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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Workers' Comp: Can A Job Classify You As A Contractor Instead Of Employee?

by Andrew Martin

If your job changed your work status from employee to contractor immediately after you experienced an accident on the job, contact a workers' compensation attorney now. Your job hired you as a full-time or part-time employee, which means they can't change your work status without telling you beforehand or right after you have an accident on the job. Some employers use the tactic to avoid paying workers' compensation and other benefits to employees. As long as you signed paperwork designating you as an employee, pay taxes through your employer and work specific hours for the employer, you qualify for workers' compensation benefits. Here are things a workers' comp attorney does to secure and win your benefits.

Obtain Your Employee File

When your employer first hired you for the job, they created an employee file for you. The file should contain information on the hours the job hired you to work, different types of tax forms, an orientation packet, and a number of other things that indicate your status as an employee.

The workers' compensation lawyer needs to examine your file to see if it contains the items previously mentioned. In many cases, having the information available strengthens your case for workers' comp benefits, because it proves or shows your status as an employee of the company in writing.

However, if your file doesn't contain the items because the employer removed them right after your accident, don't worry. The workers' comp lawyer can use other methods to prove your work status. For example, because your employer takes taxes out of your paychecks for payroll and sends you W-2 forms each year, the lawyer can request copies of your tax filings. If you have these items at home or in another secure place, give them to the lawyer immediately to save time on your case.

If possible, locate the paperwork and forms your employer gave to you during your first days on the job. The paperwork contains the dates and signatures made by you, the employer and anyone else who witnessed or completed your new hire forms. Sometimes, employers keep backup files of their employees' payroll, insurance and other financial data in a computer system for tax purposes.

If it becomes necessary, the workers' compensation lawyer may be able to secure or subpoena copies of your backup file through court. A subpoena is a legal document that forces the employer to present the requested documents to court or risk fines if they don't provide the information the attorney asks for. However, this is something you should speak to the attorney about when you see them. The attorney may use other tactics to secure your workers' comp benefits.

Locate Other Employees With Work Status Changes

One of the things to keep in mind is that if your employer changed your work status without notice to avoid paying workers' comp, they likely did so with other employees. In this case, the workers' compensation attorney will interview and take affidavits from current and past employees of the company.

Finding the employees isn't always easy, especially if the employer refuses to give out the employees' contact information. As with securing your computer file, the attorney may ask the court to subpoena the employees' information. The employees may have also moved to another state or city, which means that the workers' comp lawyer must track them down.

But once the attorney contacts the other employees, they can use the employees' affidavits to secure compensation from the insurance company. The attorney can also take the information directly to court if the insurance provider denies your benefits. In most cases, the insurance company doesn't want to spend the additional fees it takes to deny your case in court.

If you need additional answers for your workers' compensation case, contact an attorney today.