Uber Drivers With Pre-Existing Conditions
As an Uber driver who has suffered injuries on the job, you may assume that you’re not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, since these benefits are only available to employees. You may also worry about making a claim if you have a pre-existing condition. However, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, in spite of how your employer has classified you, even if you’ve signed a contract agreeing you are an independent contractor. If you’re an Uber driver with a pre-existing condition that has been aggravated on the job, the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can help you assert your legal rights.Uber Drivers with Workers’ Compensation Claims
Many rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors because their employers want to save money and avoid paying benefits. However, an employer’s classification isn’t necessarily accurate or binding for purposes of a workers’ compensation determination. Uber may have misclassified you for its own benefit, and you can consult an attorney about your particular situation.
Courts are divided about whether rideshare drivers such as Uber drivers should be treated as employees or independent contractors. Illinois has adopted the ABC test to settle claims of this nature. In order to avoid paying you benefits in a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, Uber must show that you are not controlled by the company, that you’re an independent professional who provides services to other companies, and that the service you render isn’t Uber’s core business. Uber’s business is rideshares — it would be very hard for it to show that what you provide as a rideshare driver isn’t its core business. Further, if you don’t work for another ride-share company or other business, it may not be able to show you’re an independent professional.
Often Uber will put up a fight against the idea it should have to pay workers’ compensation benefits. It is even more likely to argue forcefully that you shouldn’t get benefits if you have a pre-existing condition when you make the workers’ compensation claim. So long as your pre-existing condition was aggravated or exacerbated by the work, you should be able to get benefits as an injured employee.Pre-Existing Conditions
The fact that you had a pre-existing condition at the time of your work injury isn’t sufficient grounds on its own to deny an otherwise valid claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Assuming you can make the case that you’re an employee, 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. It can be important to be able to trace the aggravation to a specific time and event that occurred on the job. For example, if you suffer a ruptured disc and you are claiming workers’ compensation, you should be able to show that what you were doing on the job aggravated the disc to the point of rupture, even if, years ago, you were in another accident that caused a slight herniated disc.Third Party Claims
If you were in a car crash on the job that aggravated your pre-existing condition, you may have a third party claim. This claim might arise against the other driver, a manufacturer, or a property owner. For example, if you were in a crash caused by a drunk driver that left you paralyzed, you may be able to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, and you may also be able to obtain compensatory, and even punitive damages by suing the drunk driver. We’re skilled at going after benefits through a workers’ compensation claim, but we are also experienced personal injury and SSDI attorneys who can look at all possible sources of compensation and pursue those avenues of relief.Chicago Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you’re an Uber driver with a pre-existing condition that has been aggravated on the job, you can talk to a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in Chicago regarding your rights. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent workers in Champaign, Rockford, Aurora and Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Cook, Adams, Kane, Winnebago Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.