Caviar Offers Free Insurance to Couriers October 26, 2018
Caviar, a well known online food delivery app, is now offering free accident insurance to couriers just months after one of its employees – a 34-year-old Philadelphia bicyclist – was killed while working. “Gig” workers, or individuals employed for a short period of time or who are independently contracted, are usually left in the lurch if they get injured on the job. Now that Caviar is offering accident insurance to its couriers, other companies may begin to follow suit and offer lifesaving coverage options.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,000 bicyclists are killed and more than 465,000 others are injured every year. The American Academy Physician (AAP) reports that bicyclists are especially vulnerable to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Head injuries (e.g. traumatic brain injuries, concussions, etc.);
- Abrasions, contusions, and lacerations;
- Back injuries
- Dislocations, strains, and fractures;
- Abdominal injuries, and:
- Neck injuries
Many of the job specific hazards that bicycle couriers face have to do with coming into contact with pedestrians and/or motor vehicles like cars, trucks, and buses. Having insurance coverage options can make a world of difference should the unexpected – like a bad accident – happen. Caviar’s accident insurance package for couriers offers benefits like up to $1 million per accident in medical expenses and disability payouts equaling 50% of the worker’s average weekly earnings across multiple platforms (including other food and passenger service-based apps like Uber and Postmates). This means that if a Caviar courier gets injured while working, he or she can claim lost earnings across different job sites.
Protections for “Gig” Workers
Workers throughout the “gig” economy (like people employed through temporary employment agencies, independent contractors, couriers, food service employees, and many others) go without benefits that are typically afforded to other classes of employees. Caviar opted to offer free accident insurance coverage to its couriers after news of the 34-year-old Philadelphia bicyclist’s death broke. Bicycle safety advocates in the city have been lobbying for numerous initiatives to help keep bicyclists safe, like installing additional bike protected lanes, and removing unused portions of trolley tracks. Although the city has made some strides in improving bicycle safety, much remains to be done.
Safety Tips for Bicyclists, Drivers, and Pedestrians
Lots of the collisions and accidents that happen on American roadways are preventable when people observe traffic laws, avoid distractions, pay attention, and stay accountable. According to the CDC, alcohol is involved in a whopping 37% of accidents between bicyclists and motor vehicles (the driver or the rider). In order to limit collisions and reduce the chances of permanent or deadly injuries, bicyclists should always:
- Always wear a helmet and brightly colored clothing (wear fluorescent or retro-reflective clothing for increased nighttime visibility);
- Install active lighting on the bicycle (data shows that red and white lights are the most effective);
- Never bicycle after consuming alcohol or using drugs;
- Do NOT ride against traffic, and:
- Keep hands ready to brake at all times
To read more safety tips and bike-specific laws (for Pennsylvania residents), please visit: https://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/RideaBike/Pages/Bicycle-Safety-and-Pennsylvania-Laws.aspx.
Distracted driving, speeding, and driving while impaired are three common culprits behind both nonfatal and fatal collisions. Pedestrians who are distracted are also more likely to be struck by a vehicle or cyclist. Drivers and pedestrians need to observe safe distances between themselves and bicyclists – the law on how many feet drivers must observe varies from state-to-state, but usually falls between 3 and 4. Here are some other safety tips for drivers and pedestrians:
- Always check the driver’s side door before exiting the vehicle in case a cyclist is approaching;
- Do not stand or park (even temporarily) in a bike protected lane, and:
- Enter phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode to avoid distractions
Even when people are cautious, accidents still happen. Bicycle couriers are particularly vulnerable to catastrophic accidents – hopefully other companies will start offering similar options to their employees, regardless of whether they are permanently, independently, or temporarily employed.
If you or a loved one was in a bicycle accident and sustained injuries, you should contact a representative at our firm who can help answer your questions.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured in Bicycle Accidents
At Galfand Berger, our personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia are experienced in representing bicycle accident victims. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.