Injured Lyft Drivers
Lyft is a rideshare service that is part of the gig economy. Many people choose to contact Lyft rather than drive their own car or take a bus or taxi. Classifying drivers as independent contractors is advantageous for Lyft. It means they won’t need to address overtime, any employment benefits, or workers’ compensation benefits. They won’t need to follow laws that apply only to employees. There are some advantages for a worker classified as an independent contractor in the gig economy too, including flexibility of schedule. However, being classified as an independent contractor can cause problems for an injured Lyft driver. When a Lyft driver is hurt on the job, the consequences can be devastating because there may not be any sort of savings or back up plan in place to address their losses or their need to take time off to allow the injuries to heal. If you are an injured Lyft driver, a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you evaluate your legal options.Injured Lyft Drivers
Lyft drivers can be injured in a variety of different ways. They might suffer the aggravation of a pre-existing injury, such as a disc herniation or hip problem. They may also be injured in car accidents while driving a passenger. When there is a car crash, it can result in cuts, traumatic brain injury, fractures, bruising, internal bleeding, spinal cord damage, or even death. When the injuries are the result of an accident with another car, the Lyft driver may be able to sue the other driver for damages. The Lyft driver, as plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, would need to prove the other driver’s fault. Sometimes, there are other parties who are also responsible. However, lawsuits take a long time.
Also, what if it’s the Lyft driver who is at fault for the car crash? In that case, in a lawsuit, he or she will recover nothing. The Illinois workers’ compensation system was put in place so that workers could obtain redress without the hassle and expense of a lawsuit against their employer following an on-the-job injury, and so that they could recover benefits without proving anyone’s fault.
Workers classified as employees can obtain workers’ compensation benefits, whereas independent contractors cannot. This is why if you are injured as an independent contractor, it is wise to consult an attorney familiar with this evolving area of law. Since employers do misclassify some workers, speaking with a lawyer who keeps up with changes in this area can help you to understand your legal rights.Applicable Test
Generally, in determining a claimant’s employment status, the Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act uses the definition of “employee” found in the Employment Classification Act, which became effective in the construction industry as of January 1, 2008. The Employment Classification Act includes a modified version of the test used by Illinois courts to determine a worker’s employment status. A worker is presumed to be an employee, unless the employer is able to show otherwise. When the worker runs his own business as a sole proprietor partnership, he needs to satisfy a 12-part test.Benefits
If you are an injured Lyft driver, there are real benefits to being able to show you are an employee under the applicable test. You may be able to get medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Disability benefits can address both temporary and permanent injuries. If, for example, you get into a car crash in which you are at fault, but you were paralyzed such that you can never drive again, and you are deemed an employee, you may be eligible for a range of benefits.Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you are an injured Lyft driver in Chicago and you are worried about how you’ll pay for medical care and replace your wages, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can review your case. You should not assume that you are an independent contractor, even if you signed a contract to that effect. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured workers in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Adams, Kane, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.