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Do 1099 Employees Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Missouri?


“1099 employees” are also known as “independent contractors,” meaning they generally own and operate their own business rather than working for an employer.

If you work as a 1099 employee or “independent contractor,” and you’re hurt on the job in Missouri, you may be wondering what your rights are. Are you covered by your client’s workers’ compensation policy? Here are some important things you need to be aware of.

1099 employee agreement

What Is a 1099 Employee?

A 1099 employee is an independent contractor. This means they do not work directly for an employer but operate their own business and provide services to clients, such as individuals and/or businesses. 

For example, an electrician hired by a general contractor to install wiring in a home would likely be considered a 1099 employee. The IRS has more information about this distinction here.

Why Independent Contractors Are Generally Not Covered by Employer Workers’ Compensation

1099 workers are independent contractors, not employees. This means that they are generally not covered by an employer’s workers’ compensation plan. Their workers’ compensation policy covers only employees who work directly for the employer. 

However, independent contractors can still get workers’ compensation coverage if desired. Since they own and operate their own business, they can work directly with an insurer to obtain workers’ compensation coverage. 

Then, if they are hurt on the job, they can file a claim with their own workers’ compensation insurer to get compensation for their injuries and loss of income. This is an excellent idea for any person who works as a 1099 contractor in a field like construction, which has a high risk of work injuries

Can Independent Contractors File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Independent contractors are generally not covered by their client’s worker compensation plans. However, this does not mean that they do not have any options to recover compensation if they are injured on the job due to the negligence of a client.

For example, if a 1099 contractor is hit on the head by a falling object dropped on a job site or is run over by a piece of machinery operated improperly, they can file a personal injury suit against their employer. In the suit, the 1099 contractor could claim that the employer failed to provide them with a safe environment and that their negligence led to the injury. 

If the lawsuit is successful, the contractor may get damages for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. However, unlike a workers’ compensation claim, the contractor must provide evidence that the employer was negligent and that this negligence led to their injury.

Speak With an Experienced St. Louis Workers Compensation Lawyer

Understanding the rights of 1099 contractors can be difficult, especially since some employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors. If you have been injured as a contractor, our St. Louis work injury attorneys can help you understand your situation and the right next steps forward. Contact us 24/7 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: June 19, 2024
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