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Knee Injuries for Lyft Drivers

Chicago Lawyers for Gig Workers

Your knee is a complex joint, that shifts to allow you to bend or straighten your legs so you can run, jump or squat. It’s made up of ligaments, cartilage, tendons, or bones. The ligaments stabilize the bones, while tendons support the joint. The femur sits on top of the knee joint and allows ligaments slide over bone to prevent massive impact on the bones. Knee injuries can be painful and disabling. Sometimes, those with knee injuries are left unable to drive or work at all. Knee injuries for Lyft drivers may be eligible for medical care under the workers’ compensation system if the injury was work-related. The seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can evaluate your situation and discuss your potential claim.

Knee Injuries for Lyft Drivers

As a Lyft driver, you may get into a car or other work-related accident that can result in various kinds of knee injuries, each with its own limitations. For instance, a patellar fracture is a severe injury that can make it challenging to straighten the knee or walk. Most fractures are caused by high-impact trauma, such as the kind sustained in a car accident. Those who have underlying osteoporosis are more likely to sustain fractures. Lyft drivers may also suffer injuries in other ways, such as by carrying luggage.

You might assume or Lyft may have told you that you’re not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because you’re an independent contractor. It’s important to realize that the presumption in Illinois is that you are an employee. Lyft has to prove that you’re not an employee under what’s known as the ABC test at a workers’ compensation hearing. The ABC test requires Lyft to show: (1) it doesn’t control how you do your job, (2) Lyft’s usual business is not driving, and (3) you’re engaged in a job of some kind that’s independently established.

Pre-existing Conditions in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Some insurers may deny workers’ compensation claims on the grounds that the injury was the result of a pre-existing condition. This is not necessarily a valid or legitimate reason to deny a claim. In Illinois, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits so long as working for Lyft aggravated or exacerbated your knee injuries. For instance, drivers who suffer a knee injury in a car accident while transporting passengers for Lyft may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A previously torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which had been surgically repaired, does not bar benefits.

Medical and Disability Benefits for Knee Injuries

After suffering a knee injury at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits including disability and medical benefits. You can only obtain temporary disability benefits once you’ve missed three days of work. However, if you miss more than 14 days of work, you can retroactively recover benefits for the first three days. Temporary total disability benefits should be paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. The state sets a cap on the average weekly wage that is regularly adjusted. Sometimes, a knee injury may leave a driver permanently unable to work. Permanent total disability is also paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. Through the workers’ compensation system, you may be able to obtain vocational rehabilitation after sustaining a serious knee injury. Vocational rehabilitation could allow you to obtain training or education to work in a capacity other than driving for a rideshare company.

Third-Party Lawsuits

If you sustained your injuries in a car accident that was the fault of another, you may be able to recover your full losses by bringing a third-party lawsuit against the responsible party. While workers’ compensation benefits neither fully cover your wage loss nor allow you to recover for noneconomic losses, a successful third-party lawsuit may allow you to recover the gamut: pain and suffering, loss of consortium, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.

Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Knee injuries for Lyft drivers can be painful and require surgery. Most Lyft drivers do not have sufficient savings to pay for all the medical costs and time off work. It may be important for you and your family that you obtain benefits through the Illinois workers’ compensation system. An attorney experienced with this complicated system may be able to help you. If you’re a Chicago Lyft driver with a work-related knee injury, you should talk to the seasoned attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent injured Lyft drivers in Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford, as well as Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.