– WHAT TO DO IF INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WITH A DOORDASH DRIVER
Don’t Leave The Scene Of A Car Crash Unless it is Medically Necessary
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident where injury, death, or damage to a vehicle, is required to immediately halt and stay on the scene. Drivers are also required to cooperate with police and provide their name, vehicle registration and license. Drivers should render assistance within their reasonable ability including calling for an ambulance and any other reasonable act to help injured parties.
If you have been injured, however, then obtaining medical care is the most important thing to do. Call 911 and have an ambulance sent to the scene if needed and have the police come to the scene so that they can take care of documenting the evidence of the crash and obtain the information needed from the other driver.
Should Vehicles Involved In A Crash Be Moved?
Most collisions involving vehicles do not result in death or serious injury, such that police investigation needs to be made into criminal conduct. That being said, it’s preferable to leave the vehicles as is, so that the crash can be properly documented by the police. On the other hand, if the vehicles are presenting a hazard and can be moved to a safer place, then that should be done.
Prior to moving the vehicles, if photos can be taken in a safe manner then this is advisable. No matter how straightforward the incident may appear, failure to document the scene can leave the possibility open for the other driver to change their statement.
Phone The Police
If you are not so injured that you need immediate medical care, then whether or not you believe that the collision merits a call to the police, it is still advisable to do so. Sometimes the police will be unable to respond to every minor collision and will advise both parties to handle it themselves. At least in these circumstances, you will be able to state later that you did call them, but you could not make them come to the scene.
Typically, the police will come to the scene to fill out a report detailing the property damage. Having an officer as a witness, along with the report, can be a key part of your insurance case later. Keep in mind that many people do not feel any symptoms of injury at the accident scene as they have adrenaline moving through them and, in the case of soft tissue injuries, the symptoms tend to come on progressively over the next hours and days as the inflammatory process begins.
Even in small collisions and accidents that appear to clearly be the fault of the other driver, having a police report to support your version of events later can end up being crucial.
Get Insurance Name And Information
You should have, and are required under Washington law to have, current proof of liability insurance with you while driving. This is why you’ll receive two cards from your insurance company: one to carry at all times, one to keep in your vehicle. The ticket for not having proof of insurance is several hundred dollars so, keep that information handy.
DoorDash drivers (and other similarly employed drivers) usually have two layers of insurance that are applicable to the incident. The driver will have their own insurance, which will usually deny the claim if the driver was actively working on a delivery at the time of the incident. Under these circumstances, DoorDash provides another layer of insurance that applies to the driver only while working.
One should obtain both the information for the private automobile insurance and the DoorDash insurance in order to be in the best position to work out which company will be responding to your needs.
Notify Your Insurance Company Of The Property Damages
Your insurance policy likely requires that you report collisions and accidents to it. Your insurance policy is a contract so the parties owe one another a duty of good faith and fair dealing. This means that you should keep your insurance company apprised of all details around your incident in a reasonable and upfront manner. Call your agent to notify them as well. Ensure that you follow the requirements of your policy and document this. Keep copies of letters that you send to the insurance company and
make notes of your conversations including the date, time and the name of the adjuster you spoke with. Failure to completely comply with the policy could result in you losing coverage.
Take Photographs Of The Car Crash To Document The Collision
Take pictures from a safe area around the scene. Take photographs of anything that you think might turn out to be important. Take pictures of the scene, the surrounding area, tire tracks left in the cement, injuries that were incurred, identification, anything unique (if items flew around in the car).
Continue taking photos of anything that may be relevant, even after you leave the scene. You should take photos of the property damage that is uncovered after a bumper tear-down or other work in the body shop (most shops will agree to take and provide you with such pictures).
Taking Photos of the Car Accident Scene Is Important
Any additional chance to take photos should be taken advantage of. This is especially true if the vehicle was totaled, or before it’s repaired, sold for salvage, or disappears. It is much easier to convince the insurance company and the jury that the impact from the collision was severe enough to cause your injuries if you have a photograph of your crushed vehicle.
You should also photograph any physical manifestation of injuries. Anything that isn’t going to stay static during healing should be continually photographed, bruises get darker and then lighter, scars change, etc.
Watch What You Say
While you do need to make a statement to the authorities and your insurance company, the same is not required of the adverse driver or their insurance company. The best course of action is to seek legal advice before speaking to them because they will seek to record your statement. Insurance adjusters are trained to find ways in which to limit or deny claims of the other driver. We’ve taken on many clients who have given statements that have caused unnecessary problems due to not understanding the system they are now involved in. Obtaining legal advice prior to providing a statement to the opposing insurance company is always a good idea.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection (UIM) is one of the most important, and yet often overlooked, types of coverage that any driver should have. The coverage is not expensive and acts to step into the shoes of a negligent driver who does not have liability insurance (or does not have enough insurance).
As with any accident, it is entirely possible that the DoorDash driver’s applicable insurance is not enough to pay fair compensation for your claim. Having UIM insurance can make up the difference under these circumstances.
The State of Washington makes it illegal to drive without having a minimum of $25,000.00 in liability insurance. Liability insurance, also referred to as bodily injury (BI) insurance, covers a driver in the event that he or she injures another with their vehicle. The minimum coverage of $25,000.00 is, however, an outdated and often insufficient amount of coverage for many automobile accidents. For example, if you are seriously injured in an automobile accident and have a claim worth $100,000.00 or more, without UIM insurance, you are gambling that the same driver who negligently caused your injuries has a large insurance policy to cover your losses. The reality is that high-risk drivers often cannot even obtain high limits from an insurance company because of the company’s fear that they will cause a serious accident.
Seek Help From An Attorney On State Law That Applies to Your Car Accident
DoorDash and other similar companies can make it harder to pursue your claims stemming from an accident. They often will be seeking to not be responsible depending upon whether or not the driver was “on the clock.” The interplay between the driver’s personal insurance and the insurance from Doordash – as well as the interplay between these types of liability insurance and your own automobile insurance coverages,
including PIP and UIM, is complicated and often requires and attorney to help get things sorted out properly. If you have been injured in an accident with a food delivery person, please give us a call for a free consultation to make sure that your legal rights are protected.