Millions of workers throughout the United States enjoy the freedoms of working as independent contractors. But what happens if you are injured on the job? Is there anything that you can do if you are injured while working on behalf of a client on its property? While the bad news is that you may be injured while working on a job, the good news is that Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law does provide some benefits to injured independent contractors.
When it comes to obtaining Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits, the details of how you are employed are what really matter. There are specific nuances under Pennsylvania law that set standards for independent contractors in the construction industry. Specifically, independent contractors must meet certain standards in order to be classified as independent contractors. If for any reason an independent contractor does not meet any of the following, and your client does not classify you as an employee, then that is considered a violation of the Workers’ Compensation Act and carries severe penalties:
- There is a written contract in place to perform services.
- The contractor is free from the hiring entity’s control or direction when performing services.
- The contractor is engaged in an independently established trade, profession or business related to services provided.
- The contractor has the tools and equipment needed for the job.
- The contractor will receive a profit or a loss based on the administration of services.
- The services performed are through a business in which the contractor has ownership interest.
- The individual has a separate business location from which the services are performed.
- The contractor performs similar services to other clients or makes themselves available to perform similar services to other clients.
- The contractor has individual liability insurance of at least $50,000 during the length of contracted work.
If you are a sole proprietor and have no employees, then you are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. You must, however, ensure that proper documentation is on file for any client you work for, ensuring that they file you under their insurance coverage as an independent contractor.
Obtaining Pennsylvania workers’ compensation for independent contractors can be a tricky process to navigate. If you have been injured on the job and you are an independent contractor, contact the experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation law firm of Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo. We will help you determine your rights and next steps. Call us today for a free consultation: 888-807-WORK (9675).