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Uber Drivers With Burn Injuries

Chicago Lawyers for Workers’ Compensation Claims

Sometimes car accidents result in burn injuries that are devastating. Burns are classified according to severity, with first degree burns being the least serious. Fourth degree burns, which are the most serious burns, involve damage to bones, muscles or tendons. If you are an Uber driver with burn injuries that you suffered while working, you should discuss your situation with a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. While your employer may have misclassified you as an independent contractor ineligible for workers’ compensation and other benefits that accrue to employees, you may in fact be an employee under the law.

Uber Drivers with Burn Injuries

When burn injuries are severe, they require prompt medical treatment to avoid infection and other harm. After an accident resulting in burns, you should immediately seek out emergency care, and you should notify Uber in writing of the work-related burn injury. You should also seek counsel so that you can file a workers’ compensation claim.

Under the ABC test, which Illinois courts follow, you are an employee unless it’s proven in the relevant proceeding that (1) you are free from the company’s control over the performance of services, (2) the services you provide are outside the company’s usual course of business or outside the place of business, and (3) you are engaged in an independently established profession, business, occupation or trade. If this test shows you are an employee, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Burns

Workers’ compensation benefits for burns include medical care, temporary or permanent total disability, partial disability, and vocational rehabilitation. The amount of benefits you are eligible for depends on the severity and extent of your burns. When the burns are second, third, or fourth degree, the medical care needed may be extensive. It may include not only the initial or emergency care after the incident that caused the burn, but also lifelong follow-up treatment, skin grafts, revision surgeries, and medications to address pain.

The reasonable medical treatment you require after suffering burn injuries should be fully covered through the workers’ compensation system, but unfortunately, insurance adjustors may put up a fight. Sometimes workers’ compensation insurers provide coverage for initial medical care for burn injuries, but don’t go on to cover all the other reasonable medical care that’s needed subsequently, or refuse to pay for necessary surgeries.

Burn injuries can lead to disfigurement. To be compensable, a disfigurement needs to be severe, permanent and located on a reasonably visual portion of your body, which can be on the leg below the knee, cheek, arm, hand, head, neck or face. If you sustain disfigurement to your body in areas that are not visible to others, you may not be able to get benefits for those areas of disfigurement. Further, if you lose use of a limb due to burns, you won’t be able to claim disability benefits as well as disfigurement benefits for that limb. A knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help you determine the extent of the benefits for which you may qualify.

Third-Party Lawsuits for Burns

Generally, workers’ compensation benefits do not represent the full amount of losses sustained as a result of serious injuries, and it can be a difficult and time-consuming process to get a workers’ compensation insurer to cover aspects of medical care like skin grafts and surgery. In addition to seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you may need to bring a third party lawsuit in civil court for damages if your harm was caused by someone outside of your workplace. For example, if you suffer burn injuries in a fiery car crash caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver. In a third party lawsuit, you can recover not only economic losses caused by the burns, but also noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.

Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Chicago

If you are an Uber driver with a burn injury that you sustained while working in Chicago, you should talk to the dedicated attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about your situation. We area available to represent rideshare drivers in Quincy, Champaign, Aurora and Rockford, along with Winnebago, Kane, Adams, Sangamon, and Cook Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.