Similar to last year, many people are cautious of going to crowded places to avoid contracting COVID-19. Thankfully delivery and pick-up service providers like Instacart are available, allowing consumers to order virtually everything they need for the holidays from home and have the goods delivered to their doorstep.
While consumers do not have to bear the burden that comes with going out shopping, Instacart shoppers are still at risk of injury. The current holiday shopping season and the winter weather have made it even more likely for shoppers to suffer work-related accidents.
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Risks to Instacart Shoppers
Instacart shoppers get exposed to two types of workplace accidents; slip and fall and auto accidents. Slip and fall accidents usually happen in grocery stores due to the spillage of the goods on sale, making the floor slippery. “An injured person can receive compensation for something like this when a business owner fails to address a potentially harmful hazard on the property, like a wet floor sign,” says attorney Felix Gonzalez from Felix Gonzalez Accident and Injury Law Firm. Outside the stores, slip and fall accidents can also occur on sidewalks, parking lots, and at the delivery address premises, especially in the current winter conditions.
When you are shopping or placing goods at the delivery address doorstep, you will be on the road to the next drop-off point. This means there are risks of auto accidents which are exceptionally high due to winter conditions and unsafe driving habits associated with the holiday season. “Drunk driving is an ongoing problem on American roads, but more prevalent in the holiday season,” cited the NHTSA in a report.
Compensation for Instacart Shoppers
You may be eligible for compensation if you suffer injuries while on the job as an Instacart shopper. However, your right to compensation will depend on your job classification at Instacart. If Instacart lists you as an employee, you qualify for compensation under workers’ compensation that generally covers economic and non-economic damages.
If you are an independent contractor,like most Instacart shoppers, things can get a little complicated. Under the American employment laws, independent contractors are not employees; this disqualifies them from compensation under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance cover.
Independent Instacart Contractor Compensation
While many its workers are contractors, here is some good news for them should they be in an accident. In 2019, Instacart started an Instacart Shoppers Perks Program that allows independent Instacart shoppers injured in the line of duty to access compensation. Under this program, full-service Instacart shoppers injured on the job are eligible for up to $1,000,000 in damages.
Another option through which Instacart employees can get compensation for their damages is filing a third-party injury claim if their injuries resulted from another party’s fault other than Instacart. For example, the shopper can file a claim against a grocery store if they sustain an injury in the store or a negligent driver in the event of a road accident.
Taking The Right Steps
After an accident, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that you recover fair compensation for damages suffered.
The first steps you need to take after an accident are seeking medical attention and reporting the accident to the relevant persons, such as the store manager if it occurs in a store or the police if it is an auto accident. Finally, ensure that you document the accident through photos and video footage that your lawyer can use to build your case.