We have helped tens of thousands injured people and would love to help you. Call us any time for free at 888-705-1766 to speak with an attorney.

The job world has dramatically changed over the last 20 years. When I graduated law school in 1997, there wasn’t a “gig economy.” It’s great that so many money earning opportunities have been created where people can work at their own pace when they want. Some of these companies are better than others. The most popular ones are probably Uber and Lyft.

We’ve been called my hundreds of ride share drivers over the years who have been injured in a car accident and are looking to see if Uber/Lyft has to provide them workers’ compensation benefits. While there’s certainly an argument that the amount of control over pricing means they are actually employees, the courts have so far treated these drivers as true independent contractors. And under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act they probably are.

So unfortunately, the only way to help a ride share driver get workers comp benefits is if they took out a work comp policy on themselves. In that case, which rarely happens, they are their own employer and covered for injuries sustained while working. They would get the same benefits any other employee gets.

Where we have been able to help these drivers is when someone else is at fault for the accident. It could be a rider who attacked them. It could be another car that ran into them. In those cases, when there is an injury, there is likely a personal injury case to be made. And if Uber/Lyft had reason to know the passenger was violent, there could be a lawsuit against them too. Both companies have been shady at times in my opinion when it comes to covering accidents and injuries that occur while driving.

A final issue that comes up is a lot of injured workers have side hustles like this. Sometimes these earnings can and should be included in average weekly wage calculations. This can greatly increase the amount your settlement is worth and if you can’t drive due to the work injury from a different job, you may be entitled to compensation for lost earnings. This is all a part of the full analysis we or any good attorney does when representing an injured worker. They should be asking you if you have any other sources of income and if they don’t you should bring it up.

Please note that it would not surprise me if how Uber and Lyft drivers injuries get handled changes some day. In other words, I’m writing this in 2024, but if you are stumbling upon this years later, reach out to make sure the law is still the same.