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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Can Uber and Lyft Drivers File for Workers' Compensation Benefits?

Since its inception in 2010, Uber has exploded to become a storming international success- with more than 6 million registered drivers. Lyft is a leading example of companies that followed in the trail-blazed bath- helping to revolutionize the way people get from A to B. 

Those millions of drivers working as rideshare drivers- full-time or as a side job for extra income- spend hours on the road and are at risk of injury while working- but can Uber and Lyft drivers file for workers' compensation? 

These benefits protect workers from financial hardship if they are hurt on the job- but a lack of understanding about whether or not Lyft and Uber drivers are technically employees throws eligibility into question. 

Larrimer & Larrimer is here to provide guidance and legal assistance for any worker or driver trying to determine if they are eligible- and what to do if they are. We can also consult on how mental health affects workers' compensation claims.

Are Uber and Lyft Drivers Covered by Workers' Compensation Laws?

Are Uber and Lyft Drivers Covered by Workers' Compensation Laws?

Yes, Uber and Lyft drivers are covered by workers' compensation. Despite a history of refusing to pay any benefits, rideshare companies are now being held accountable. 

Like any employees of any company, rideshare drivers have the right to financial coverage- such as disability benefits, medical expenses, and lost wages- if they suffer an injury on the job. 

Aren't They Classified as Independent Contractors?

Unfortunately, much of the success created by Uber and Lyft has come on the backs of exploitative contracts and skirted responsibilities. 

In the past, these companies have been able to deny coverage and other workers' rights based on the fact their drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. 

However, these practices have faced immense scrutiny, and changes in laws have made it much harder for this to happen. Drivers now have more protection and access to benefits, thanks to years of legal challenges and complaints. 

In short, even if a ridesharing company classifies drivers as independent contractors, the law does not agree. Despite disagreement from some federal court judges, the general feeling is that Lyft and Uber drivers are incorrectly classified and should be considered employees- and be treated as such. For more information, workers compensation lawyers in Columbus may be able to help.

Can a Lyft or Uber Driver be Denied Workers' Compensation Benefits?

Nowadays, thanks to the leaps forward following various lawsuits, it is very difficult for companies like Uber and Lyft to deny workers' compensation benefits. 

They can no longer refuse coverage based on the fact they are an independent contractor- but the circumstances of the rideshare accident and injury must qualify before benefits can be paid. 

Any company can deny (or attempt to deny) workers' compensation if the injured party is at fault or acted negligently. The accident must also have happened during working hours. 

For example, an accident on the way to collect passengers- or while there are passengers in the car- would count as working hours. 

An incident that occurs when the person is driving their car for personal use with no connection to an Uber or Lyft customer may not qualify.

Workers' Comp Benefits VS. Driver Injury Protection Insurance

Most companies where people use their own cars require independent auto insurance, but Uber does offer some additional insurance options to their drivers. 

Optional injury protection insurance is designed to resemble workers' compensation benefits- paying out similar types of coverage in the event of a car accident injury. 

However, there are a few key differences to consider.

First of all, workers' compensation coverage is paid into by employers- as the law demands in most states. Uber drivers who opt into optional injury protection insurance pay the premium out of their earnings.

The maximum wage replacement rate is also much lower than most workers' compensation schemes- topping out at around 50% of the average weekly rideshare driver wage. 

Uber also used their own doctors, who can deny claims at their discretion. With workers' compensation, a state-appointed board usually makes that decision.

Lastly, there is no possibility to appeal a denied claim directly through Uber's optional coverage. The only course is pursuing binding arbitration- which can be a lengthy and expensive process. 

How Can Workers' Compensation Benefit Uber and Lyft Drivers?

Workers' compensation laws vary from state to state, but the general benefits are similar. The cover usually includes:

  • Payment of medical bills relating to the injury

  • The cost of emergency and at-home medical care

  • Prescriptions and surgeries following the accident

  • Lost income

  • Other ongoing medical benefits, such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation

  • Reimbursement of medical travel expenses

  • Funeral costs and survivor benefits if the accident is fatal

Any employee who suffers an injury or illness as a result of their job can face complications for their health and finances. Workers' compensation exists to protect those people. 

Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim as a Rideshare Driver

Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim as a Rideshare Driver

Workers' compensation claims are made directly with the employer- but putting together the claim can be tricky. It is crucial to include evidence of the circumstances surrounding the incident, the subsequent costs, and potential future complications. 

Injured drivers should document their injuries- along with medical records from their practitioner- and lay out a clear case of how they are affected.

Having professional legal guidance helps ensure the claim is sufficiently constructed- and can act as a protective barrier should the claim be denied. 

Larrimer & Larrimer Sees Justice Done for Injured Workers and Drivers

The professional workers' compensation attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer fight for the best outcomes for injured drivers. They help ridesharing drivers explore their legal options and build a strong claim to put to the companies they work for. 

Securing legal guidance through this often complex process improves the likelihood of a successful claim- and takes the burden off the shoulders of the recovering injured party. 

Arrange a Free Consultation Today

Work with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer who cares at Larrimer & Larrimer. This team of elite legal minds helps rideshare drivers get the financial support they are entitled to following an injury at work. They can also explain how to fire an workers comp attorney.

Rideshare companies have gotten away with mislabelling employees and avoiding workers' compensation liability too many times, but state laws and regulations are changing. 

Give yourself the best chance of success by arranging a free consultation with experts in the field. Contact Larrimer & Larrimer today. 

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