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Amazon Flex Drivers With Pre-Existing Conditions

Chicago Lawyers Helping Injured Gig Workers

Amazon flex drivers may choose when to work and for how long. As an Amazon Flex driver, you typically select blocks to deliver packages that suit your schedule. While driving your own car to deliver Amazon packages, you face a risk of injury from handling packages or getting hit in a car accident. You may have signed a contract with the program stating you are not an employee. However, your employment status is not purely decided by Amazon Flex, but a legal question that an arbitrator or court may decide. Even so, Amazon Flex drivers with pre-existing conditions may face a particularly uphill climb when seeking benefits for work-related injuries. It's important to talk to our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys about your situation.

ABC Test

Many employers attempt to misclassify workers to reduce the business costs, such as workers’ compensation insurance premiums. If Amazon Flex misclassified you as an independent contractor when you're an employee, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a work-related injury. Illinois presumes that workers are employees, and its state courts apply the ABC test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor.

Under the ABC test, your work is considered employment unless Amazon Flex can prove that (1) you’re free from its control or direction, (2) delivery of packages is outside its usual course of business, and (3) you’re involved in an independently established job. The proof must be made at a relevant workers’ compensation proceeding, such as a hearing to determine whether you’re owed benefits. At the hearing, it’s not your burden to show that you are an independent contractor or employee. Rather Amazon Flex needs to make the showing that you are an independent contractor. You will need to show that your injury is work-related. Retaining a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim maybe helpful if your pre-existing condition was aggravated or exacerbated by your work injury.

Amazon Flex Drivers With Pre-existing Conditions

Even if an arbitrator disagrees with Amazon Flex’s position on your employment status, you may face a struggle to recover benefits if you have a pre-existing condition. Sometimes, companies deny benefits illegitimately, citing a pre-existing condition. However, many people have pre-existing conditions, such as herniated discs, previously broken bones, degenerative disc disease, heart disease, torn ligaments, soft tissue injuries, or repetitive stress injuries. If you're in an accident, Amazon Flex and its insurer will scrutinize your past medical record and you may be challenged on whether you were even injured in a work-related accident.

You should be aware that under Illinois law, those with pre-existing conditions may still qualify for benefits so long as they can show the work-related accident aggravated or exacerbated their pre-existing condition. For example, if you tore your ACL in a car accident while driving for Amazon Flex, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits even though you had suffered a similar knee injury years ago while you were a high school athlete. For another example, if you have a mildly herniated disc that occasionally flares up, but as a result of a truck rear ending your vehicle during an Amazon Flex delivery, your disk ruptures and requires surgery, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits such as medical care for the ruptured disc. In some cases, Amazon Flex may argue that you're not entitled to the amount of benefits you claim. It may particularly dispute expensive claims such as surgery, vocational rehabilitation, or permanent disability pay.

Under certain circumstances, Amazon Flex may start out by paying benefits, but investigate, and then abruptly refuse to pay for certain types of benefits. In other cases, it may pay for certain benefits it believes are attributable to the job, while refusing to pay others.

Third-Party Lawsuits

If you are injured in a car accident while driving for Amazon Flex, you may be able to obtain damages by filing a third-party lawsuit against the other driver. You will need to prove the that the other driver was liable to prevail in your case.

Discuss Your Amazon Flex Claim With a Chicago Attorney

Amazon Flex drivers with pre-existing conditions are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. They should talk to the knowledgeable Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to identify potential issues that may need to be addressed when filing their claim. We represent Amazon Flex drivers in Quincy, Champaign, Rockford, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Sangamon, Cook, Kane, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our website form.