Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Independent Contractors?

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Does Workers' Compensation Cover Independent Contractors?

When you sustain an injury at work in the commission of your assigned duties, the laws in Colorado state that you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits that are paid for by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance policy

This way of handling workplace injuries is designed to optimize lost wage and medical benefits to anyone who has suffered a workplace injury. With a few exemptions, however, only actual employees of the company are allowed to apply for worker’s compensation benefits. 

If you or someone you employ has been injured in a work-related accident, then the law may allow you to collect financial compensation for any damages and/or losses that you have sustained. If you choose to file a claim, you are going to need a reputable worker’s compensation attorney who is experienced in handling these kinds of cases.

What Defines an Independent Contractor?

Does Workers' Compensation Cover Independent Contractors?

According to the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act, the interpretation of an employee does not incorporate independent contractors in any way. In ascertaining whether or not an injured person is a company employee or independent contractor there is not usually an obvious answer. To correctly judge this kind of situation, various factors need to be taken into consideration. You can find those factors listed below:

  • Whether or not the person works solely for the company
  • Whether or not there are quality measures for the person outside of specifications and plans outlining the work they are expected to perform
  • Whether or not the person is paid based on a contract wage or a fixed wage
  • Whether or not the person’s contracted duties are able to be terminated for the duration of the contract only if the person dishonors the terms of the contract or neglects to meet contractual terms and stipulations
  • Whether or not the person undergoes minimum or absolutely no training from the contracting company 
  • Whether or not the company offers nothing more than the tools and supplies required to get the job done
  • Whether or not the person determines the times at which they work or they adhere to a company-made schedule
  • Whether or not payment for the contracted duties is given to an individual person, a business entity or a trade name 
  • Whether or not the business operations of the injured person and the company are clear and obviously separate

The simplest sets of circumstances are those where the answers to all of those factors listed above are either all no or all yes.

Example of an Independent Contractor 

What if your circumstances are such that you are a person who works solely for one company but you receive your payments through a 1099 tax form? What if you work for a single company, you were given minimal or no training since you already have the necessary experience, you establish your own work schedule, and manage your own quality control, but you receive payment under your personal name? The various sets of circumstances are practically limitless and every individual set will be determined based on the individual factors involved in your specific case. 

If you fit the above examples then you are most likely an independent contractor in every sense of the definition. In this case, you will need to obtain your own workers’ compensation insurance through an outside insurance company. Purchasing this insurance will ensure that you have coverage in the event that a workplace injury should befall you. If, however, you were hurt at work and you think that you qualify as an employee of the company but the person or company that issues your paycheck, or the worker’s compensation adjuster, claim that you are an independent contractor you need to solicit the advice of a seasoned worker’s compensation attorney because you might be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for your accident. 

1099-Paid Employees

The majority of State’s Workers Compensation laws demand that should you chose to hire an independent contractor with no insurance, you are legally required to implement workers’ compensation benefits. The method of payment, 1099 versus W-2, does not make a difference in deciding insurance benefits according to the law.

Should you choose to hire an uninsured company, you are legally required to procure insurance for any employees that are hired by that company. Should you choose to hire an uninsured person, you are legally required to procure insurance for that person and for anybody that person hires.

If you are not sure about a specific State’s requirements, you can contact the state’s workers’ compensation board.

If you or one of your employees have been injured in a workplace accident, then you might be entitled to receive financial compensation for any losses and damages that you have suffered. You need a reputable personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these kinds of cases. 

If you are seeking legal representation for a pending lawsuit and you want an attorney who is esteemed, qualified, and knowledgeable in handling these sorts of worker’s compensation cases, then the personal injury attorneys at the Injury Victim Law offices are just who you’re looking for.

If you would like a free consultation with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys regarding a worker’s compensation claim that you have, then we are here to help. Please reach out to us by calling (800) 245-2774 to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced attorneys today.





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