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Uber Drivers With Permanent and Total Disabilities

Lawyers for Injured Workers in Chicago

When rideshare drivers are injured on the job such that they can no longer drive and require medical care, they may not have a financial safety net to cushion them. Sometimes companies designate certain workers, such as rideshare drivers, as independent contractors specifically to avoid providing the protections they owe to employees under the law. Employees are protected by the workers’ compensation system, which was designed to make it easier for an injured worker to obtain financial relief than it is to bring a civil lawsuit for damages if they are hurt on the job. However, businesses don’t have the last word with regard to whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor. If you’re an Uber driver with permanent and total disabilities because of a work-related injury, you may be able to pursue benefits. You can discuss your circumstances with the compassionate Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca.

ABC Test

If you are an Uber driver in Illinois, Uber’s designation of you as an independent contractor is not necessarily controlling. Illinois courts follow the ABC test in determining someone’s employment status. Under this test, you are considered to be an employee unless it’s proven in a proceeding that: (1) you have been and will continue to be free from Uber’s direction or control over your performance, both in fact and under your contract, (2) your services are outside the usual course of Uber’s business, and (3) you’re also engaged in an independently established business, profession, occupation, or trade in addition to the work you do for Uber. As an Uber driver, you can potentially pass this test, though it is uncertain how a court would rule on this question.

Uber Drivers with Permanent and Total Disabilities

You may be eligible for permanent and total disability benefits if you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and can no longer work. If you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, this means that your doctor doesn’t expect you to get better beyond how much you’ve already recovered. Permanent and total disability benefits are paid for the remainder of an employee’s life. Often, however, employers and their insurers challenge whether claimants qualify for this type of benefit because it is so expensive, but a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney can help you aggressively pursue coverage.

To obtain permanent and total disability benefits, you will have to establish that you are unable to work or get a stable job due to your injuries, or that you have completely lost the use of both of your arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes, or a combination of two body parts. For example, if you were in an accident while driving for Uber and you were in a crash that resulted in the crushing of both your arms, you may be eligible for permanent and total disability benefits.

In addition to facing difficulties in showing you’re a misclassified employee, you may face difficulties showing that your permanent and total disability was caused by your work as an Uber driver and that you aren’t able to get another job. You’ll need to submit evidence in support of your claim for benefits, such as your medical records, your doctor’s testimony, and documentation about your job search.

Benefits

If you’re able to show that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor and that you have a permanent and total disability, you can get 2/3 of your average weekly pay as your permanent and total disability benefits. These come with periodic cost-of-living adjustments. There are also maximum and minimum benefit amounts based on the statewide average weekly wage, which is adjusted twice a year.

Chicago Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you are an Uber driver who is permanently and totally disabled after being injured on the job, you can discuss your situation with the Chicago lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We are available to represent workers’ compensation clients in Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign, and throughout Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Adams, and Winnebago Counties. We can also examine your circumstances to determine whether you’re eligible for other remedies outside of the workers’ compensation system. For example, an Uber driver who is seriously injured in a crash caused by someone else may have a basis to sue for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525, or through our online form.