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    Independent Contractor or Employee? Are You Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?

    When someone is hurt at work, the last thing they want to hear when filing a workers’ compensation claim is that they are not eligible for it.  If an individual has missed work and has incurred medical costs, they may not know what to do if they are told that they are not able to file for workers’ compensation with the company they have worked for.  It is important to know where you stand with the company you work for and whether you are an independent contractor or an employee or something in between.  The information in this post will help you empower yourself for the purposes of knowing what to do and what your rights are injured in the workplace.  Contact an experienced attorney for help disputing whether you are an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of workers’ compensation.


    Understanding the difference between an independent contractor and an employee


    An independent contractor can be defined as someone who does the following:


    1. Exercises independent employment;
    2. Contracts to do a piece of work according to his own methods and;
    3. Is not subject to the control of his employer except for the result of the work.


    In general, Tennessee utilizes a test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.  The test has numerous prongs that focus on whether the employer has a manner of authority or control over the work with respect to way it is accomplished.  Some of the prongs that a court will evaluate for this test are:


    1. Whether there was evidence showing that the employer exercised control over the work or had the right to exercise that control;
    2. How the employee or independent contractor was paid for their services;
    3. How and by whom equipment for the work was furnished and;
    4. Whether and under what conditions the worker can be fired.


    You may be asking yourself why it matters whether you are an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of workers’ compensation.  This is important because this question will determine whether you have a right to file for workers’ compensation.  In Tennessee, independent contractors do not have a right to file for workers’ compensation while employees do have a right to file.


    The importance of this distinction lies in a situation where you, as someone who performs work for a particular company, are injured on the job and are in need of workers’ compensation.  When you file your workers’ compensation claim, you do not have a right to those benefits unless you are an employee.  In the event that you feel that you were treated like an employee, you will need to dispute that you were actually not an independent contractor.


    A workers’ compensation claim usually has very high stakes.  When your lost wages and medical care costs and condition are on the line, you need the best help getting your workers’ compensation claim through. It is imperative that you contact a skilled Nashville workers’ compensation attorney today for a consultation on your case.

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