More people are choosing self-employment in recent years, as it allows them to determine their own schedule, choose the work they want to do, and set their price based on their skills and experience. However, self-employed workers also have to face many challenges, one of which is injury in the workplace. When such an incident happens, self-employed workers are usually not eligible for the health insurance and sick pay that they would have received if they were working as a regular employee for the company. That’s why most self-employed workers think they are not entitled to file workplace injury compensation claims, since no one seems to be accountable for their injuries.
In fact, there are many situations in which you can make a personal injury claim even when you are self-employed.
In this article, we will explain your rights as a self-employed person and what you can do if you sustain an injury.
Many companies hire freelancers and subcontractors to perform certain tasks for a limited period of time. Every construction company for example will usually have many self-employed plumbers, electricians and carpenters working for them on different projects. Once they sign a contract with the company, whether it is a short term project for a few months or a year-long contract, they essentially become an employee of that company. This is very important because, as one Phenix city personal injury lawyer explains, although they will not be entitled to the same benefits and rights as full-time employees, they are still entitled to the same health and safety protection as others. That means their employers have the responsibility of providing a safe working environment for everyone, regardless of whether they were hired as permanent or contract employees. The company will need to provide protective equipment and adequate training to all its workers to ensure that they know how to use the equipment, and to check that it is not defective.
Because of the rights laid out above, if you suffer injuries while you are under contract and doing work for a company, you can still file a personal injury claim, as long as there is proof that the employer has failed to ensure your safety.
Some of the reasons that will allow you to claim injury compensation in these cases are:
-The employer did not give you proper equipment or adequate protective gear to carry out your work
-You did not receive adequate training and be fully informed of the safety risks for the job.
-The equipment you received was defective.
In short, as a self-employed worker who works for a company as a freelancer or contractor, you can still be entitled to injury compensation if you can make the case that the employer has failed to provide you with a safe work environment. Even if you do not enjoy the same benefits as regular employees, the law still protects you when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.
When you get injured in an accident at work while working as a contractor or a freelancer for a company or third-party, there are several steps you should take right away:
-Seek medical attention as soon as possible and have an official report of the injuries and the damage to your health (if any). This may be required when filing a compensation claim.
-Contact a personal injury lawyer as they will be able to guide you through the steps and protect your interests.
-Obtain an official record of the accident with details on the date and time of the incident as well as the injuries. This could even be in the form of a personal email to the employer as it will help establish liability when filing the claim.
-Take photos of your injuries, ideally before you receive treatment.
-Collect witness details and CCTV footage, if possible.
-Retain any receipt or evidence of financial loss as it will help strengthen your claim later on.
Depending on the severity of the injury and its long-term effect to your health, you will be able to claim for compensation accordingly. Usually, the compensation will cover earnings you have lost due to the time off from work, future loss of income, and loss resulted from changes in your ability to work (if any).
Finally, it is important to remember that as long as you have signed a contract with an employer, or you have regularly provided services to a company or business, then you are still eligible for personal injury claims when you suffer work-related injuries due to the mistake or negligence of the company. The law is designed to protect all workers in a workplace no matter what their contract type, so seek the help of a professional lawyer to ensure that your interests and welfare are well taken care of.