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Can an injured pizza delivery cyclist get workers comp in New York?

New York City pizza is legendary. One pizzeria in California actually pays $10,000 every year to import New York City water, claiming that it makes their dough taste better than local water. Delivering this divine pizza, however, can be one of the most dangerous jobs out there.

Citing an estimate made by the Department of Transportation in 2012, the Village Voice stated that there were 50,000 delivery cyclists in New York City. While delivering pizzas may not be your ultimate career goal, many people find that this type of job provides a steady income while they go to college or seek better-paying employment.

Now that the weather is growing warmer and the ice and snow are gone, pizza drivers are hopping on their bicycles instead of driving. They enjoy the exposure to fresh air and the ability to glide past stalled traffic, which in turn translates into better delivery times (and better tips).

Unfortunately, food delivery cyclists are at risk of serious injury when they share the busy city streets with cars and large commercial vehicles. If you are struck at an intersection by a texting driver while delivering pizzas in the New York City, then can you collect workers compensation or do you have to sue the driver?

What’s your employment status?

If you are injured while employed by a pizza company like Domino’s or Papa John’s, then you should be covered by its workers compensation policy. You report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible and then file a claim.

However, food delivery service companies such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, or GrubHub typically engage delivery drivers as independent contractors: if you are injured while delivering pizzas for any of these enterprises, then you won’t be eligible for workers comp.

What can an independent contractor do?

As an independent contractor, you won’t be able to claim workers comp, but you can still take legal action against the driver of the car that struck you. This is an option that employees don’t have. You can hire a personal injury attorney who will review the evidence and help you file a claim against a negligent party who may have been texting while driving, driving under the influence, or simply not paying attention when they hit you.

Protect your right to compensation

If you are injured while making a pizza delivery for an employer, then follow all the required steps to preserve your right to workers compensation benefits. If you are an independent contractor, then contact a New York personal injury attorney as soon as is practical, so that the party who caused your injuries is made responsible for compensating you. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY attorney with over 35 years of experience who offers free in-person initial consultations to people who have been injured in an accident and their loved ones. Call 718-329-9500 to learn more. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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