Lump Sum Settlements for Lyft Drivers
Illinois workers who are injured on the job may receive periodic payment or lump sum settlement offers. While some workers may be enticed by receiving their money upfront, these offers carry some potential disadvantages. Lump sum settlements for Lyft drivers should be carefully reviewed by an experienced attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers can help you decide whether a lump sum settlement is beneficial or whether you would be better off accepting periodic payments.Workers’ Compensation for Rideshare Drivers
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits for injured employees when their injuries were sustained on the job. The workers’ compensation system requires employers to secure workers’ compensation insurance for employees and to notify the insurer if a worker is injured on the job so that the claim can be properly processed and benefits can be paid. However, the situation is more complicated for Lyft drivers. Even if you signed a contract specifying that you are an independent contractor and not an employee, this is not definitive. Lyft may have misclassified you by treating you as an independent contractor even though you’re actually an employee under the law.
In Illinois, courts have adopted the ABC test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor. The presumption is that you are an employee, not an independent contractor. In order for Lyft to show you are an independent contractor in a relevant proceeding, it needs to show: (1) you are free from direction or control over how you perform services, (2) the service is outside its usual course of business and (3) you’re engaged in an independently established occupation, trade, business or profession. Rideshares are the core of Lyft’s business. Assuming Lyft directs your work and you’re not engaged in an independently established business, we may be able to successfully counter Lyft’s arguments so that you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits.Benefits
You may be entitled to various workers’ compensation benefits depending on the severity of your injury. These benefits may include medical bills, costs of rehabilitation and different kinds of disability benefits that partially make up for lost income. If you’re unable to work immediately after an accident on the job, you can seek temporary total disability benefits. There are also temporary partial disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. Often disability benefits are paid periodically over time, but you may be offered a lump sum settlement.
Under certain circumstances, it may be better to receive benefits as a lump sum, rather than periodically. Because the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that certain rights are waived if a lump sum settlement is accepted, do not agree to a lump sum settlement before you have had an opportunity to speak with an attorney.Lump Sum Settlements for Lyft Drivers
A lump sum settlement usually terminates further payments to an employee for an injury. It can turn out to be less expensive for an insurer to offer you a lump sum settlement. Often the contract provides you cannot seek additional disability payments or compensation for future medical expenses.
Prior to accepting a lump sum settlement, you should consult with a lawyer and discuss the anticipated duration of your disability, how long you will be unable to work, whether the insurer is disputing your claim, how likely your disability will worsen, whether the settlement will affect benefits such as future medical care, and the total value of your claim.
It’s not prudent to accept a lump sum settlement if the status of your injuries is still evolving and changing. Rather, you should only consider a lump sum settlement if you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. For example, if your head injury worsens or later becomes a permanent total disability due to long-term memory impairment, a lump sum settlement may preclude you from obtaining additional medical benefits and disability payments.
On the other hand, if your claim is fiercely disputed, there is a risk of not getting any benefits at all and you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, you may find it helpful to accept the settlement, rather than hold out.Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney
Lump sum settlements for Lyft drivers should not be accepted before a careful review by legal counsel. If you are an injured Chicago Lyft driver, schedule a consultation with Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to discuss your situation. We represent rideshare drivers in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, along with Cook, Adams, Winnebago, Kane, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.