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Can Independent Contractors Claim Workers Compensation?

If you are working as an independent contractor, it is important to understand what your legal options are if you are injured on the job.

independent contractor in missouri

Being an independent contractor typically means that you have more freedom to do what you want. Since you’re not an employee, it allows you to take the jobs you want to and leave the ones you don’t behind. However, being an independent contractor can limit the assurances you have if you are injured while working. If you are an independent contractor, you are likely not entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.

In Missouri, company and business owners are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers an employee if they are injured while on the job – but not everyone who is injured while in the workplace is eligible. Although you do not have to prove negligence, you do have to prove that you were injured while performing under the scope and the duty of your work activities.

Some types of workers are typically not covered under workers’ compensation even if their employer has it. One such arrangement is if you work for someone as an independent contractor. If you are not an employee of the company, then you generally cannot be covered if you are injured while working. Since workers’ compensation is not based on negligence, if you are an employee and are at fault for your injuries, then you are likely covered. If you are an independent contractor and at fault, then you are not covered under workers’ compensation.

 However, that does not mean that you are left without recourse.

Recovering Compensation as an Independent Contractor

If you, as an independent contractor, are injured on the job and you can prove that your employer was negligent in some way, then you may have the option of suing them for personal injury. Even if you are an independent contractor and not covered by workers’ compensation, if your injury at work was not your fault, you can sue your employer.

To prove a personal injury case you would have to show that your employer knew that a dangerous condition existed, they could have foreseen that an injury would result, they did nothing to make the condition better, and you were injured as a result. The other instance where you can sue for personal injury is if you can prove that the injury was intentional. Otherwise, there might be no way for you to be compensated for your injuries at work.

If you are an independent contractor in Missouri, you may or may not be covered by workers’ compensation. Even if you aren’t, you might be eligible to sue for personal injury if you have been injured. The best way to know for sure what your rights for compensation are is to speak with a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer to sort through the details and figure out if you are eligible to recover either way.

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Updated: February 27, 2018