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Shoulder Injuries for Lyft Drivers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Rideshare Gig Workers

Shoulder injuries for Lyft drivers can result from damage to tendons, ligaments and muscles, or even bones. If your shoulder injury was sustained while working as a Lyft driver, you may need to bring a workers’ compensation claim for medical care and disability pay. Driving, particularly steering, requires the use of the shoulder. If your injury requires medical treatment or will prevent you from working, it’s important to discuss your claim with our knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we are dedicated to helping people seek compensation for their injuries.

Presumption that Workers are Employees

Perhaps you signed an employment agreement with Lyft that states you are an independent contractor. However, you are presumed to be an employee in Illinois, unless Lyft can demonstrate you aren’t an employee by proving: (1) Lyft doesn’t control the rideshare driving you do for the company, (2) its customary business isn’t driving, and (3) you also perform another separate job. If Lyft cannot make this showing, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Lyft or its insurer may not deny the claim right off the bat. However, even if Lyft is making some payments, you should be aware that you may be subject to social media or in-person surveillance to verify whether your injuries are as severe as claimed. There may be an abrupt cessation of benefits, or payment of some benefits, while denying others to which you’re entitled. Your lawyer can verify whether your benefits were calculated properly.

Shoulder Injuries for Lyft Drivers

Shoulder injuries are varied. They can affect any part of the shoulder, leaving you unable to drive. Shoulder injuries that may affect your work include rotator cuff tears, labral tears, tendonitis, dislocation, impingement, bursitis or frozen shoulder. While shoulder injuries may result from a car accident, they can also develop from engaging in repetitive motions while driving. Sometimes, a shoulder injury may not be immediately apparent after an accident. Instead, its symptoms are delayed, and you may not notice them until sometime after the accident.

Benefits for Shoulder Injuries for Lyft Drivers

Workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related shoulder injury include reasonable and necessary medical care, temporary and permanent disability benefits, medical mileage, and vocational rehabilitation. For mild shoulder injuries, you may simply need time to rest your shoulder and undergo physical therapy. Under those circumstances, workers’ compensation should provide medical care, including physical therapy, as well as temporary total disability pay. However, when work-related shoulder injuries are serious or catastrophic, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.

Permanent disability benefits may be calculated in different ways. These methods are wage differential benefits, percentage of loss of the person as a whole, scheduled injury, and degree of disfigurement. In the scheduled injury method, body parts are assigned a maximum number of weeks of permanent partial disability benefits. For instance, if you injure your shoulder such that you completely and permanently lose the use of your arm, you may be able to obtain benefits for the loss of an arm for 253 weeks.

Third-Party Lawsuit

One advantage of the worker’s compensation system is that injured workers do not have to establish that their employer was at fault in order to obtain benefits. Likewise, the employer cannot reduce benefits because the employees were partially to blame for their own injuries. However, workers’ compensation benefits don’t cover all of the losses associated with significant injuries. You won’t be able to obtain your full wages, nor will you be able to obtain pain and suffering damages for your shoulder injuries. If a negligent driver ran a red light and collided with your vehicle while you were driving for Lyft, you may be able to obtain damages in a third-party lawsuit against the driver. In a negligence lawsuit, you must show that the other driver was obliged to use reasonable care, but breached that duty, causing your shoulder injuries as a result of which you sustained damages. There may be another basis for a third-party lawsuit arising out of an accident. For example, you may be able to pursue damages for a shoulder injury in a product liability or premises liability lawsuit.

Retain a Chicago Attorney Who Represents Lyft Drivers

If you’ve suffered a shoulder injury while driving for Lyft, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent Lyft drivers with workers’ compensation claims in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.