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Hand Injuries for Uber Drivers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Rideshare Workers

When a hand is injured, the trauma may impact the ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints, bones, skin, blood vessels, or nerves. Drivers need all of these integral parts to function well in order to grip a steering wheel and perform other tasks essential to driving. Serious hand injuries for Uber drivers can result in lost wages and expensive medical care. If you delay seeking treatment, the injury may become aggravated and result in serious long-term disabilities. As an Uber driver, you may assume you're not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You may have even signed an independent contractor agreement to that effect. However, Illinois presumes that you're an employee, so you may be able to obtain compensation from Uber’s insurer. Because filing a workers’ compensation claim as a gig worker presents unique challenges, you should seek representation from the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.

Hand Injuries for Uber Drivers

Injuries to the hands may involve sprains, fractures, dislocations, soft tissue, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and Jersey finger. Doctors will prescribe different treatments depending on the extent and severity of the hand injury. In some cases, resting your hand and taking medication may alleviate the inflammation for a repetitive stress injury. For more serious conditions, the doctors may recommend splinting or even surgery.

Illinois courts follow the ABC test. To avoid paying workers’ compensation for work-related hand injuries, Uber will need to affirmatively show that its drivers are not employees at a hearing in front of the Illinois Worker's Compensation Commission. It will need to show: (1) it doesn't control your driving, (2) you perform a job independent of driving for the company, and (3) its customary business doesn't involve driving. If Uber's insurer can't prove this at the relevant hearing, you'll be able to obtain benefits for your hand injuries.

You should notify Uber of your work-related hand injury. While the law doesn't require you to give written notification, it's wise to provide notice in writing within the requisite 45-day notice period so that Uber cannot later claim it was unaware of the injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits may include reasonable and necessary medical treatment, temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and medical mileage. During your office visit, you should inform the doctor know that your injury was work-related.

Your insurer may award certain benefits while denying others. For example, you may receive temporary total disability benefits for a month or two without any trouble, but if you try to claim permanent disability benefits, Uber may dispute your right to these benefits. If you have been denied benefits, you may want to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to understand your legal rights.

The insurer may ask you to attend an independent medical examination (IME). Despite the term, this exam may not actually be independent. Often, insurers select independent medical examiners who frequently side with the insurance company and recommend conservative treatments in the past. It’s important to understand that the IME doctor is not your treating physician and doesn’t owe you confidentiality.

Third Party Lawsuits

Workers’ compensation claims do not allow you to recover all your damages. While you may receive compensation for a portion of your economic losses, you cannot recover for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. If a third party was responsible for your injuries, you may be able to obtain the full range of your losses by filing a lawsuit for damages and establishing third-party liability. Most third-party lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. To prove negligence, you’ll need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty of reasonable care, (3) causation and (4) damages.

Meet with a Chicago Attorney Regarding Your Work Injury Case

Hand injuries for Uber drivers can prevent them from working. If you suffered a hand injury while driving for Uber, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent Uber drivers with workers’ compensation claims in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Complete our online form or call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330.