As an independent contractor, you may be aware that you’re not entitled to workers’ compensation if you’re injured on the job. However, that doesn’t mean that an injury will always go uncompensated. If you work with a highly experienced work accident lawyer in Houston, then you can still win compensation for any damages you suffered after your injury.
Ask a Work Accident Lawyer in Houston: Can Independent Contractors File Injury Claims?
Independent contractors may file personal injury claims against a company or another third party they feel is liable for an injury they got while working. It may be harder for you to win a settlement, as you’re not entitled to workers’ compensation. However, if you can prove that your injury was the fault of your temporary employer, then they can be held liable by law.
How Can an Independent Contractor Prove Another Party Was Liable for Their Injury?
Any employer—even a temporary one—has a duty of care for all their workers. They need to provide a safe work environment that’s unlikely to lead to any of the workers becoming injured. If you can prove your temporary employer didn’t provide a safe work environment, then you can prove their liability in your accident.
What Kind of Evidence Can Be Used to Prove the Employer’s Liability?
1. Video and Photographic Evidence
After you’re injured on the job, you should find out if there are any cameras pointing at the area where you were injured. If there are, then you may be able to gain access to footage that shows you obtaining your injury.
The footage should clearly show what caused the accident, and it should demonstrate how it was the fault of the person paying for your services. Experienced work accident injury lawyers in Houston, TX can help you gain access to the footage if needed.
Witnesses are vital to any personal injury claim. If somebody saw how you became injured, then their testimony will be invaluable to your case. Try to get the names and contact information of anyone who may have seen your accident occur. If you can’t get this information at the time, then go back to the workplace at a later date and ask to speak to whoever was on staff at the time of your incident. Take their information and give it to your attorney.
3. Medical Examination
If you were injured, then your attorney will advise you to have a third party examine you and back up your claim. Your injuries may be indicative of the type of accident you suffered. For example, if your injuries indicate a fall, and you claim to have fallen off a ladder in an unstable work environment, then the type of injury you have can help back up your case.
Any medical expert will be able to give an estimate about how you obtained your injuries. If they align with the type of accident you claim to have had, then this works as great evidence in your favor.
What Kind of Compensation Can an Independent Contractor Win?
1. Medical Expenses
You can win back anything you had to spend on treatments after your accident. You’re also entitled to claim for any future medical costs you have to pay as a result of your accident. For example, if you require ongoing physiotherapy, medication, or something else, then you can claim compensation for it.
2. Lost Income
Did you have to take time off work to recover from your injury? Ensure you let your attorney know, and provide an estimate of how much you would have typically made in the time you were out of work. You can add this to your claim and be compensated for it in your settlement.
You can also be compensated for income you would’ve earned in the future if your accident has left you out of work long-term. If you’ve been rendered unable to work for the rest of your life, then you and your attorney can estimate how much money you would’ve made each year until retirement. You can add this estimated sum to your claim.
3. Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering often accompany injuries no matter how minor they are. You’ll get more compensation for your emotional damages depending on the severity of your injury. Your attorney can help you come up with an appropriate amount to claim when adding pain and suffering damages to your settlement.
Independent contractors can still win compensation for injuries obtained while working. You may have to work a little harder to get your temporary employer’s insurance company to pay up. However, if you build a winning case, then the insurance company shouldn’t refuse to pay. Work with a highly experienced work accident attorney to give yourself the best chance of winning a hefty settlement.