Independent Contractor Workers’ Comp and Third-Party Claims

The workers’ compensation program is intended to help workers and their families quickly and effectively recover financial support after an accident or injury. While workers are not required to prove negligence or fault, recovery under the workers’ comp program is limited to medical expenses and lost wages. Many workers are not aware that they may also be entitled to third-party injury claim. In addition, many independent contractors are not aware of their rights to recover under the workers’ comp program or for third-party negligence.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in handling a range of claims involving workers. Contractors and their loved ones should be aware of the full scope of opportunities they have to recover for all losses, including wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, long-term care needs, as well as wrongful death benefits. Our legal team will explore every opportunity to recover the full compensation you and your family deserve.

Many companies are using contractors to avoid certain liabilities. In many ways, independent contractors do not have the same rights as workers. A contract is a worker employed by an agency or who is self-employed but working for another firm that exercises responsibility for the operations of the site. When a worker suffers a serious injury or is killed on-site, contractors and their family members may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation. They may also be able to pursue additional benefits through third-party negligence claims.

Contractor fatal accidents may include falls, vehicle accidents, equipment failures, explosions, or fires. Any work-related accident, injury or death requires an immediate investigation to determine the cause of the accident and to identify responsible parties. Some cases may become more difficult if the injury involved a contractor at a private residence or a worker injured or killed at sites where a firm does not have overall responsibilities.

Immediately after an accident, an injured worker or their family should file appropriate claims. An experienced attorney can ensure that documentation is properly filed and that medical records are used to support that claim. An injured worker should continue to seek medical treatment and therapies, when available. In addition to filing workers’ compensation claim, an attorney should investigate whether third-party claims are possible.

Third-party claims for contractors may involve a negligent contractor or sub-contract, equipment malfunction and product liability, auto accidents and defective parts or negligent drivers, and premises liability claims against property owners or maintenance companies. These cases can be complicated, but an experienced advocate can review your case and pursue the full compensation you and your family are entitled to.

Contractors are often victims of serious and permanent injury, including head and back injuries. In these cases, it may be necessary to recover additional compensation for long-term care and treatment. While these costs are not covered by the workers’ compensation program, victims and their family may be entitled to pain and suffering as well as additional medical care costs. Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling complex workers’ comp claims as well as personal injury claims.

If you or someone you love has suffered from a work-related injury, contact the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Data releases from the injuries, illnesses and fatalities (IIF) program, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 25, 2013.

Contractor data, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2011

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