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Uber Drivers With Cartilage Injuries

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Chicago Area Residents

Cartilage is tissue that helps to cushion joints. It allows bones to move against each other without much friction. When portions of cartilage are worn or torn off, subchrondral bone is exposed; in this situation it may be necessary to treat the missing areas of cartilage. Both repetitive motions and serious car accidents can result in an Uber driver suffering cartilage injuries. If you were injured on the job, an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can assess the facts of your case and potentially help you make a claim for benefits.

Cartilage Injuries from Driving

Uber drivers may suffer cartilage injuries due to repetitive motion or due to an acute injury arising out of a car accident. Cartilage in the knee, hips, shoulders and other joints can become damaged through repeated friction or a single trauma. The size of the injuries and their location will determine what kind of treatment is appropriate. A doctor may prescribe nonoperative treatments involving rest, NSAIDs, or injections. However, if that doesn’t work, a doctor may order surgery. There are different kinds of surgery that may provide relief, including microfracture and chrondoplasty.

Uber Drivers with Cartilage Injuries

Uber usually asks its drivers to sign an employment agreement that specifies the driver’s role as that of an independent contractor. Companies do not need to pay their independent contractors workers’ compensation benefits or unemployment benefits; these are privileges reserved for employees. An employer may formally misclassify workers precisely in order to avoid paying taxes and providing benefits they may need, and to discourage them from pursuing relief. As an Uber driver, you may not be able to drive or work if your cartilage injuries are disabling, and you may need workers’ compensation benefits. You shouldn’t assume that Uber’s characterization of you as an independent contractor is binding.

In determining a worker’s employment status, Illinois courts follow what’s known as the ABC test. Under this test, several factors will be scrutinized to determine whether the law should treat you as an independent contractor or employee. These factors can include whether the work you do as a driver falls within Uber’s central business, whether you are working for anyone else, and how much Uber controls you while you’re working. If you’re performing work as an Uber driver and your way of doing the work falls within Uber’s control, and you aren’t working for anyone else, there is potentially an argument that you should be treated as an employee who is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You should keep in mind that this area of law is still evolving, and it’s not entirely certain how a court would interpret the ABC test factors in your case. A seasoned work injury attorney can help you put forth the most relevant arguments for your situation.

Notification

After you’re injured on the job, you’ll need to provide written notice to Uber of your job-related cartilage injury. If you can establish that you are an employee of Uber, and not an independent contractor, you can theoretically obtain workers’ compensation benefits like disability pay, coverage for medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation. Your injuries will dictate which benefits are available and their amount. If you are temporarily disabled because of your cartilage injury such that you can’t work, you may be able to get temporary total disability benefits. If you need to undergo surgery to repair your damaged cartilage, you may be able to obtain benefits to do this. The inquiry will be whether the medical costs you want the insurer to cover are considered reasonably necessary to treat your condition. If you are eligible for disability benefits, these are paid weekly in an amount equaling 2/3 of your average weekly wage.

Chicago Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you want to bring a workers’ compensation claim as an Uber driver with a cartilage injury in Chicago, you can call us to determine what your legal options may be. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, our seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers can represent disabled drivers in Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, and Rockford, along with Kane, Cook, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.