Legal Options For An Independent Contractor Injured On The Job
If you are an employee injured at work you likely qualify for workers’ compensation coverage through your employer. This coverage provides medical care and full or partial wage replacement while you recover from your injury or illness. However, if you are not classified as an employee, these benefits are not available. Many independent contractors do not find out that their employers do not offer assistance in case of injury until they are injured or become ill due to work. This can be a very frustrating experience, however, independent contractors are not without legal options. In fact, there are a number of ways that they may be able to pursue compensation for injuries and illness suffered on the job. We will review some of those options in this article. If you would like personalized feedback based on the unique facts and circumstances of your case, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP.
Contest Your Classification
If you are an independent contractor injured on the job, the first thing to recognize is that you might not actually be an independent contractor. Businesses benefit by avoiding labeling legitimate employees as employees. Businesses can avoid liability for injuries and illnesses of independent contractors, so many attempt to misclassify legitimate employees as independent contractors in an attempt to save money and limit liability. If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor then you can seek workers’ compensation benefits just as any employee can in the state of Maryland.
Sue for Damages
Even if you are correctly classified as an independent contractor, there is a silver lining. Employee classification comes with benefits, but at a cost. In exchange for workers’ compensation benefits, employees lose the right to sue their employer for injuries and illness experienced on the job, even when the injuries or illness occurred due to the negligence or recklessness of the employer. Independent contractors do not have these constraints, so if you are an independent contractor injured due to employer negligence or a lack of adequate safety precautions, you can bring a personal injury claim to recover for the harm you have suffered. If you are able to establish that your injury was due to negligence on the part of your employer, you can recover all medical costs and expenses related to the injury, as well as for lost wages and lost earning potential. You also qualify to pursue compensation for pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be appropriate. Many times, bringing a lawsuit is enough to get a settlement, as an employer will not want to engage in the costly process of a trial and want to avoid negative media and attention.
Talk to a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are an employee or independent contractor who has been injured on the job, talking to one of the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP will give you a good sense of your options and avenues to recovery. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.