Does Workers' Compensation Cover Food Delivery Drivers?

Food delivery drivers have job responsibilities unseen in most other career fields. Not only do they need to serve food to a customer, but they have to bring it to them by driving, biking, or sometimes running across town. There are inherent dangers that come with the job, like getting into a car accident or being assaulted by a bad actor.

If you get hurt while delivering a customer’s order, can you expect to be covered by workers’ compensation benefits? Whether you are an employee or a contracted worker will make a big difference in what benefits could be available to you.

Delivery Driver Injuries When an Employee

Pizza shops always come to mind when thinking of employees who are food delivery drivers full-time. Although, in big cities like New York and Chicago, many eateries offer delivery services carried out by one of their employees.

When a food delivery driver is classified as an employee and gets hurt while on-the-job, they should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which most states require to be given to most employees. It is important to remember that you are on-the-job even after you deliver food to a customer and are returning to your employer’s establishment. For example, if you are driving back to your workplace with no food in your car and get hit by a drunk driver, you should still be eligible for workers’ comp.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system most of the time, too, which means you can get benefits like medical costs and wage replacement even if you cause your own injuries. Imagine you were delivering a pizza to a customer, checked your GPS to verify you were headed in the right direction, and rear-ended another car in that brief moment while you were looking at your GPS. You could still possibly get workers’ comp despite your liability for that car accident. However, engaging in egregiously negligent or unlawful behavior when injured on-the-job could give an insurance company grounds for denying your claim.

Food Delivery Drivers Who are Independent Contractors

With the advent of food delivery apps like Postmates, Uber Eats, and DoorDash, many people who earn a living by delivering food are not employees. Instead, drivers who use this app are classified as independent contractors who do not qualify for workers’ compensation insurance coverage in most situations. During the coronavirus pandemic, the use of food delivery apps spiked, and many new couriers were surprised to find that they were not technically employees.

Depending on the food delivery app you use to get income, though, you could be covered by the company’s insurance policies. For example, Uber and Uber Eats has advertised that it covers its drivers with bodily injury insurance whenever they are driving a passenger or delivering food. There are gray areas in their policy that could reduce or eliminate coverage, so it is crucial to review the terms and conditions whenever you sign up as a driver for a food delivery app. Also, bodily injury insurance can help pay for your medical bills, but it will not replace any lost wages or provide any further benefits that an employee can enjoy when receiving workers’ compensation.

Have questions about your options as an injured food delivery driver in Chicago? Leonard Law Group can help. We offer free consultations to inquiring clients who need to file a workers’ comp claim or already filed but had their claim denied. Dial (312) 487-2513 now to learn more.

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