Our Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorney Discusses Options for Independent Contractors Injured at Work
Unfortunately for many people, if they’re hurt on the job, even through no fault of their own, they might not be able to get any help from their employer, because they’re not classified as an employee. That is the struggle many independent contractors, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, face following an on-the-job injury.
Are Lyft and Uber Drivers Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
The problems facing Lyft and Uber drivers hurt on the job was featured recently in an article in Forbes. In the piece, Uber and Lyft drivers, along with others who work in the peer-to-peer marketplace industry, which includes those who work for companies such as TaskRabbit, Postmates, Instacart and Homejoy, are referred to as “sharing economy workers.”
While sharing economy workers don’t have the benefit of a steady fulltime job, they often get to set their own work schedule, working on the days they want, at the times they want and for how long they want. On the flipside, having their workforce consist of sharing economy workers allows companies to classify their workers as independent contractors, meaning they don’t have to provide them with benefits, including workers’ compensation.
What Can Independent Contractors Do If They Are Hurt on the Job?
Independent contractors, such as sharing economy workers, often do not understand the risk they are taking working without the benefit of workers’ compensation. Without workers’ comp, if an independent contractor is hurt on the job, he or she may only have their own medical insurance or car insurance to rely on for coverage.
In many cases, personal medical or car insurance will not cover all of an injured worker’s hospital bills or rehabilitation expenses. In addition, unlike workers’ compensation, personal medical insurance will not provide independent contractors with money to cover living expenses if they have to miss work due to their injury.
A workers’ compensation attorney can talk with an independent contractor about his or her options following an on-the-job injury. For instance, the independent contractor might be able to file a third party liability claim, which is a type of personal injury claim related to workplace accidents caused by someone other than an employer or co-worker.
To learn more about workplace injury options for sharing economy workers as well as other types of independent contractors, call our office at (512) 474-8346 or contact our Austin workers’ compensation attorney online to schedule a free consultation.