Truck drivers as independent contractors – am I covered by workers’ comp?

Many truck drivers are considered independent contractors and file a 1099 form for IRS tax purposes – meaning they are not considered employees of the company in which they perform work for. So what happens when they are injured on the job? Are they covered by the employer’s workers’ comp insurance? Surprisingly, if you find yourself in this situation, you may in fact be covered by the employer’s workers’ comp, even though you are not officially an employee of the company.

According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, if you file a 1099, it does not mean you would be considered an independent contractor under the law. If your employer exercises the “right to control” by governing the way that you do your job, you may be considered an employee of the company under this act.

How do I qualify for workers’ compensation if I am an injured contractor?

Whether the law views you as an independent contractor or an “employee” of the company is based on how much control the employer has on your daily tasks and work activities. An attorney can help find out if your employer exercises enough control for you to be considered an employee under the workers’ compensation law. If you have been injured on the job because of a truck accident, or have a repetitive stress injury from using the same joints over and over, do not let the fact that you were hired as a contractor stop you from finding out if you are covered under this law.

What if my employer claims I am not an actual employee?

Officially being an independent contractor does not necessarily mean you are not an “employee” of the company when it comes to workers’ compensation law. You need to choose a lawyer skilled in helping injured workers in order to help you prove that you are covered, and to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits. Here at The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C., we advise against giving a recorded statement to insurance adjusters, and offer free consultations if you have been injured and need to speak to an attorney before talking to an insurance adjustor. A recorded statement is a common pitfall for injured workers.

Choose an attorney who will offer personal attention

Getting injured on the job is stressful enough without having to worry about the technical details of the law and how to deal with communicating with insurance companies or the employer. When choosing an attorney to be by your side through this complicated time in your life, as you are trying to recover from your injuries, it is important to find one who will offer you the time and attention you need that is specific to your case. This is important for maximizing your workers’ comp benefits specific to your situation. The Bollinger Law Firm not only is highly specialized and skilled in these types of cases, but clients have said they do not feel like they are treated like a number. Do your research to find a firm that is best for your injured worker case.

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