Injured While Delivering Food on Your Bike?

Bicycle Accident InjuriesIn Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR, many individuals make a living as bike couriers who deliver food orders. Unfortunately, other motorists often do not always respect bicycle riders and couriers, and sometimes become agitated by their presence on the roadways, leading to aggression, road rage, and catastrophic accidents.

If you were recently injured while delivering food on your bike, you may be confused about what to do and where to turn. Although these cases can be difficult and complex, with the help and guidance of a skilled personal injury attorney, you can achieve a favorable outcome.

What are the most common causes of food delivery accidents on a bike?

Here are some of the most common causes of food delivery bicycle accidents:

  • Fatigue: Many bike couriers are exhausted and overworked because they must work long hours requiring them to be outside constantly moving. This can lead to fatigue and burn out that might lead to an accident.
  • Feeling rushed: When a bicycle rider feels rushed to make food deliveries, accidents can happen. Bike couriers have specific times they need to drop off their deliveries, and they can be as affected by traffic (or road detours, or even flat tires) as a delivery driver. When a bike courier is rushing, they are unable to fully concentrate on safely navigating the roadways, which can result in an accident.
  • Distracted driving: If a motorist or bicyclist fails to pay attention while driving or riding a bike, the chances of an accident increase dramatically. This is a real risk for bike couriers: they must follow a GPS system to get to their drop-off locations (meaning their own eyes may not be on the road) while dealing with vehicle drivers who are also distracted by their GPS, the radio, their phones, and so forth.
  • Road rage or aggressive driving: Many motor vehicle drivers do not respect bicycle riders, including bike couriers because they get in their way or delay their daily commute, which can lead to road rage and aggressive driving behaviors.
  • Inclement weather: Inclement weather can actually cause food delivery bike riders to become busier as more people are requesting food deliveries to avoid going out in the weather. Unfortunately, roads may become wet, slippery, icy, or snowy, leading to dangerous accidents.

What should I do if I have been involved in an accident while delivering food on my bike?

If you have been injured while delivering food on your bike, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Your personal injury lawyer will review your rights as a food delivery professional and bicyclist. They can also help you determine whether any insurance policies will cover your losses and what type of legal action you should take to get fair compensation. Here are some options your attorney may explore to help you recover compensation as a bike courier:

  • The at-fault motor vehicle driver’s insurance policy
  • The delivery company’s insurance options (UberEats, DoorDash, etc.)
  • Your employer’s insurance policy options (local restaurants, grocery stores, etc.)
  • Your own insurance coverage
  • A personal injury lawsuit

Do food delivery companies and employers provide insurance to bike couriers?

Unfortunately, many delivery companies and employers do not provide insurance to bike couriers. According to recent The City article,“UberEats only offers auto liability coverage, which applies to workers delivering in their cars,” meaning  that workers involved in accidents while riding a bicycle are not covered under Uber’s auto liability insurance plan.

However, it is important to note that Uber does offer its delivery persons an Optional Injury Protection insurance plan. For approximately $0.03 per mile, they can be protected in the event of an accident resulting in unexpected injuries and medical expenses. If you are enrolled in this program and were making an UberEats delivery on your bike when an accident occurred, there is the possibility that Uber will provide you with disability payments, pay your medical expenses, and provide your family with survivor benefits (if you pass away).

DoorDash states that “Dashers do not need to sign up or enroll for occupational accident insurance. There are no premiums, deductibles, or co-pays.” Since June 2019, the company automatically enrolls all US Dashers in occupational accident insurance coverage, which provides coverage for medical expenses as well as disability payments. There are no costs or charges, and you do not need to do anything to enroll.

One thing you should know is that in Washington State, if you are riding a bike and you are hit by a car, you can use that driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to help you pay for some of your medical bills, as well as other services. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, you may be entitled to that PIP coverage. We can help you access that compensation if applicable to your case.

At Philbrook Law Office, our personal injury lawyers know and understand the various laws surrounding bike courier accidents. If you decide to work with us, we will thoroughly investigate and gather the necessary evidence showing that you were injured while making a delivery on your bike, due to no fault of your own. Call our offices in Vancouver or Battle Ground, WA, or submit our contact form to learn about your rights as well as how to pursue the best results possible for your case. Whether you are located in Washington or Oregon, we look forward to meeting you and discussing your legal options!