The nature of the employer-employee relationship is constantly evolving. In the past, it was much more clear-cut – employees worked for a company, and if they were injured on the job, they would file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. However, the rise of the gig economy and the increased use of independent contractors has created confusion when it comes to workers’ compensation – who exactly is responsible for an injury sustained by freelancers? A dedicated lawyer could help an employee understand the relationship between independent contractors and workers’ compensation in Columbia.
An independent contractor is a person who contracts with another person or entity to do a particular job but is not an employee of that person or entity. For example, a plumber who is hired to fix a leaky pipe is not an employee of the business owner and would be considered an independent contractor.
The distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is important because only employees are covered by workers’ compensation laws. This means that if you live in Columbia and are injured while working as an independent contractor, you are not automatically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are an independent contractor who has been injured while working, you may still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, it is important to understand that the process is different from that if you were an employee of the company. You will need to provide evidence that you were injured while performing your work and that your injury was caused by your work. If you’re able to provide such evidence, you may be entitled to benefits including medical expenses and wage replacement.
According to Missouri law, an individual who engages in work under contract on the employer’s premises can expect to be covered by workers’ compensation if injured on the employer’s premises. The contractor would need to be engaged in work related to the employer’s normal course of business. This also applies to the contractors’ subcontractors and/or their employees. However, this does not apply to freelancers engaged in construction or demolition work on a Columbia employer’s premises.
If you are an independent contractor who has been injured while working, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company or individual you were providing services for. To do this, you will need to prove that the company or individual was negligent in their duties and that this negligence led to your injuries. For example, if a contractor was hired to perform on-site IT work and was hit by a falling object in the employer’s office, the contractor could file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer for failing to provide a safe work environment.
If the lawsuit is successful, the contractor could be awarded damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, the contractor has the burden of proof and, to be successful in a workers’ comp claim, will need to provide evidence that the Columbia employer was negligent in their duties.
If you are a independent employee who has been injured while working, it is important to understand your rights and options. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can review your case and help you determine if you are eligible for benefits in Columbia. The lawyer can also assist with the claims process and help you get the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. In addition, if it is deemed necessary, a lawyer can also help you file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
For independent contractors, workers’ compensation claims can be complex. The Columbia workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Office of Chris Miller can help you understand your rights and options after sustaining a workplace injury. We will help you to gather the evidence you need to prove your case and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about independent contractors and workers’ compensation in Columbia.