Lump Sum Settlements for Amazon Flex Drivers
If you are an Amazon Flex driver who was injured in a job-related accident, you may find yourself unable to pay for medical bills or other expenses while recovering from your injuries. You may have signed an independent contractor agreement with Amazon Flex stating that you aren’t due employment benefits such as workers’ compensation benefits. However, there is a presumption in Illinois that you are an employee, and Amazon Flex must prove that you are an independent contractor at a relevant workers’ compensation proceeding. Lump sum settlements for Amazon Flex drivers may be a strategy to simply get rid of claims or avoid paying more over the long haul. If the amount is insufficient, it will not be in your best interest to accept. If you are an Amazon Flex driver who has been offered a lump sum settlement, you should talk to seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about your circumstances.Lump Sum Settlements for Amazon Flex Drivers
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. It is also an exclusive remedy for work-related injuries. This means you cannot sue Amazon Flex in court for damages arising out of your work-related injuries, but you also cannot have your benefits reduced because you were partially to blame for your injuries as you might in a lawsuit in court.
Workers’ compensation benefits are typically paid over a period of time. These benefits can include disability pay, reasonable and necessary medical care, vocational rehabilitation and medical mileage. The amount of benefits and the number of installments over which benefits will be paid depends, in part, on the severity of your injuries. For instance, if you suffer a traumatic brain injury in a car accident while delivering for Amazon Flex, such that you can no longer drive or hold down any other type of job, your benefits will be greater than if you break a bone and need a few months to recover. Sometimes insurers offer injured claimants a lump sum settlement, rather than paying them over time as need arises. A lump sum settlement is a single payout.
There are circumstances in which a lump sum is both appropriate and preferable to payments over time. However, there are also situations in which you could be severely disadvantaged by taking a lump sum settlement.Risks of Lump Sum Settlements for Amazon Flex Drivers
There are many nuanced considerations that go into determining whether a lump sum settlement is in a worker’s best interest. Among the factors to be considered with your attorney are the value of your claim, the strength of your assertion that your injuries are work-related, whether Amazon Flex’s insurer might be able to establish the ABC test, and whether your treating physician’s determination that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement is certain.
In most cases, if you accept a lump sum, you will need to sign a settlement agreement agreeing to waive certain rights. For instance, you’ll probably need to waive your rights to claim any further disability payments even if there’s a chance your condition could worsen. If you are not fully healed at the point at which you sign the lump sum settlement agreement, this waiver of your rights could be disastrous. For instance, if you accepted a lump sum settlement for a work-related skull fracture that was not properly treated or diagnosed, you will not be able to seek further disability pay once the settlement is approved by an arbitrator of the Illinois Industrial Commission. Even if a subsequent physician correctly diagnoses your traumatic brain injury and believes that it will leave you unable to drive due to a permanent cognitive impairment, you will still be barred from seeking compensation.Third-Party Lawsuit
If the crash was caused by someone else, you may be able to sue the person or entity who caused it for damages. In that case, you’d likely to need to show negligence: (1) the other driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the other driver departed from the duty to use reasonable care, (3) the other driver caused your injuries and (4) you suffered damages. However, none of these elements must be shown to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney
If you’re an Amazon Flex driver in Chicago, you should discuss your claim with the experienced attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent injured Amazon Flex drivers in Rockford, Champaign, Aurora, and as well as Cook, Kane, Adams, Winnebago and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.