I wouldn't rely upon making your drivers "independent contractors" as opposed to employees. The courts will generally look to see if they are treated as true independent contractors or not. If you are telling them when to show up for work, paying them by the hour, they will be deemed your employees no matter what you call them.
As far as people acting like they are hurt when they aren't, of course that happens. But 95% of the people who come to see me say "I'm not the type of person who sues but.... and then tell me how their lives have been turned upside down by someone else's carelessness. The truth is most people are not scam artists. The other truth is that most insurance companies don't treat folks right. If insurance companies wanted to put guys like me out of business they could go to everyone who was in an accident say they were sorry and assure them they would pay all damages. They don't.
TXCraig1 I have the utmost respect for your culinary skills, taste in wine, steaks, fishing, you name it. I generally am a lurker but I read all your posts. (I am drinking a Moshin Pinot Halo Hill 2010, it's not a Rochiolli West Block but it will do) I acknowledge you know how to cook chicken, which isn't as easy as everyone thinks, but I have to tell you as a trial lawyer I take umbrage. Everyone hates us until their kid is run down by a drunk driver or their wife is injured by someone's carelessness. There are crooked lawyers, quack doctors, evil guys on Wall Street and I am sure there are bad guys in whatever line of work you are in, hell I hear that there are even pizza guys that are no good, but Trial Lawyer is a badge I wear proudly. That being said if I could make a living making pizza maybe I'd give it up ...but there is a lot of competition her on Long Island.