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What You Need to Know About Workers’ Comp as an Independent Contractor

If you’ve been injured on a job in Winston-Salem or anywhere in North Carolina, your injury should be covered by the company you’re working for, by insurance called workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is insurance that is required by law and can have serious consequences if the company in question fails to meet this necessity.

The rule of workers’ comp generally only applies if three or more employees exist under a company’s employ. However, there are some special cases in which employers, known as contractors, have to provide workers’ comp for even one employee. If there are questions from the beginning to the end, Lewis & Keller can provide help through all the steps.

What is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is an employee that works for another company as an agreement that can be temporary or long term. Independent contractors most usually have an expertise in some sort of trade that provides goods and/or services to the contractor. Most truck drivers, for example, are independent contractors. Independent contractors aren’t under the same umbrella as regular and full time employees so the rules for them are a little different. When companies hire independent contractors it is understood that they have their own separate insurance that doesn’t hold the temporary employer accountable.

How it Works

Since not all injuries that take place on the job are covered by workers’ comp, you have to be sure before attempting to file for it. An unexpected event that leads to injury or an accident can be covered under workers’ compensation. However, something like arthritis would not be since that is an injury that occurs over time and can’t be determined as stress through the job.

Form 18 is what is needed in the state of North Carolina to file a workers’ comp claim. That claim needs to be reviewed by the Carolina Industrial Commission and a copy detailing the injuries and how they occurred also needs to be given to your employer. You want to go ahead and make sure that this claim is filed within 30 days of injury. That is more of a guideline to best practice; if this deadline is missed, it won’t necessarily end the case. However, the claim must be filed within two years of the injury date.

It is imperative to pay great attention to explaining exactly how an injury occurred when filing the Form 18. The state of North Carolina only covers injuries by accident through workers’ comp, so it is possible that you could cause yourself to not receive anything with the improper wording (e.g.  When explaining how you got hurt, saying “worked on assembly line” wouldn’t count as an accident, but saying “assembly line blew up and burnt your arm while operating” would more-so cover an injury).

Learn More About Workers’ Comp

If you have been injured at work or are having trouble receiving workers’ compensation, don’t wait before it’s too late. Contact Lewis & Keller for your free case review today!

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