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Workers' Compensation Hearings for Lyft Drivers

Chicago Lawyers Helping Injured Employees

As a Lyft driver who was injured on the job, you may be concerned that you have no recourse. You may have signed a contract specifying your independent contractor status and Lyft may tell you that you’re not entitled to benefits. However, in Illinois, there is a presumption that workers are employees. During workers’ compensation hearings for Lyft drivers, the company must overcome that presumption. To prepare for the hearing, you should call our seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Hearings may feature complicated issues, especially if you’re a rideshare driver, and it’s wise to have an experienced attorney by your side to advocate for your entitlement to benefits.

Misclassification by Lyft

At a hearing for workers’ compensation benefits, Lyft bears the burden of showing that you aren’t an employee. It will have to meet the ABC test, which means it must prove: (1) it doesn’t control or direct how you perform your driving services, (2) driving is outside Lyft’s usual business, and (3) you’re involved in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.

Workers’ Compensation Hearings for Lyft Drivers

If Lyft denies part or all of your claim, you can ask for a hearing in front of an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. To request a hearing, you need to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim. It may be wise to file the application even if you believe Lyft will accept your claim or has already paid some benefits. You can schedule a hearing more quickly if you already have an application on file.

You will probably be asked to attend an Independent Medical Exam (IME) before the hearing. This is a medical exam by a doctor chosen by the insurer. The doctor may be asked to answer specific questions about your medical condition and limitations. If you refuse to cooperate with an IME, you won’t be able to get benefits.

An arbitrator will be assigned to hear your case. There are thirteen different arbitrators who may be assigned if your case arises in Chicago. The hearing will require both you and the insurer to present the case for why benefits should be provided or denied.

Most likely, you’ll need to testify at the hearing. You’ll probably be asked how you got your injuries. You’ll also be asked about how those injuries restrict or limit your activities, such as your ability to drive. For example, if you suffered severe back injuries in a violent traffic collision as a Lyft driver, you may not be able to drive anymore. You may need permanent disability benefits. At the hearing, you might be asked how the collision happened and what kind of treatment you’ve already received. While you don’t need to prove fault in a workers’ compensation hearing, you do need to be able to establish your injuries are work-related.

You and the insurer will both need to present medical evidence to support your positions. Your treating doctor’s opinions may contradict the IME report. Both your doctor and the IME doctor may need to testify. Depending on the issues, others may also need to testify. The arbitrator will determine which position is more credible when faced with conflicting medical reports or testimony.

The arbitrator will issue an appealable decision.

Petition for Immediate Hearing

You can file a petition for immediate hearing under 19(b) if you haven’t gone back to work for Lyft and Lyft isn’t paying for your medical treatment or temporary disability payments. In most cases, a petition for immediate hearing greatly expedites the process of determining benefits. If you’re already driving for Lyft again and you’re owed less than 12 weeks of temporary total disability benefits, you can’t request an immediate hearing and you have go through the regular hearing process.

Third-Party Lawsuits

If your injuries were sustained in a car accident while on the job for Lyft, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit. As in a hearing, both you and the other party will need to present evidence. However, unlike workers’ compensation hearings, you must establish the other party’s fault in a third-party lawsuit. You’ll need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable, (2) departure from that duty, (3) the departure caused your injuries. Unlike workers’ compensation, a civil lawsuit allows you to recover noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.

Hire a Seasoned Chicago Lawyer

As a Lyft driver, you may need medical benefits after a work-related injury. Your medical bills may be piling up and you may not be able to earn money to pay them. If you’re concerned about workers’ compensation hearings for Lyft drivers in Chicago, you should call our firm. The attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca handle the claims of injured Lyft drivers in Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford. We also represent Lyft drivers in Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.