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Do Independent Contractors Get Workers’ Comp Benefits in California?

  • Published: April 14, 2021

There are a variety of different jobs and roles which independent contractors fill in California. Fields such as construction, development, landscaping, painting, and many more offer a flexible work schedule in the form of independent contracting. However, many of these positions can be potentially dangerous, so what kind of benefits can an independent contractor receive if they were injured while at work?

If you are an independent contractor who recently experienced an injury on the job and are looking to obtain workers’ compensation, take a look below as we discuss the possible options for financial assistance available to those who are considered independent contractors.

Who Is Considered an Independent Contractor in California?

For workers in California, an independent contractor is defined as an individual who performs a job for a specific fee and result, which is dictated by the employer. This same employer has control over the result of the work that they hired an independent contractor to complete, but they cannot manage the way that the work is accomplished.

Many other distinctions exist between standard employees and independent contractors, but one of the main factors that separates them is the control that an employer has over the actions of the person completing the work. Other aspects contribute to whether or not an individual is considered an employee or an independent contractor, including:

  • If the service rendered required a special talent or skill
  • Whether the employer or the worker supplied the tools for the job
  • If the work is part of regular business for the employer
  • Whether the job is typically completed by independent contractors or employees
  • How long the required services need to be performed
  • Whether the method of payment is based on the job or the time to complete it

Any worker who is unsure of how they are classified for their current position should speak with a California lawyer who has experience and years of knowledge regarding the intricacies of the workers’ compensation benefits system and how it applies to you.

As an Independent Contractor, Am I Eligible for Workers’ Comp?

National regulations for workers’ compensation outline a clear indication that independent contractors are not able to obtain financial assistance from an employer’s insurance company if they experience an accident at work. In most instances, their insurance will deny your accident claim because you are not considered an employee.

If you believe that your employer has classified you as an independent contractor mistakenly or has done so under the pretense of preventing you from obtaining workers’ compensation, you can take your case before a court who will decide if your employer is required to pay for your medical bills and related expenses as a result of a workplace accident. In that circumstance, you may also be able to receive awards from a wage and hour lawsuit or similar legal action.

What Is Covered Under California Workers’ Compensation?

One of the main reasons that independent contractors may require financial assistance after they experience an accident while at work is to pay off their recovery and medical expenses related to the accident. For standard employees, the state of California encourages coverage that includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Medical equipment
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity

Depending on the severity of the accident, the person who was hurt may require temporary disability (TD) or permanent disability (PD) benefits. If you believe that you were wrongfully classified as an independent contractor so that your employer could avoid paying out your workers’ compensation benefits, the reliable team at KCNS Law Group, LLP can help.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in CA

Dealing with a serious injury that was sustained on the job can be devastating and life-changing, but it can be especially challenging if you are unable to obtain the workers’ compensation that you need to properly recover because you are considered an independent contractor in the state of California.

If you find yourself in a situation where your position as an independent contractor is preventing you from getting the financial assistance that you need, the team at KCNS Law Group, LLP can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Our dedicated legal professionals have successfully helped hundreds of clients get the best possible results for their workers’ compensation case, and now it’s our turn to help you.

Call us today at (818) 937-9255 or submit a contact form online to schedule a case consultation with one of our California workers’ compensation experts.

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