Workers’ compensation does not cover Independent contractors in South Carolina unless they purchase their own insurance. This page will answer some common questions about workers’ compensation and independent contractors in South Carolina, including how they are defined and how they can protect themselves from injury on the job. We hope this information will be helpful for independent contractors to understand their legal rights and obligations in South Carolina.
Who Is an Independent Contractor?
An independent contractor is a worker who provides services to clients or companies without being an employee of those clients or companies. Independent contractors are self-employed and responsible for their taxes, insurance, and business expenses.
How South Carolina Defines an Independent Contractor
South Carolina law defines an independent contractor as someone free from control and direction in connection with the performance of their work, both under their contract of service and in fact. This means the contractor controls their work and is not supervised by the client or company that hired them.
How Can I Determine if I Am an Independent Contractor or an Employee?
The determination of whether you are an independent contractor or an employee depends on a variety of factors. If you are provided with tools, equipment, and materials by your employer and are subject to their control and direction in performing your work, you are likely an employee.
Types of Benefits Independent Contractors Receive
Independent contractors do not typically receive health insurance, retirement plans, or workers’ compensation benefits. They are responsible for their taxes and must provide insurance coverage. However, they may be able to deduct some of their business expenses from their taxes.
An independent contractor may sue a client or company for injuries sustained on the job if they can prove that the client or company was negligent and that negligence caused their injuries. However, it can be difficult to prove negligence, especially if the contractor was responsible for their own safety.
How Independent Contractors Can Protect Themselves from Injury on the Job
Independent contractors should protect themselves from injury using proper safety equipment and following all applicable safety guidelines. They should also ensure they have appropriate insurance coverage in case of injury or accident. In addition, they should communicate with the client or company about any potential safety hazards or concerns.
What to Do if You Are Injured as an Independent Contractor
You should seek medical attention immediately if you are injured as a contractor. You should also report the injury to the client or company you are working for and consult an attorney to determine if you have any legal recourse. You should contact your insurance company to file a claim if you have purchased workers’ compensation insurance.
Independent contractors in South Carolina may purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance. However, it is not required by law and can be expensive. Some independent contractors purchase this insurance to protect themselves in case of injury or accident.
The insurance cost depends on various factors, including the type of work being performed, the risk of injury, and the contractor’s history of claims.
Situations Wherein Workers’ Compensation Can Cover an Independent Contractor in South Carolina
There are some situations where an independent contractor can be covered by workers’ compensation in South Carolina. For example, if an independent contractor is working on a construction site and is injured due to the negligence of another contractor or subcontractor, they may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation in South Carolina typically covers injuries sustained while on the job, including back injuries, broken bones, repetitive stress injuries, and occupational diseases.
How Long You Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in South Carolina
In South Carolina, you generally have two years from your injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, this rule has some exceptions, so it’s important to consult with an attorney to ensure that you meet all the necessary deadlines.
Social Security Disability Benefits
An independent contractor may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if they have paid into the Social Security system and meet the eligibility requirements for disability. However, the process for obtaining disability benefits can be complex, and working with an experienced attorney is important to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
What to Do if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
You can appeal the decision if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. It’s important to work with an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation law to help you navigate the appeals process and protect your rights.
Can an Independent Contractor Be Held Liable for Injuries Sustained by Someone Else on the Job Site?
Yes, an independent contractor can be held liable for injuries sustained by someone else on the job site if they have been negligent or violated safety regulations. It’s important for independent contractors to take appropriate safety measures and to ensure that their work meets all relevant safety standards to avoid potential liability issues.
Can an Independent Contractor Be Classified as an Employee if They Work for One Company for an Extended Period of Time?
Yes, if an independent contractor works for one company for an extended period of time and is subject to the company’s control and direction in how they perform their work, they may be reclassified as an employee. It’s important to ensure that you understand the terms of your contract and the nature of your relationship with the company to avoid potential classification issues.
Independent contractors can also work for multiple clients simultaneously as long as they can fulfill their obligations to each client without conflict of interest. It’s important to ensure that you have the necessary time and resources to meet the needs of each client and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
An independent contractor can be liable for damages if they cause an accident while working, just like any other individual or business. This is why independent contractors need liability insurance coverage to protect themselves in case of accidents or injuries.
Can an Independent Contractor Work for a Company and Also Be Considered Self-Employed?
Yes, an independent contractor can work for a company and still be considered self-employed if they meet the criteria for independent contractor status, such as having control over their work and being responsible for their own taxes and insurance coverage. Understanding the nature of your relationship with the company is important to avoid potential misclassification issues.
Types of Insurance Coverage an Independent Contractor Should Consider Purchasing
Independent contractors should consider purchasing liability insurance and disability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance. Liability insurance can help protect them in case of accidents or injuries due to their work, while disability insurance can provide financial support if they cannot work due to injury or illness. It’s important to consult with an insurance agent to determine the best insurance coverage for your specific needs.
Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm today for more help.