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Civil remedies for cabdrivers to pursue without a lawyer

By Donald S Nathan Esq - Posted on 15 October 2008

Workers Compensation

Surprisingly enough, a recovery can be made at the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission without the help of a lawyer, although it is unlikely that a cabdriver on his or her own is going to do well.

The basics can be found on the web page of the IWCC, and if a cabdriver is without internet access or savvy, he or she can to the same State of Illinois Building to the 8th floor to get pamphlets and all kinds of help from the staff who are fantastically helpful.

The pamphlets are printed up in simple language, and the way the law is set up, it is possible to figure out what kind of rate you can expect to use to calculate what is coming to you.

Cabdrivers usually have problems come over the questions of whether they are independent contractors or employees and whether they have reported income so as to be able to make a workers compensation claim for anything above the minimum rate.

Obviously a cabdriver who reports no income is going to have to face the consequence under the Workers Compensation Act as he does under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. Underthe CVCA, he gets nothing at all
for loss of wages. But under the IWCA, he gets the minimum rate which varies depending on when the injury may have taken place. It is not too generous.

If a driver reports something in the area of $25,000 per year, that driver is going to be able to be paid about $330 per week while temporarily disabled and depending on the nature and extent of his or her injury, a multiple of $300 per week for permanent disability. The arbitrators are very cautious about not letting an unrepresented person be brutalized, so if you goit alone, you can expect at least a little protection from your judge.

Of course, writing as an attorney, I would never encourage anyone to go to a court without someone schooled in the law at his or her side. This is especially so the case for anyone who has difficulty speaking for himself or herself. But so many cabdrivers are able to do just as well at expressing
themselves as do lawyers.

In fact, my experience with so many of the lawyers who have worked for me over the years has been that so many of my cabdriver clients have been more capable with the English language than they were. Some of the suggestions above might help toward that end.