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Soon Walkways Will Be Slippery; What Should Gig Workers Know?

Posted on in Personal Injury

Barrington personal injury lawyersDespite the first COVID-19 vaccines being distributed this week, in all likelihood many people are still going to stay at home for safety during the majority of the wintertime. However, as the economy continues to recover from all the stay-at-home orders and closing businesses, many more people have entered the gig economy as delivery drivers for all sorts of companies. While postal workers and delivery drivers for mainstays like the USPS, UPS, and FedEx have been delivering for years and have plenty of safety guidelines and insurance policies in place to handle slippery sidewalks and walkways, gig workers are much newer to the threat of slips and falls on the job while delivering goods. Here is some “need-to-know” information for these gig workers about premises liability in Illinois and the possibility of receiving personal injury compensation for slip-and-fall accidents this winter while on the job. 

Why Is Premises Liability So Significant Now?

The gig economy is real, and it is growing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the delivery drivers or “gig workers” contracted to deliver goods independently through third-party or less traditional companies are new on the job due to the recession. These workers include:

  • Amazon Prime delivery drivers
  • Grocery delivery drivers (Instacart, Shipt, etc.) 
  • Restaurant delivery drivers (GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc.) 
  • Private business delivery drivers (Consider deliveries being made by employees or owners of businesses who never had to deliver their products or foods in the past. They have far less experience with this sort of process and need to be made particularly aware of the winter rules of premises liability.)

How Does Illinois Law Define Premises Liability?

If you are delivering something to a house where the snow/slush is not shoveled or the ice is not melted and this has caused you to suffer an injury, you might be able to claim personal injury compensation. This is in addition to any workers’ compensation you might automatically receive as an injured employee. (Keep in mind, though, many “gig economy” jobs hire their workers as contractors who do not have the same benefits and rights as employees, so you might not receive much assistance from your employers, if any, which is all the more reason to pursue your own personal injury case).  

With the Premises Liability Act, Illinois lawmakers defined premises liability for both entrants (welcome visitors) and licensees (people making deliveries, for instance) as follows:

The property owner must have “duty of care” for visitors to their property, excluding those who are trespassing. “Duty of care” means the property owners, in this case the person who owns the home or apartment complex, is responsible for reasonably maintaining the property to safeguard against injuries and other accidents. 

In these cases, you must prove that proper duty of care was not followed and the property owner was negligent, leading to the personal injury while on the job through the gig assignment delivering packages for the homeowner or someone who lives on the homeowner’s property.

In order to support an argument of negligence in a premises liability case, the claimant’s lawyer must prove that:

  • The owner of the property knew or should have known about the possible hazards on the property.
  • The owner of the property needed to anticipate that the visitor might not know about the dangers of walking across that property if those dangers were not remedied.
  • The owner of the property failed to take practical and reasonable steps to prevent or at least minimize the hazardous conditions on the property.

Contact a Barrington, IL Premises Liability Lawyer

As the harshest winter weather approaches, the likelihood of slipping and falling increases due to the negligence of some property owners in dealing with snow and ice. Due to this, you should reach out to an experienced Barrington personal injury attorney if you are injured on such hazardous premises. You need to contact a lawyer who has the knowledge and background to guide you toward the highest amount of compensation for your slip-and-fall accident. The skilled professionals at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, possess that knowledge and experience you need. Call 847-381-8700 to learn more.

 

Sources:

https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/article/21920204/the-gig-economy-poses-new-safety-threats-and-liabilities

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2048&ChapterID=57

https://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/512491008-labor-dept-gig-economy-letter-can-help-companies-accused-of-misclassifying-independent-contractors-attorney-says

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