COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

UPS Drivers With Back Injuries

Chicago Lawyers for Delivery Service Employees

When UPS drivers operate their vehicle for long hours, this can place undue stress on their back and spine. The vibrations from traveling in a large and heavy UPS truck can stress and fatigue the back. When a UPS driver sustains a back injury on the job, the driver may be debilitated for months or even permanently. UPS drivers with back injuries may not be able to sit upright for hours or lift packages without experiencing severe pain. Injured UPS drivers should consult with the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to understand their rights.

UPS Drivers with Back Injuries

UPS drivers may sustain many different kinds of back injuries. When you have been injured, you should immediately seek medical care. Even if you believe that your employer is already aware of your injury, you should provide written notice to your supervisor or manager of your back injury. Written notice prevents the employer and insurer from later claiming they did not have notice. It also prevents your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer from trying to avoid paying benefits by saying the injury is not work-related. You may be asked to complete an accident report as well.

Denials

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may deny your claim, even though it may be valid. Some insurers deny back injury claims by asserting that the injury was not work-related or that the claimant has a pre-existing condition. Documentation by a doctor immediately after your injury can show that an injury is work-related. For example, if a driver continues working after experiencing sciatica from lifting packages and neither reports the condition nor seeks immediate medical care, the insurer may question whether the injury was sustained while participating in recreational activities instead of at work. The insurer may even conduct surveillance to see if the driver is lying or malingering. Sometimes, the insurer may visit the employee’s social media accounts and hire a private investigator follow the employee. Injured workers should be cognizant of the possibility of surveillance. The employee’s online posts or physical activities should not contradict the claimed cause or extent of injury.

Benefits

UPS drivers who sustain on-the-job back injuries are entitled to the same benefits as other employees in the state. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires most employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or apply to be self-insured so that workers injured on the job may receive benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits address economic losses arising out of back injuries, but not pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the injury, the benefits provided may include medical care, temporary and permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation and death benefits. To understand the full range of benefits available in your case, consult with a lawyer experienced in handling workers’ compensation claims.

Generally, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer should pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care to treat your work-related back injury. This could include physical therapy and corticosteroid shots. In the case of serious back injuries, the physician may also recommend back surgery. Often, insurers are skeptical of claims involving injuries that are more expensive to treat.

If the insurer asks you to complete an independent medical exam, the doctor may be biased towards the insurer and in favor of conservative treatments. You should remain cognizant that the examiner is not your treating physician.

Third Party Lawsuit

If you were injured in a vehicle crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a third-party lawsuit against the other driver. In a third party lawsuit, you may be able to recover the full scope of your losses, both economic and noneconomic, including the total amount of your past and future wage loss, replacement services, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering.

Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

UPS drivers with back injuries should discuss their workers’ compensation with the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm represents injured UPS drivers in Quincy, Aurora, Chicago, Rockford, and Champaign as well as Kane, Winnebago, Cook, Sangamon and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.