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Amazon Flex Drivers With Spinal Cord Injuries

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Chicago Employees

Amazon Flex is a new delivery program that provides work for people within the gig economy. These workers are used to deliver packages, and Amazon classifies them as independent contractors rather than employees. Often drivers for Amazon Flex also drive for rideshare companies. If you are an Amazon Flex driver with spinal cord injuries you have suffered on the job, you may be concerned that you have no recourse. However, Amazon Flex doesn’t have the last word on whether you are an independent contractor or employee. You may be considered an employee under the law. A seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options based on your individual circumstances.

Amazon Flex Drivers with Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are serious. In some cases, they are permanently disabling. As an Amazon Flex driver, you may be worried about how you’ll pay for medical care, equipment or physical therapy. Amazon Flex may deny that you are an employee and argue that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits are paid only to employees, not independent contractors. However, in this type of situation, Illinois courts follow the ABC test.

Under the ABC test, it is presumed you are an employee unless it’s established in a pertinent proceeding that the following is true: (1) you’re not controlled in the performance of services you provide, (2) the services are outside the company’s place of business or course of business, and (3) you’re involved in an independently established trade, occupation, business or profession. In other words, you and your attorney may be able to show that you are an employee by proving that you are controlled in the performance of services, rideshare is core to Amazon Flex’s business, and you’re not involved in an independent trade.

The Workers’ Compensation System in Illinois

The Illinois workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system. This means if you qualify for benefits, you are entitled to them even if you are partially to blame for your own spinal cord injuries. For example, if you got into a car accident while on the job and your brake lights were out and so you were rear-ended, you can still obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This is distinct from a claim in the civil court system, which would involve looking at percentages of fault for the accident and could reduce your damages accordingly.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Assuming you are considered an employee as an Amazon Flex driver with a spinal cord injury, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits such as medical care, temporary total or permanent total disability benefits, partial disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. You’re entitled to all reasonable medical care for spinal cord injuries arising out of your job.

The specific type and amount of workers’ compensation benefits to which you’re entitled depends on the severity of your harm. Some spinal cord injuries may heal relatively quickly, while others may require surgery, rehabilitation, and more intensive treatment.

Third-Party Lawsuits

If you are an Amazon Flex driver who was injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may be able to obtain damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In that proceeding you would need to establish another driver or other party’s negligence. In other words, you would need to show it’s more likely than not that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to you, and in so doing caused your injuries and losses.

Chicago Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation claims can present certain difficulties for workers when their employment status is uncertain, so it can be an uphill battle to recover benefits as a worker in the gig economy. However, you can to talk to a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer to get clarification about your situation. If you are an Amazon Flex driver with spinal cord injuries sustained on the job in Chicago, the legal team at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca may be able to help. We can represent rideshare drivers in Quincy, Champaign, Aurora and Rockford, along with Winnebago, Kane, Adams, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.