Chicago Attorneys Fight for Instacart Drivers Who Suffer Dog Bites
Online shopping, already popular before the pandemic, took off in 2020. Households relied on food deliveries to help them obey social distancing rules without going hungry.
Pandemic restrictions have eased, but interest in food deliveries remains strong. Today, many Illinois residents make deliveries via Instacart. Driving for Instacart can be a helpful source of income, but it can also expose drivers to risks – including the risk that customers won’t responsibly contain their dogs.
If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury while delivering for Instacart, talk to a lawyer today. The experienced Instacart dog bite attorneys at Briskman, Briskman & Greenburg can help.
Delivery Drivers and Dog Bite Statistics
Online shopping added another $900 billion to e-commerce spending in 2020. Much of this money went to necessities, like groceries and meal deliveries. The rise in e-commerce deliveries, however, has also led to an overall increase in dog bite injuries for delivery drivers – including those who deliver via Instacart.
Instacart currently has about 500,000 “shoppers,” or people who pick up items and make deliveries. With 9.6 million active users, those shoppers can often find enough work to stay busy. Yet each shopper faces risks as well.
Delivery driver dog bites have long been a concern for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). USPS estimates that 5,400 postal carriers suffered injuries from a dog attack in 2021. In 2019, USPS ranked Chicago as the third worst city for delivery-related dog bites.
The USPS numbers don’t include drivers for private delivery services, like Instacart. Yet they demonstrate how delivery drivers face a higher risk of dog-related injuries in their work.
Illinois Dog Bite Law
Illinois’ dog bite statute, 510 ILCS 5/16, states that an injured person may receive damages from a dog’s owner if:
- The dog “attacks, attempts to attack, or injures” the person,
- The dog was not provoked into its actions,
- The person is behaving “peaceably,” and
- The person is in a place they are legally allowed to be when the attack occurs.
Illinois’s dog bite law is an example of a “strict liability” statute. Strict liability dog bite laws do not include exceptions for dogs that are on leashes or leads, dogs that are fenced in, or dogs that haven’t bitten anyone in the past. If a dog bites a person in Illinois, that person may recover damages as long as all the elements of the law apply.
Illinois dog bite law often applies to ordinary delivery situations. An Instacart driver approaches a delivery address, intending to peaceably drop off a grocery order without trespassing or breaking any laws – only to suffer injuries from a dog that wasn’t properly controlled by its owners.
Common Types of Dog Attack Injuries
Approximately 4.5 million dog attacks occur in the United States every year. While the risk of dying from a dog attack is low, the risk of severe injury, permanent scarring, and lingering trauma is high.
Common injuries from dog bites include:
- Damaged skin, muscles, nerves, and other tissue.
- Lingering or permanent pain or loss of function.
- Permanent, sometimes severe scarring.
- Infections starting at the injury site.
- Mental and emotional trauma.
Severe dog bites may even result in broken bones or other serious injuries.
Not all dog-related injuries come from bites. During a dog attack, a person may suffer injuries from being knocked down, scratched, or thrown against a wall, a window, or another object. Whatever the situation, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s also important to learn more about your legal rights.
Instacart drivers who suffer a dog bite may find themselves battling high medical costs. Because Instacart drivers are typically classified as independent contractors, Instacart doesn’t offer health insurance. Instead, these drivers must find their own insurance coverage – or pay medical bills out of pocket.
Where to Turn for Help
If you’ve been injured in a dog attack while delivering for Instacart, you deserve help. Contact the Instacart dog bite injury lawyers at Briskman, Briskman, & Greenburg today. We help our dog bite injury clients fight for the compensation they deserve.
When you contact us for a consultation, we’ll answer your questions and help you understand your options. Your initial consultation is free and confidential. Reach out to us today to learn more.