The frenetic pace of New York City makes the roads dangerous. That liveliness and the reality that people are so inherently busy also means that restaurant deliveries are a booming business. Delivery workers are a fundamental cog in the machine and their roles are often understated. The financial benefits are limited and the work itself is dangerous. Often, these workers are delivering for apps where people place their order and the drivers – frequently on motorized scooters and bicycles – need to get in as many deliveries as they can to earn worthwhile income. When making these deliveries, auto accidents are common. This is a circumstance in which motor vehicle accidents and work accidents overlap. Those who do these jobs should be aware of the potential hazards and know their rights if they have been injured.
Delivery workers who took part in a survey conducted by several research entities exposed the risks they face when doing their jobs in New York City. Five hundred such workers took part in the survey. Just shy of half stated they were in an accident of some kind or had other incidents that placed their safety in jeopardy. The biggest problem they dealt with was drivers who opened their doors as riders were approaching. Many times, this happened because drivers parked in bike lanes and violated the law. If the delivery workers need to get medical treatment, three-quarters of them were forced to pay for it out of pocket.
Of all the participants in the survey, just over 10% said they were told to take part in a safety course for commercial bicyclists. This was reported despite it being required that employers confirm their delivery workers took the course. Businesses are also obligated to give delivery workers safety equipment, but the survey participants said only 18% received it. Other adversities included more than 50% having their bicycles stolen with 30% of them saying they were assaulted when the theft took place.
Since so many people are working from home because of the ongoing health situation, getting food delivered is rising across the city. When there is an auto accident, these relatively low-wage workers can face exorbitant medical expenses without the health insurance to cover it. They will be unable to work as they recover and lose substantial income. They could have long-term injuries that render them unable to do the same work they did before. For these cases, it is essential to understand how to gather evidence and to take the necessary steps to consider a claim. Having assistance throughout the process is key and those experienced in auto accidents and workers’ compensation cases may be of assistance.
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