Lyft Drivers With Permanent and Total Disabilities
As a rideshare driver for Lyft, you may have enjoyed flexibility in your work life. However, you may also face significant hardship if you are permanently and disabled by a work-related accident or cumulative injuries. It may have been difficult to save enough money as a Lyft driver to address your medical expenses and the time you need to take off of work to recover in case of an unexpected injury. Further, Lyft may have misclassified you as an independent contractor for the purpose of sidestepping certain legal requirements, such as providing workers’ compensation. While this area of law is unsettled, Illinois courts could potentially find that you are not an independent contractor, but an employee entitled to protections such as workers’ compensation. If you are a Lyft driver and believe you are entitled to permanent and total disability benefits due to being injured on the job, we may be able to assist you. Our dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can review your case and help you determine what your legal rights may be.Establishing That You Are an Employee
As a Lyft driver, you may have signed a contract agreeing you should be treated as an independent contractor, but this contract isn’t necessarily controlling on the issue of what your relationship with the company is. An Illinois court will use the ABC test to determine whether you should be treated as an employee. It is possible that Lyft drivers may be able to pass this test depending on the facts of their individual cases, though this is an evolving area of law, and it is not certain how a court would rule on this issue.
Under this test, you will only be deemed an independent contractor if Lyft can show: (1) you’re free from control or direction over your work performance, (2) the work you do is done outside Lyft’s places of businesses and outside its customary business, and (3) you’re involved in another trade, job, profession, or business that’s different and independent from Lyft.Lyft Drivers With Permanent and Total Disabilities
You are considered permanently and totally disabled if your work-related injury renders you completely unable to work again. You must have reached maximum medical improvement in order to claim these benefits. Maximum medical improvement occurs once your health care provider thinks you won’t improve beyond the extent of your recovery thus far. Your employer’s insurer may try to avoid paying permanent and total disability benefits, which are calculated as 2/3 of your average weekly pay, and are paid out for the rest of your life. The amount of these benefits is adjusted periodically to address changes in the cost of living. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can discuss with you what these fluctuations in benefit amounts may mean for you over time.
A permanent and total disability can be established in two ways. First, you can show you’re not able to work anymore at all. Second, you can show you’ve totally lost the use of both of your hands, feet, arms, legs, or eyes, or a combination of two of these body parts. You could establish permanent total disability if you were in a serious car crash while working for Lyft and became paralyzed such that you could no longer drive. In that scenario, if the crash was caused by a third party, you might also be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit for damages. For another example, you could also establish permanent and total disability if you lost control of your vehicle and slammed into the concrete median, resulting in you losing function in both your legs. You’ll need documentation to show your permanent and total disability, and you should also document your job search so that you can establish you’re unable to get a job.Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Chicago Area Residents
Most people do not have enough saved up in case they become completely disabled. If you are a Lyft driver with a permanent and total disability after a job-related accident, you can talk to the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm can represent injured workers in Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign, and across Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Adams, and Winnebago Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525, or via our online form.