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​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Lyft Drivers With Back Injuries

Chicago Lawyers for Rideshare Workers Harmed On the Job

Back pain can be intense, subjective, and difficult to manage. Among other things, it can make it difficult to move or drive. Sometimes imaging shows a significant herniated disc, and yet there may not be significant pain. In other cases, a muscle strain can be debilitating. It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose and treat back injuries, which can also make it challenging to bring a workers’ compensation claim related to a back injury. If you are a Lyft driver with a back injury, you may face significant medical costs and be unable to drive. Sometimes, it’s possible to get workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related back injury. In other cases, there may be other recourse such as a personal injury lawsuit or SSDI benefits. A knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you evaluate your legal options.

Lyft Drivers with Back Injuries

As a Lyft driver, you rely on your back to be functioning well in order to make money. Unfortunately, back injuries are very common. The back is composed of muscles, nerves, bones, and tissue. Most structures in the back are interconnected and can be injured and cause pain. The spine is a crucial part of the back and it includes 33 bones that encase the spinal cord. Cartilage in the form of a disc sits between the bones and provides shock absorption in a functional back. Both large and small nerves that are irritated can cause back pain. Muscles in the back can be strained. Joints and ligaments can also suffer injury.

Sometimes, in a car accident or another trauma, a herniated disc may arise, meaning the gel-like substance inside the shock absorber pushes through a tear in the outer shell of the disc. This displacement may press on nerves and cause pain. The symptoms of a disc herniation can vary tremendously. Sometimes there is numbness or weakness, in addition to pain.

Sometimes trauma in an accident can result in spondylolisthesis, which involves vertebrae at the bottom of the spine slipping. The symptoms can involve muscle weakness, pain in the legs and buttocks, muscle stiffness, and lower back pain. When a disc ruptures, the material may leak out and compress a nerve root, causing cervical radiculopathy.

Workers’ Compensation

If your back injury is work-related, you might be able to make a workers’ compensation claim. Usually, when you sign on with Lyft or another rideshare service, your employment agreement will specify that Lyft is classifying you as an independent contractor. Many companies classify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits and payroll taxes and complying with the special legal protections put in place for employees. You should not assume they’ve classified you correctly. Instead you should seek representation from an experienced attorney to determine whether you should be classified as an employee.

There is a split among courts as to whether it’s appropriate for Lyft drivers or other rideshare drivers to claim workers’ compensation benefits and other privileges employees get. Illinois has adopted what’s known as the ABC test when evaluating the claims of independent contractors, and it is possible that under this test you will be found to be an employee eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for back injuries that are work-related. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will consider several different factors to decide whether you should get workers’ compensation benefits.

If you’re eligible for benefits, you can get your medical costs paid through workers’ compensation and you may also be able to get disability pay. These are calculated in different ways depending on the extent of your disability.

Consult a Skillful Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you are a Lyft driver with a back injury, you can seek out the help of an experienced, tenacious Chicago lawyer, preferably one with experience handling workers’ compensation claims, personal injury lawsuits, and SSDI claims. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we are available to represent injured drivers in Rockford, Quincy, Champaign, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Kane, Adams, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Contact us at 312-724-5846 or by completing our online form.