Lyft Drivers With Repetitive Stress Injuries
If you are a Lyft driver, you probably spend long hours in the car. This can result in repetitive stress injuries. As an employee, you would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for repetitive stress injuries. However, when you started, you may have a signed an agreement in which Lyft called you an independent contractor. You should not assume this agreement is the final word on whether you’re an independent contractor. Employee misclassification is very common because many employers don’t want the additional costs of hiring an employee and needing to pay for workers’ compensation benefits or unemployment benefits. You can consult a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney about whether you may have been misclassified and whether your repetitive stress injuries from driving entitle you to seek workers’ compensation benefits.Repetitive Stress Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that repetitive stress injuries are among the most quickly growing occupational injuries. Around 1/3 of all cases involving days away from work involve a musculoskeletal injury, which is what repetitive stress injuries are. If you sit in the same position for a long time or repeatedly perform the same tasks, you are at risk of a repetitive stress injury. Because these injuries develop gradually, you may not have sought diagnosis or treatment until the condition has become disabling. However, if this condition isn’t treated, you may face greater pain and disability as a Lyft driver with a repetitive stress injury.Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In Illinois, the workers’ compensation system was designed to be a no-fault system. As an employee, you don’t need to show your employer was negligent or otherwise at fault for your accident in order to receive benefits. Likewise, your employer cannot get your benefits reduced because you were at fault for your repetitive stress injuries due to poor posture or another reason. Rather, you need to show: (1) you’re an employee and (2) your injury occurred on the job or because of tasks performed at work.
Worker misclassification is very common, especially among rideshare companies. However, whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor is a legal question. You do not have to take Lyft’s word for it that you’re an independent contractor and not entitled to benefits. In order to convince the court that you’re an employee entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll need to show that multiple factors add up to you being an employee. The court will examine the extent to which Lyft controls how you do your job, its right to fire you, how you are paid, whether it furnishes what you use to do your job, and whether the employer takes taxes out of your pay. There may be a strong argument to be made that Lyft drivers are employees and therefore entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Chicago, and a skilled work injury lawyer can evaluate the facts of your case to determine what legal claims may be available to you.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers all injuries sustained by an employee that are caused in part or entirely by a job. This includes coverage of pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by the job.
Benefits to which you may be entitled for as a Lyft driver with repetitive stress injuries include medical expenses, rehabilitation, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. There are different types of disability benefits meant to partially replace the wages you would have otherwise earned had you not been injured. Temporary total disability benefits are equal to 2/3 of your average gross weekly wage if you’re unable to work while recovering.Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving Chicago
If you are a Lyft driver with a repetitive stress injury, you can discuss your circumstances with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who understands how to fight misclassification. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured workers in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as Adams, Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, and Cook Counties. We can also look at the situation that caused your injury to determine whether you have other options for relief, such as a third party lawsuit or a Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.