Controlling expenses is the only way to maintain a profit in business and this is why many companies that offer delivery allow their drivers to use scooters and motorcycles. These small, efficient vehicles also make the process faster thanks to their ability to maneuver around obstacles in a manner that is impossible for larger automobiles. The problem is not their cost or their convenience. Instead, it is the business owner attempting to save money and time, and losing out on both when an accident occurs.
Motorcyclists are not statistically more likely to have an accident but they are more at risk of injury or death when an accident takes place. The danger is much higher because of the lack of protection people have when they are out in the open as they are on a scooter or motorcycle. Even a minor accident that results in no damage to a car or truck could be devastating to one of these drivers.
So, who is responsible for the damages when an employee is delivering orders on motorcycle or scooter and is involved in an accident? This is the question that most concerns business owners because it affects their bottom line. Responsibility will depend on several factors if the driver was the one charged with causing the accident.
- Is the driver considered an employee or an independent contractor that is paid only for the miles traveled?
- Was the driver actually working at the time of the accident or was the item already delivered and they were not technically on the clock?
- Is the transportation used during the accident owned by the employee or the business?
- Was the driver speeding because of unrealistic delivery time demands from their employer?
The problem is a common one and can become costly for all involved. Personal auto insurance will not usually cover accidents that happen while using a vehicle for work. Many business owners include their drivers on their insurance policies but some may choose not to or not have had the opportunity if the employee is newly hired. The employee may also not be covered by their employer if they were acting irresponsibly or driving while impaired. It is often necessary in these cases to seek legal representation due to the high risk of potential lawsuits, lost wages, and property damage. A professionally created employee contract may also help to clarify who will accept responsibility in these situations.