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Who is Liable for a Delivery Driver Accident?

Posted on September 30, 2022

Determining who is liable for a delivery driver accident will depend on the cause of the collision and other unique circumstances. In some cases, an employer may be liable or the driver themselves, depending on their employment status and whether they were considered working at the time. 

Fault For Delivery Driver Accidents

Depending on your insurance coverage, Pennsylvania drivers involved in a crash must typically go through their own insurance company to pay for medical bills and injury expenses—regardless of fault. Whether your insurer will cover property damage depends on if you carry collision coverage. If you do not, you can file a property damage claim against the at-fault party’s insurer to repair or replace your vehicle. On the other hand, if your injuries qualify as serious under state law or you have opted for “full tort” coverage, you can file a claim and sue the at-fault party if necessary. 

Potentially Liable Parties for a Delivery Driver Accident

The specific party responsible for your damages will depend on the accident’s circumstances, but these claims are commonly filed against one or multiple of the following parties:

The Delivery Driver

A claim can be filed against the individual driver if they caused the accident and were either not considered working at the time or they are an independent contractor and not an employee of the company. However, their personal auto insurance may deny coverage if they were actively making a delivery at the time. In those cases, you will have to file a claim against the driver’s employer or file a lawsuit against the delivery driver if they have enough money or assets to cover your losses.

The Delivery Company

Employers in Pennsylvania can be held vicariously liable for employees’ reckless or negligent actions committed while they are performing a task that is within the scope of their employment. Therefore, if a delivery driver was considered working at the time, you may be able to file a claim against the delivery company’s insurer. For example, if a delivery driver causes an accident en route to deliver a package, their company will be liable for the resulting damages. On the other hand, if the delivery driver was running a personal errand, the driver may be responsible rather than their employer since they were not performing a job duty when the crash occurred. Proving that the driver was acting within the “scope of employment” when the accident occurred can be a point of contention. Employers often try to escape liability by arguing that the driver was not considered working at the time or is not an employee because they are an independent contractor. 

A Third Party

In some cases a third party, such as another driver, a government agency, or a defective vehicle or part manufacturer may have contributed to or caused an accident, making them liable. Injured parties can then pursue a claim solely against the third party or in addition to the driver and/or company of the delivery driver. 
Since liability for a delivery driver accident can be unclear, it is in your best interests to consult an experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer prior to speaking to any insurance companies.