If you are injured while working for another person or company, do not assume you are an independent contractor – even if the individual or company you are working for tells you that you are not an employee, and only an independent contractor.
The distinction can be critical if you want to try to obtain the typical Workers’ Compensation benefits, including payment of benefits while you are out of work and payment and provision for your continued and future medical care.
Some persons or companies will even have you sign a document indicating that you understand you are not an employee, but merely an independent contractor. This is done for a variety of reasons. For example, it could be an effort to convince you that you have no rights to Workers’ Compensation benefits when you do, to avoid having to pay Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums, and ignorance of the laws governing this issue.
This is not to say that you will never be determined to be an independent contractor – you may very well be. However, before you make any assumptions, or worse, rely on the person or company paying for your work or services, contact an attorney who specializes in Workers’ Compensation matters for his or her opinion, such as Heiting & Irwin. Our State Bar Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, Richard H. Irwin, Esq., and his department are available for free consultations. Do not delay and contact us today at (951) 682-6400!