An independent contractor is technically not an employee. He may truly run his own business or may just be considered independent under the law. Independent contractors are freelance contractors who are hired by non-subscriber employers on an as-needed basis and not as regular employees. If they are injured while working on a job site, their rights are different from those of an employee.
What Duties Does an Employer Have to an Independent Contractor?
When an employer is a non-subscriber, he has opted out of providing workers’ compensation benefits to his workers. This means that an employee must prove the employer’s negligence for causing his workplace accident to receive compensation for his injuries. An independent contractor must also prove the employer’s negligence in order to hold him responsible for his injuries. However, the following rules apply to his case:
- A non-subscriber employer only has a duty to take reasonable care to avoid conduct that can foreseeably inflict harm on an independent contractor working for him. In contrast, an employer has a higher duty to provide a safe work environment for employees and to train and supervise them, making it easier for an employee to win a claim for compensation.
- It is not impossible—just harder—for an independent contractor to prove that an employer’s negligence caused his workplace accident.
- If an independent contractor can show that his employer’s negligence caused his injuries, he would be entitled to the same compensation as an employee working for the non-subscriber employer. This includes damages for his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It is important to keep in mind that these rules only apply if the person is truly an independent contractor. In some situations, a person injured on the job is really an employee, but the employer suddenly claims he is an independent contractor when the worker gets injured on the job in an attempt to not compensate him for his injuries.
Were you injured while working for a non-subscriber employer? Your employer could face liability for your injuries whether you are an employee or independent contractor. Call our firm at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.