an injury at any route and any delivery stop.
The injury can be whiplash from a road collision, strain due to lifting heavy merchandise, slips, falls, and even dog bites. So, if you are a delivery driver or thinking to be one, you may wonder:
What rights do you have if you sustain an injury while working?
Do you qualify for workers’ compensation as a delivery driver?
Well, let us find out.
For an Employed Delivery Driver
Businesses from all sectors are employing delivery drivers in order to shuttle their products to the doorstep of the consumers. From big retail brands to local grocery outlets medical pharmacies to online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, companies are hiring more and more delivery drivers.
If you are an employee delivery driver of a company, you are probably eligible to receive workers’ compensation and insurance coverage. For example, if you are a pizza delivery driver, you will have to wear a uniform, follow a weekly schedule, and perform certain duties at the pizzeria.
Therefore, the state of California obliges employers t to provide workers’ compensation to the hired delivery drivers. This coverage starts from day one of you joining the company as a delivery driver.
What Happens if You Get into an Accident?
As an employed delivery driver in California, if you are in an accident, you must notify your employer about the incident as soon as you possibly can. This will help you to move your workers’ compensation claim faster.
However, you must keep in mind that workers’ compensation coverage will only cover you when you are working. That means the coverage will only cover you if you get into an accident while performing your job-related duties. This may include driving to or from customers’ homes and being on employers’ premises during your working hours.
Any injuries caused due to work-related activities (not just driving) will deem you eligible to make a workers’ compensation claim in California.
That said, you have to beware of a caveat – the insurance company will try its best to deny your claim the accident was due to your own negligence, fault, or unlawful behavior. For example, you were driving under the influence or using your phone behind the wheel and causing an accident. In scenarios like this, your insurance company will deny your coverage.
For Delivery Drivers on Contractual Employment
Sometimes a delivery driver’s position does not come with full-time employment status. Maybe you are an independent contractor who likes to work and accept delivery jobs on a daily basis.
For instance, you may be accepting food delivery jobs using apps such as Uber Eats, GrubHub, or DoorDash. In this case, you do not fall into the category of an employed driver. This means there will be no workers’ compensation benefits for you.
Generally, most companies in California are under no obligation to provide workers’ compensation benefits to independent contractors working for them.
What Happens if You Get into an Accident?
Getting into an accident or sustaining an injury as a contracted delivery driver is not news of all doom and gloom. You may still be able to get some coverage. Some companies may offer some kind of insurance coverage to the contracted delivery drivers. This policy will cover you for bodily injury damages, costs of hospitalization, and emergency medical care.
Therefore, it is important that you check the terms and conditions of the service you are using to choose your delivery jobs.
In either case of contractual or full-time employment – if you are in doubt, you can connect with a local workers’ compensation attorney. They will help you review the employment or terms and conditions of the service and determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in California.
Avoiding the Employment Status Misclassification
There are so many delivery drivers working as independent contractors. Such delivery drivers will not be under protection associated with the federal and state hour and wage legislation. Additionally, such drivers are not eligible for any workers’ compensation regulations as well.
Therefore, you must always know your employment status when working as a delivery driver. Sometimes delivery drivers are actual employees. However, in some cases, companies intentionally misclassify the drivers as independent contractors to evade the obligation of offering workers’ compensation benefits.
Now that you know what classification of delivery driver qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. It is time to find out which category do you fall into. If you are looking for a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case or confirm your employment status as a delivery driver, we at Latimer Law can help.
Our lawyers in Oakland area specialize in work injury laws and fight for your right as a delivery driver to receive the compensation you deserve. We will handle your case from beginning to end. We will help complete all the documents, paperwork, and forms. This is to improve your chances of receiving compensation.
We will also make sure that you are always well-informed about your case and rights as a delivery driver. From filing a claim application to making an appeal on a denied claim, Latimer Law can help take care of it all. Let us fight for every payment, reimbursement, and compensation that you rightfully deserve.