The answer to this question depends on the very specific facts of your case. The Virginia workers’ compensation laws determine who is considered an “employee” of a company and who is an independent contractor. Just because you are labeled an independent contractor does not make you one under workers’ compensation. The issue is the degree of control the employer has over the person. A lot of control means you are probably an employee; little control means you are probably an independent contractor.
Independent contractors are typically required to purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance if they wish to be covered. The entity that hires the contractor is not liable for providing this insurance in most cases. The general contractor may have potential liability as a statutory employer but if they do not pay the additional premium for uninsured subcontractors you may not be covered.
Employees of independent contractors may be covered for a workers’ compensation injury if the independent contractor has more than three (3) employees and, therefore, is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. There are some cases where employees of the subcontractor may be covered under the main contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance, as well.
There are many variables in a workers’ compensation claim when you are injured on a job site as an independent contractor or employee of such a company. These claims can become very complex as you try to determine which party is liable for covering your injuries through their workers’ compensation insurance.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.