Am I Covered for Workers’ Compensation as an Independent Contractor?

Independent contractors are as diverse as the fish in the sea. From dog walkers to technology analysts, working as an independent contractor continues to rise. But what happens if you get injured on a work-related assignment? 

Workers’ compensation has been a gratuity to those with full-time employment and benefits, but how far is its reach to a temporary contracted position? Keep reading as we help you understand workers’ comp for independent contractors, and how our Hoffman Law Firm attorneys near you can help after an injury.

lawyer with injured employee, injured independent contractors with lawyer

Independent Contractor vs. Employee: Which One Am I? 

An independent contractor is a self-employed individual hired by a company to perform a specific service. When a company hires an independent contractor, they can express to the contractor the scope of the work but have no control over how the end result is achieved. 

The IRS has a “right-to-control” test used to determine whether an individual falls under the role of employee or independent contractor. The level of control and independence falls into three categories: 

  • Behavioral: Does your employer have the right to control how the job is completed? If your answer is no, you most likely are considered an independent contractor. 
  • Financial: As an independent contractor, you most likely will have unreimbursed business expenses – an investment in tools and equipment for the services provided and a flat fee paid by the job or by the time it takes to complete the project. 
  • Type of relationship: An independent contractor will fall under a different “relationship” than a typical employee, with certain limitations. An independent contractor will likely have a contractual agreement of some kind, no access to employee-type benefits, and possess a temporary working relationship with the client. 

Are Independent Contractors Covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance? 

Typically, if you are an independent contractor hired by a company and suffer an on-the-job injury, you will not be entitled to their workers’ comp benefits.

However, if you are an independent contractor who is employed by another company contracted by the client to perform services, you may be entitled to seek workers’ comp benefits under the company that contractually rendered the services. 

Do I Even Need to Worry about Workers’ Compensation? 

As an independent contractor in South Carolina, you are not legally required to have workers’ comp insurance for yourself. You may be required to have it, however, if you meet the following conditions: 

  • You have four or more employees of your own
  • Contractually obligated under the terms of your employer 
  • Protection from a potential injury requiring medical coverage or lost income

What to Do if You Are Injured as an Independent Contractor 

If you find yourself injured while on the job as an independent contractor, make sure you take the following actions to protect your legal rights: 

Report Your Injury 

The first point of action is to report your injury to the company that hired you for your service. It is possible you have been improperly classified as an independent contractor, so notifying your employer in a timely manner will help in seeking compensation under workers’ comp. 

Document the Scene

If possible, take photos and/or video of the accident scene and your injuries. For those who witnessed your accident, get their name and contact information to help your workers’ comp case later. 

Seek Medical Help 

Don’t wait to get help from your doctor! Waiting to get assessed and diagnosed for your injuries could make it harder to pursue compensation later and could lead to arguments that your injury was not work-related. 

Speak to One of Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Near You 

Discuss your legal options with one of our attorneys at Hoffman Law Firm. You may have been improperly classified as an independent contractor or have been injured due to negligence on the part of your employer. 

You may be eligible to file a workers’ comp claim or seek other means of financial compensation. 

Contact a Workers Compensation Attorney To Help You After Your Injury 

Board Certified Personal Injury Attorneys of Hoffman Law Firm in Charleston SC

As an independent contractor, you have the advantages of being your own boss and building a business by and for yourself – don’t let an injury stand in your way!

Contact Hoffman Law Firm today to learn more about South Carolina workers’ compensation laws and how we can help you after an injury as an independent contractor. 

Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State. Our personal injury and Workers’ Comp lawyers here at Hoffman Law Firm have extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases. We have established a reputation for success, as well as great service! To meet with a member of our team, schedule your free consultation today. 

Cases We Handle:

Workers’ Compensation

Personal Injury

Wrongful Death

Brain Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

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