How Independent Contractors Can Protect Themselves if Injured
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Aug 10, 2016 in Employee Rights
The downside to the growth of Uber and other on-demand services is that more workers are being labeled as independent contractors instead of employees. That means that many workers are not eligible for workers' compensation insurance to cover medical bills and lost income if they are hurt on the job.
Workers' compensation benefits vary by state but employees typically receive benefits until they can return to work and sometimes longer. Working without this benefit creates a huge financial risk for independent contractors in dangerous industries like delivery and transportation.
In the short-term, there are advantages to being an independent contractor, such as earning a higher wage and being able to set your own schedule. But, if you are injured at work, you could face steep medical bills and will not receive benefits for missed time at work.
However, there are strategies for independent contractors to avoid expensive medical bills and to receive support even if they are not part of a workers' compensation program, including:
- Purchasing workers' compensation from your state or a private insurance company.
- Requesting that your employer reclassifies you as an employee - some employers misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime or workers' compensation. Many California Uber drivers claim they have been misclassified as independent contractors and are currently fighting for the benefits regular employees receive.
- Filing a complaint with your state or the appropriate state agency to investigate your classification.
If filing a complaint or talking to your employer does not work, contact the workers' compensation lawyers at Phillips Law Group to discuss your legal options.
Our experienced attorneys can help guide you through the legal process so your claim can be taken care of efficiently and within the specified time frame. We have a detailed understanding of the workers' compensation process in the southwestern U.S.