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​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Lyft Drivers With Pre-Existing Conditions

Lawyers for Rideshare Workers Hurt On the Job in Chicago

If you are a Lyft driver with a pre-existing condition that’s been aggravated on the job in Chicago, you may find yourself unable to work. You may be worried about how you’ll pay for medical care, particularly if you don’t have health insurance. Usually Lyft classifies its rideshare drivers as independent contractors. You may even have signed a contract to that effect, agreeing that you’re an independent contractor. But Lyft doesn’t get the last word on whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor. You may have been misclassified for the purpose of avoiding payment of benefits, such as workers’ compensation benefits. Rather than assume you have no recourse, you can talk to the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca regarding your potential claims.

Lyft Drivers with Pre-Existing Conditions

Courts are divided about whether Lyft drivers should be treated as employees for workers’ compensation. However, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act defers to the Employment Classification Act when it’s defining “employee.” The Employment Classification Act became effective starting in 2008, and under it, a worker is presumed to be an employee. Where a worker operates as a sole proprietor or partnership, she needs to meet a 12-part test.

Lyft is likely to argue you don’t deserve benefits, and it may try to deny you benefits not only on the grounds that it hasn’t classified you as an employee, but also on the grounds of you having a pre-existing condition. There are many medical conditions that may be aggravated by driving for hours on end. The most common of these have to do with the neck, back, and spine. However, other medical conditions can also be aggravated by constant driving and the repetitive motions associated with it, such as repeated braking. The critical issue is whether your pre-existing condition was exacerbated or aggravated by driving or some other aspect of the job.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Lyft cannot simply deny your claim because you have a pre-existing condition. However, in order to be eligible for benefits, you will need to be able to show that this condition was aggravated or exacerbated by your work. For example, if you get into a car accident while driving and suffer a serious fracture of your leg, Lyft cannot deny you benefits because you were previously in an accident and hurt your leg, such that you were more susceptible to the fracture.

Assuming you can make the case that you’re an employee rather than an independent contractor, you should be able to get workers’ compensation benefits for an exacerbation or aggravation of a pre-existing condition under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help you argue that you should be classified as an employee.


Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Illinois workers’ compensation benefits include reasonable medical care that is needed to relieve or cure the impact of an injury, vocational rehabilitation, temporary, permanent, or partial disability benefits, and death benefits. These benefits aren’t taxable. Temporary disability benefits are paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of an injured worker’s average weekly wage up to the state maximum. These benefits are paid once you miss three days of work, except where more than 14 workdays are missed, in which case the first three days are compensated as well. You can get permanent disability through a calculation of 66 2/3% of the difference in wages from before and after an injury, or else according to a schedule of injuries.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving Chicago Area Residents

If you’re a Lyft driver with a pre-existing condition that’s been worsened by your job, you can discuss your situation with legal counsel. The Chicago attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca represent workers in Quincy, Champaign, Rockford, and Aurora, as well as Winnebago, Cook, Sangamon, Kane, and Adams Counties. Our firm can look at your situation to determine whether you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. We can potentially help you seek benefits, and also figure out whether you have grounds for a personal injury or SSDI claim. Contact us at 312-724-5846 or by completing our online form.