If you were injured while working as an independent contractor for a company, you are likely curious about your legal options for recovering compensation. In most cases, workers’ comp is not available for independent contractors. However, you should always explore your legal options with an experienced lawyer, as exceptions do apply in some cases.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, our team of experienced North Charleston workers’ compensation lawyers has helped countless injury victims get the money they need after a workplace accident. Reach out to us today to learn more about your options with a free initial case review.
Independent Contractors Are Typically Unable to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In most cases, independent contractors are not covered under workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are exceptions to this, and even if you aren’t eligible, you may have other options for recovering compensation after suffering an injury.
Consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure you are aware of all your options after sustaining an injury.
Misclassification as an Independent Contractor
Just because you are classified as an independent contractor on your employment agreement does not make it true. Employers often misclassify employees as independent contractors, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in an attempt to minimize costs. Independent contractors do not qualify for a variety of benefits, making them cheaper to employ.
Your lawyer can review the status of your employment to determine whether you are, in fact, an independent contractor or if you are actually an employee. Some of the main things that set independent contractors and employees apart include:
- Employees are paid a regular salary or wage, while contractors submit invoices or are paid a flat fee for work completed.
- Where and how an employee works is often regulated by the employer, while contractors can complete their work wherever and however they want as long as they complete their work on time.
- Employees generally receive all or most of their income from their employer, while an independent contractor often has several clients and multiple income sources.
- Employees are often provided with all the tools they need to complete their jobs, while independent contractors must provide their own equipment.
- Employees are subject to disciplinary action from their employers if they violate company policies or fail to complete their work, while employers are limited to terminating the contractor agreement if dissatisfied.
If the matter in which you are working for an employer is in line with that of an employee rather than an independent contractor, you can pursue workers’ compensation for any damages sustained in an injury.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you are an independent contractor, while you might not be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim after an on-the-job injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your options for filing a lawsuit and the type of personal injury lawsuit you can file depend on a variety of factors.
For example, if you were injured while on the employer’s property, you can file a premises liability lawsuit. Meanwhile, if you were injured on the road while carrying out work for the employer, you may be able to pursue a car accident lawsuit against the party that caused your crash.
You can review your legal options with an experienced attorney who can help you determine the type of lawsuit you can file and help you through every step of the process of recovering the compensation you need and deserve.
Take Action Quickly to Ensure You Meet All Deadlines
If you are unsure whether you qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The deadline for reporting an injury to your employer to receive workers’ comp in South Carolina is 90 days. Once you have informed your employer, you will have two years from the date of the accident to file a workers’ comp claim.
If you don’t qualify for workers comp and are instead filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you need, you will have three years from the date of your accident to submit your lawsuit under the South Carolina personal injury statute of limitations.
Get Help From an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you were injured in an on-the-job accident, recovering compensation for your damages can prove critical. The best way to ensure you get the money you need and deserve is with the help of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer. The Thumbs Up Guys have helped countless workers get the money they need and deserve after suffering an injury at work.
Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, we can help you pursue damages from the liable party. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule your free initial case evaluation.