A subcontractor is any worker that is hired by a general or independent contractor to complete a task. Under California law, anyone who employs other individuals must provide workers’ compensation coverage. This offers benefits if someone suffers an injury in the course of their job-related tasks. If you were injured at work as a subcontractor, then you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have problems getting the benefits you need, KJT Law Group advocates for injured workers. To explore your legal options with our workers’ compensation team, call (818) 507-8525.
Subcontractors Work Under a General Contractor
Subcontractors are hired to complete projects under a general contractor. This is generally when a general contractor needs someone with a specific skillset to get a job done. These employees can include:
- HVAC specialists
- Web designers hired by a digital marketing agency
- IT consultants hired by a network security agency
Some people use the terms subcontractor and independent contractor interchangeably. Yet, there are some nuances between the two. For instance, subcontractors generally don’t communicate directly with clients. They also may have their employment outlined in contracts and make their own hours.
Subcontractors Can Seek These Benefits Under the Workers’ Compensation Program
The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) notes that every employer must offer workers’ compensation coverage––including to subcontractors. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you could seek benefits for:
- Lost income. Workers’ compensation allows you to seek two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
- Medical expenses. Workers’ compensation should offer full coverage for your necessary medical expenses, including surgeries, medications, and hospitalization.
- Death benefits. You can seek coverage for your loved one’s funeral and burial if they passed away from a job-related injury.
- Mileage reimbursement. If you had to travel to and from doctors’ appointments, you can get compensation for gas and transportation expenses.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. So, you don’t have to prove that another party’s negligence led to your injuries. Rather, you must prove that you suffered an injury on the job and required medical care.
How Long Can I Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits For?
As noted, if you were hurt on the job as a subcontractor, you can receive benefits for up to 240 weeks. That’s just over four-and-a-half years. However, most people receive benefits for 104 weeks (or two years). The severity of your condition, the details of your accident, and other factors will ultimately affect what you can recover––and for how long.
What Challenges Could Arise in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
While many workers’ compensation cases are resolved fairly, that’s not the case for every situation. There are many challenges that can arise in even the most straightforward claims. For instance, California law prohibits employers from misclassifying their employees to avoid paying benefits. AB-5 is a state law that sets some of the strictest rules regarding employee benefits in the country. The bill was put into effect to prevent gig workers and other contractors from being taken advantage of by those who employ them.If your employer misclassifies you, then you have the right to file a lawsuit against them and recover damages. Of course, you can always consult KJT Law Group to learn more about your next steps. In addition to explaining your legal options, we can hold your employer and their insurer accountable for your losses.
How Can a Lawyer Help With a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you are a subcontractor injured at work, and you’re concerned about receiving fair compensation for your losses, you could benefit from partnering with a lawyer. An attorney from KJT Law Group can:
Compile Supporting Evidence
Your lawyer can compile evidence to support your case and draw a connection between your injury and the incident at work. They can review:
- The details of your employment
- The cause of your accident
- The medical care you required
- Eyewitness testimony
- Information from accident reconstruction specialists and healthcare providers
You don’t have to scramble to gather supporting evidence. While you recover from your injuries or adapt to your new quality of life, our lawyers can investigate your accident.
Explain Your Legal Options
At first glance, it may seem as though you have a straightforward workers’ compensation case. You suffered injuries at work, and you’re covered as a subcontractor. What’s there to know?
In addition to having a viable workers’ compensation claim, you could also have a third-party claim or lawsuit. If another party’s negligence led to your on-the-job injury, you could have a case against a property manager, general contractor, or another entity. Damages in that instance could include your medical bills, pain and suffering, and the full cost of your lost income.
File a Lawsuit
Although you’re entitled to workers’ compensation as a subcontractor, securing benefits might not be easy. If negotiations come to a standstill (or the insurer won’t cooperate), you can file a lawsuit. This comes with many obligations, from complying with deadlines to arguing your case before a judge.
It can be beneficial to have a law firm on your side, especially if you have never had to deal with such a situation in the past. The team at KJT Law Group can:
- Identify the liable party
- File your lawsuit
- Present supporting evidence
- Calculate your losses
- Continue negotiating with the insurer
- Keep you updated on your case’s progression
You Have Options as an Injured Subcontractor; Learn More Today
Unlike independent contractors, subcontractors are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you were hired by a general or independent contractor and you were injured at work, then it is your right to recover benefits as they pertain to your injury. If the party who hired you refuse to comply, then you can take legal action.