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Amazon Flex Drivers With Repetitive Stress Injuries

Chicago Lawyers Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims

Repetitive stress injuries may occur when people repeatedly perform the same motion or task. Some common forms of repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis, bursitis, and tennis elbow. Amazon Flex drivers with repetitive stress injuries may find it difficult to obtain the medical care and compensation they deserve. If you suffered a work-related repetitive stress injury, call the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca for a consultation.

ABC Test

You may have been told that you are an independent contractor. However, Illinois follows the ABC test, under which workers are presumed to be employees for purposes of work-related repetitive stress injuries unless the company meets its burden of showing that the workers is an independent contractor rather than an employee. It’s important to work with a lawyer who understands how this test applies in a worker’s compensation proceeding.

Amazon Flex Drivers with Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries can impact your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders and neck. Symptoms may include weakness, tenderness, pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling. When a repetitive stress injury is work-related, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to pay for some of the losses associated with it. To avoid responsibility, Amazon and its insurer may argue that you are not an employee and offer additional excuses. Often with repetitive stress injuries, an insurer issues a denial stating it will not pay for a pre-existing condition or claiming a recreational activity could have caused the repetitive stress injury. You should not assume the insurer’s denial of your claim or benefits is valid. Notwithstanding an insurer’s argument, you can recover benefits in spite of a pre-existing condition if your work as an Amazon Flex driver exacerbated or aggravated the injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. In a workers’ compensation claim, you do not need to prove that your injury resulted from Amazon’s negligence, nor can Amazon reduce your benefits because you are partially responsible for your repetitive stress injury. Rather, you simply need to show that the injury is work-related.

Benefits to which you may be entitled include medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, disability pay, and vocational rehabilitation. The type and amount of medical benefits depends on the severity of the repetitive stress injury. You are entitled to have Amazon’s insurer pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses. You also have the right to choose your medical provider. If Amazon participates in a preferred provider network, you can choose two doctors within the network. In other words, you can choose a second doctor within the network if you decide that you do not want to continue treatment with your initial physician. Referrals to specialists by the doctors you have chosen do not count as an additional choice.

If you decide you do not want to see any of the doctors that are within the network, you can select a doctor who is out-of-network, but you will only receive one choice of doctor that Amazon’s insurer must reimburse.

If you are disabled by your repetitive stress injury, you may be eligible for disability pay, which covers temporary total, temporary partial, permanent total, or permanent partial disabilities. For example, if your doctor orders you not to drive for two weeks to rest your wrist from the carpal tunnel syndrome you acquired while driving and lifting heavy packages for the Amazon Flex program, you may be eligible for temporary total disability pay. You will not receive this benefit for the first three days off work, but if you require time off from work for 14 days or more, the first three days will be paid retroactively. Temporary total disability pay is paid at 2/3 of your average weekly wage.

If you are no longer able to work as an Amazon Flex driver, you may be able to obtain vocational rehabilitation benefits to seek a new line of work or job. Vocational rehabilitation can include counseling, training, and job placement.

Hire an Experienced Attorney in Chicago

Amazon Flex drivers with repetitive stress injuries may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To protect your rights, discuss your injury with the seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm represents injured Amazon Flex drivers in Chicago, Aurora, Quincy, Champaign, and Rockford, along with Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.