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Misclassification as an Independent Contractor can Result in Wrongful Loss of Workers’ Comp Benefits

Misclassification as an Independent Contractor can Result in Wrongful Loss of Workers’ Comp Benefits

Any time a company hires an individual, the company must classify that individual as an employee, an independent contractor, volunteer, intern, or another appropriate title. This article will focus on the two most common classifications–”employee” and “independent contractor.” These terms are more than just labels, as they have many legal implications depending on how a worker is classified. There are many differences between an employee and an independent contractor, including the protections you are provided under employment laws and the benefits to which you are entitled. One important difference is that the large majority of employees are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance while independent contractors are not. Workers compensation benefits are very important in the event that you are involved in a workplace accident or otherwise sustain a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ comp insurance can provide you with the appropriate medical care for your injury and can provide compensation for the income you lost if you missed work during your recovery. In addition, you can receive additional compensation if your on the job injury resulted in a permanent disability or disfigurement. Many independent contractors work in relatively dangerous fields, including construction or driving a commercial truck. This puts them at a high risk of serious injuries in the course of their work. However, if they are injured, their employer is under no obligation to make a workers’ compensation claim to provide them benefits. Independent contractor classification is often wrong While some workers are clearly employees and some are clearly independent contractors, the classification for others may not be as immediately obvious. Too many companies automatically refer...
Workers’ Compensation for Psychological Injuries

Workers’ Compensation for Psychological Injuries

When you think of an on the job injury, you likely think of physical injuries that result from an accident or traumatic event or injuries that occur after repetitive movements. However, there is another class of injuries that can be very serious and that are regularly the subject of workers’ compensation claims. [1] Work-related psychological injuries can develop in many ways and for many reasons though the subsequent workers’ compensation claims can be difficult. Anyone who believes that they are entitled to benefits because of a work-related psychological or mental condition should discuss their situation with an experienced Delaware workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible. Psychological injuries connected to a workplace accident Often, psychological injuries arise as a result of a physical injury that occurred on the job. When a worker sustains a particularly severe injury, it may have many effects in their life that may trigger chronic depression, anxiety, or related mental conditions. These effects can include: • Severe physical pain • Frustration regarding physical or cognitive limitations • Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or change in appearance Undergoing treatment for both a physical injury and psychological injury simultaneously can be both financially and mentally taxing and a psychological injury can postpone a return to work. Workers deserve to recover for not only their on the job physical injuries, but also any subsequent mental conditions that develop as a result of the accident. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental condition that can develop after an individual experiences a traumatic event. Such a traumatic event can involve injury to the PTSD sufferer or may simply involve...
Why did my Employer Deny my Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Why did my Employer Deny my Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If you work for an employer that provides workers’ compensation coverage and you suffer an injury or illness on the job, you should expect to receive benefits for medical treatment, lost wages, [1] and other relevant compensable losses. However, too often, an injured employee files a claim for workers’ compensation and receives a denial of part or all of their claim. Such a denial can be stressful as a worker then has to figure out how to cover medical bills and stay in control of their finances while they recover from their injury. However, many denials are not valid and can be challenged through the Delaware workers’ compensation appeal process. Anyone who has been denied should consult with a workers’ comp lawyer who understands your rights under Delaware law. Common reasons cited for a denial When your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company decides to deny your full claim, you should be informed of the denial and relevant reasons in writing. Some of the more common reasons cited in a denial letter include: • You did not actually suffer a serious injury or illness • Your injury did not occur in the workplace or was not otherwise work-related • Your injury does not require medical treatment • Your injury does not require time off work Simply because your employer or its insurer makes the above statements does not mean they are necessarily true, however, and you will have the chance to present evidence to the contrary if you appeal the denial. Reasons an employer may wrongfully deny a claim Since an employer pays for workers’ compensation coverage, you...