Hand Injuries for Lyft Drivers
If you suffered a hand injury while working for Lyft, you should seek immediate medical care. Hand injuries for Lyft drivers may result in expensive medical bills and lost wages for time off from work. You may be concerned if you do not have enough saved to pay for rent and groceries while recuperating. You might assume that workers’ compensation benefits are not available because you’ve signed an independent contractor agreement with Lyft. However, Lyft doesn’t have the right to classify you as an independent contractor simply on its own say-so. Illinois presumes that workers are employees and Lyft bears the burden to prove that you are an independent contractor. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to assisting Lyft drivers seek compensation for their hand injuries sustained on the job.Hand Injuries for Lyft Drivers
Hand injuries can occur in different ways: direct force, as in a car crash; abnormal bending a limb; or penetration by glass or other sharp objects. Persons with hand injuries may experience tendonitis, dislocations, broken or fractured bones, sprains, strains, pulled muscles, crushing injuries, amputation, or soft tissue injuries. Your hand may be injured in multiple ways. For example, if your hand gets caught and crushed between sharp, broken objects during a collision, you may suffer both crushing injuries and lacerations. Sometimes, crushing injuries lead to compartment syndrome, in which a compartment’s size or volume of fluid is decreased.
Treatment can vary. While minor hand injuries may require very little treatment, compartment syndrome or amputation may require extensive care.ABC Test
Lyft’s insurer bears the burden of showing you are not an employee at a hearing before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. It must prove: (1) Lyft doesn’t control how you drive and work, (2) you also have a distinct job separate from driving for Lyft, and (3) Lyft’s customary business doesn’t include driving. If Lyft’s insurer isn’t able to establish this at a hearing, you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits for your hand injuries. An experienced lawyer can advocate on your behalf to establish your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s important to give notice of your hand injuries to Lyft, even if you think it knows through an accident report or other means of the accident. It’s wise to provide this notice as soon as possible, though you have 45 days from the injury. If you fail to provide notice within the time limits, you may be barred from obtaining benefits.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
So long as your hand injuries are work-related, you should be able to obtain benefits through Lyft’s insurer. These could include medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. For example, if you reasonably need surgery for a complex fracture in your hand after a Lyft accident, Lyft’s workers’ compensation insurer should pay for the surgery. The surgery may need to be pre-authorized. An insurer who is skeptical of the severity of your hand injuries may send you to an independent medical examination (IME). This exam may not be objective. In most cases, insurers select doctors who they know will be conservative in their treatment recommendations. Your own treating physician’s observations and report regarding your hand injuries may be very important to your case and counter an IME doctor’s views.Third-Party Lawsuits
If you were injured in an accident while working for Lyft, and that accident was caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages through a third-party lawsuit. In such a lawsuit, the full scope of damages, including pain and suffering maybe recovered for hand injuries for Lyft drivers.Retain a Chicago Attorney Who Represents Lyft Drivers
If you experienced work-related hand injuries as a driver for Lyft, you should talk to the experienced Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent Lyft drivers with workers’ compensation claims in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.