It’s important for workers in Texas to understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, as this classification determines your legal options in the event of a workplace injury.
Just because you work on-site, this does not mean that you are considered an “employee.” Employees are afforded much more protection than contractors when it comes to on-the-job injuries, and employers in Texas have been known to take advantage of this fact.
What’s the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?
- Employee — Put simply, an employee is someone who works for an employer and whose job is defined by that employer. The employer can dictate job talks, schedule, supervise the work, and has the right to control the work.
- Independent Contractor — An independent contractor is not employed by a business or employer, but is someone who determines for himself or herself the specific job duties, and retains supervisory control over the work performed.
If you’re told when to report to work, told what to wear, trained to do a certain job by the employer, etc, you should be classified as an employee. Unfortunately, many workers (especially in construction and labor) are intentionally misclassified as contractors in order for the company to avoid payroll taxes, minimum wage requirements, and workers’ compensation premiums.
If you believe you’ve been misclassified as a contractor, our experienced work injury attorneys may be able to have your classification challenged in order to allow you to seek additional avenues of compensation. If you’re a legitimate contractor, don’t fret; you may still be able to bring an ordinary negligence claim against those responsible for your injuries.
I’m an employee. What are my options?
As an employee, you have a few options in the event of an on-the-job injury. These options are contingent upon whether your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation or not.
Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer does subscribe to state-run workers’ comp insurance, they’re protected from most causes of action and employees are generally limited to filing a claim with workers’ comp in order to receive medical care and recover a portion of their lost wages.
On the other hand, if an employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation insurance and is not willing to cover your work injury voluntarily, the injury is essentially treated as any other type of personal injury claim and the employee is allowed to seek reimbursement for damages through a work injury lawsuit.
I’m a contractor. What are my options?
An independent contractor generally cannot bring a work injury claim since a contractor is technically their own employer – but that doesn’t mean you have no legal recourse. You may still have a valid negligence claim and/or even a product liability claim against a 3rd party (such as the manufacturer of a piece of defective equipment).
Find out if you have a valid claim.
The law regarding work injury claims is (clearly) very complex in Texas, and the best way to determine your legal options is to call an attorney who offers a free consultation. Rasansky Law Firm offers free consultations and can be reached (toll-free) at 1-877-405-4313.
Speak With a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.