Workers’ Compensation Hearings for Amazon Flex Drivers
Amazon Flex drivers are gig workers who deliver packages using their own vehicles for Amazon. They pick up packages from delivery stations and deliver them to customers within a particular time window. As workers who drive for a living, Amazon Flex drivers are at risk of repetitive stress and acute injuries. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system designed to provide injured employees with benefits without requiring them to prove that their employer or anyone else was at fault. Employers obtain workers’ compensation insurance or receive approval to be self-insured. Amazon Flex drivers may incorrectly assume that they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Call the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to understand how workers’ compensation hearings for Amazon Flex drivers will be conducted.Amazon Flex Drivers
Like other rideshare services, Amazon Flex works through an app. Drivers schedule work in blocks that they choose through the app. Drivers may be provided with regular shifts, as well as the possibility of instant offers to add deliveries to their shift. As an Amazon Flex driver, you may spend many hours behind the wheel trying to earn more money. This increases the possibility of a repetitive stress injury as well as the possibility of a catastrophic injury in an accident. As an Amazon Flex driver, you may be left without the ability to earn income even as medical bills come rolling in.
You should be aware that some employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors to avoid following labor laws and paying workers’ compensation benefits in case of injury. As an Amazon Flex driver, you are presumed an employee under Illinois law, even if you signed a contract to the contrary.
In order to defeat that presumption, Amazon Flex would need to meet what’s called the ABC test at your workers’ compensation hearing. It would need to show: (1) you were free from its control or direction in how you drove and delivered packages, (2) driving and the delivery of packages were outside its ordinary course of business, and (3) you were working in an independently established occupation. If Amazon Flex cannot show these elements at the hearing, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury.Workers’ Compensation Hearings for Amazon Flex Drivers
At a workers’ compensation hearing, you and the insurer will have an opportunity to present your case before an arbitrator. There are multiple different arbitrators that may be assigned to hear your case depending on where in the state your claim arose.
Although the workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system in which you can obtain benefits even if you are partially or fully to blame for your own injuries, you will still need to show that your injuries are work-related. You will likely need to testify as to the events leading up to your injury and any limitations your doctor has placed upon you due to your injuries. For instance, if you sustained multiple leg fractures and were paralyzed, leaving you permanently unable to drive as the result of an accident, you may need to testify as to what happened and what treatment you’ve been through in connection with your injuries.Third-Party Lawsuit
If you were injured due to the fault of another, it may be appropriate to seek compensatory damages through a third-party lawsuit. Unlike a hearing for workers’ compensation benefits, a third-party lawsuit requires you to show that another party acted with negligence. You would need to prove: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. For instance, if a big rig struck your vehicle while you were delivering packages for Amazon in your car, you might sustain serious injuries. A successful third-party lawsuit against the big rig driver and trucking company would allow you to recover all of your lost income, instead of just the portion provided through disability benefits. You would also be able to recover pain and suffering damages.Hire a Seasoned Chicago Lawyer
To protect your rights, consider retaining an experienced attorney during workers’ compensation hearings for Amazon Flex drivers. The seasoned lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca handle the workers’ compensation claims of Amazon Flex drivers in Chicago, Rockford, Quincy, Aurora, and Champaign. We also represent Amazon Flex drivers in Cook, Kane, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. We represent clients in workers’ compensation, personal injury and SSDI cases — we can figure out which forms of relief would appropriate for you. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.