Workers’ compensation claims are an important part of ensuring that workplace injury does not adversely affect either an employee or an employer. Unfortunately, not all individuals who work for someone else are actually covered by workers’ compensation.

If you recently experienced a workplace accident, you need to seek out medical attention as soon as possible, no matter who is liable for the accident. In some instances, it takes time to determine your eligibility for a claim, but if you wait to seek treatment the insurer may reject your claim whether you’re eligible or not. Failing to seek proper treatment in a timely manner often invalidates legitimate claims for may workers.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal options. Many attorneys offer free consultations to help you evaluate your options and determine if you have a strong case. With professional guidance, you can determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation and build a strong claim that seeks full compensation and protects your rights throughout the process.

Are you an independent contractor?

Workers’ compensation is generally only available to employees, not independent contractors. Over the last half-decade, the sudden rise of the gig economy and more businesses hiring independent contractors blurred the boundaries of who is and who is not, technically, an employee.

In some cases, there is legal precedent that supports individuals in the “grey area” of employment status receiving workers’ compensation coverage. Even if you think you are definitely an employee or definitely not, it is always good to check with a professional.

Furthermore, many individuals obtain work through a staffing agency that essentially rents workers to other businesses. In these cases, some workers may actually qualify for workers’ compensation, but need to file their claim with the staffing agency, not the employer who rents them.

Other exempt workers

There are a number of other kinds of workers who generally do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, including

  • domestic workers, such as nannies
  • seasonal workers
  • agricultural workers
  • undocumented workers

If you fall into one of these categories, it is still wise to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal options and identify a strong strategy moving forward.

No matter who is liable for your accident, you probably have more options than you realize. Be sure to seek out professional medical care as soon as you can and use all your available tools to assess your next steps.