Workers’ compensation laws require most businesses to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. As an employee, you’re entitled to this coverage if you’re hurt on the job.

Sometimes, businesses misclassify their workers to avoid paying for workers’ compensation. For instance, if you’re an independent contractor, you’re not covered by the employer’s insurance. If you get hurt, you would likely have to sue them directly.

What should you do if you believe you’re misclassified as an independent contractor and get hurt at work?

When you get hurt, you should always inform the medical team that this is a work-related injury. Then, you’ll want to talk to your attorney about why you believe you’re not an independent contractor and why you want to seek workers’ compensation.

Here’s an example. If you work for your employer every day performing the same duties as others who are classified as employees, wear a uniform and get paid on a regular schedule, you’re probably an employee, not a contractor. If you get hurt, the fact that your employer misclassified you likely won’t apply, and you’ll still be able to seek compensation.

When you choose to accept workers’ compensation as an employee, you give up your right to sue your employer if you’re hurt. If you’re misclassified, there may be no coverage premiums paid for you. In that case, suing might be your only option.

Our site has more on workers’ compensation and what you should expect if you seek benefits after getting hurt on the job. Most employees have the right to this coverage and should seek it when injured.