Uber Drivers With Repetitive Stress Injuries
Most drivers know there is the risk of accidents when driving, but some may not be aware that driving for long periods every day can result in repetitive stress injuries. These are injuries caused by overuse and repetitive motion. If you are an Uber driver with a repetitive stress injury, you may assume that you are out of luck in terms of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits because you signed a contract that specifies that you are an independent contractor. You may be worried about how you’ll take time off from driving to allow your body to recover, when the only source of your income is driving. However, you may have been misclassified. If you are in this situation, it is advisable to consult with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney who may be able to help you make a claim for benefits.Uber Drivers with Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are those that affect the tendons, nerves, and muscles as a result of repeated motions and overuse. Symptoms of repetitive stress injury include pain, tenderness, stiffness, throbbing, tingling, numbness, cramps, or weakness. Symptoms may be mild, but develop into severe pain over time. Uber drivers more often experience repetitive stress injuries if they sit for very long periods of time, have poor posture, sit in an improper position, or lift their passengers’ bags frequently.Qualifying for Workers’ Compensation
You will need to be able to show you were an employee of Uber to get workers’ compensation benefits. The legal agreement you signed with Uber isn’t the final word on whether you’re an independent contractor. Worker misclassification is a big problem, since many employers misclassify workers in order to avoid paying workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits. The court will examine several factors to decide whether you were, in fact, an employee, including to what extent Uber controls how you do your job, Uber’s method of payment, whether taxes are taken out, and whether Uber furnishes the car and other tools you use to do your job. The specific facts should be examined to see whether you can raise a viable workers’ compensation claim, and a knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help. Seeking workers’ compensation benefits can be especially important in cases involving repetitive stress injuries that arise as a result of driving for long periods of time; unlike injuries arising from an accident, there is nobody else to make a third party claim against for compensation.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you are able to show you are an employee injured on the job with a repetitive stress injury, benefits you may be able to recover include medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. Repetitive stress injuries that are the result of driving may result in temporary total disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits are paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage up to a state maximum, with a maximum benefit of $1440.60 each week. Temporary disability benefits are paid after three days of work are missed; the first three days are left unpaid unless you miss over 14 days of work, in which case the three initial days are paid retroactively.
If your employer is not paying you workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll need to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. This process is initiated by filing an Application for Adjustment of Claim within 3 years of your injury or disability.Retain a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you are an Uber driver with a repetitive stress injury in Chicago, you should not assume that you can’t get workers’ compensation benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we keep up with this evolving area of law and the rules related to misclassification, and we represent injured workers in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Cook, Adams, Kane, and Winnebago Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or by completing our online form.