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Workers’ Compensation Claims for Phoenix Independent Contractors

Being an independent contractor can have many perks – the ability to set your own hours and to work without the control of a traditional employer. However, your next steps can become a little more confusing when you sustain a work-related injury. If you’re a 1099 employee and you recently sustained an workplace injury, what are your legal options? At Cruz & Associates, our Phoenix independent contractor injury attorneys are committed to helping you understand your rights after a work-related accident.

Arizona Independent Contractors Are Not Employees

Being an employee comes with certain privileges – namely, the right to health insurance and workers’ compensation benefits. As an independent contractor, your “employers” do not have to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Independent contractors provide a service stipulated in a contract without direction from the person who foots the bill – in other words, independent contractors control how they provide the service, and how they accomplish it. True independent contractors work for several parties at once and typically do not receive training or regularly scheduled work from the same company.

Unfortunately, many employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors when they should be employees. Often, they do this to avoid paying payroll taxes and insurance premiums on their behalf.

Arizona Independent Contractor Options

When you’re working as an independent contractor and sustain a workplace injury, you have a couple of options:

Are You Really an Independent Contractor?

Many employers deny that their workers are employees, but the nature of the work suggests otherwise. You might actually be an employee if:

  • You receive regular work from your employer
  • Your employer is your sole source of income (i.e., you don’t work for several companies at once)
  • You receive guided direction, training, and oversight from your employer

If you sustain an injury at work and the preceding apply, you may be able to make the argument that your employer owes you the benefits of being an employee, including workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you have an agreement stating you’re an “independent contractor,” this may not be enough to qualify you as such. A state workers’ compensation board will ultimately decide if you are an employee or a true independent contractor. These proceedings are complex and require the expert guidance of a independent contractor injury lawyer.

Third-Party Liability Claims

One of the main advantages of being an independent contractor is that you have the freedom to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. Employees forfeit their right to sue for negligence in exchange for collecting workers’ compensation benefits – this is the basis of the “no-fault” insurance system.

If you’re not a true “employee” you may have the option of suing to collect reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and even intangible losses such as pain and suffering. This requires proving that your employer (or another third party) was careless, and that carelessness led directly to your injuries.

Hiring a Phoenix Independent Contractor Injury Attorney

The Phoenix independent contractor injury lawyers at Cruz & Associates have 25 years of experience in workers’ compensation law. If you are an independent contractor and you sustained a work-related injury, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation on your case. We will discuss the details of your case and present ideas on how to get you the compensation you need and deserve for your injury.