Just in the last few years, what is known as the “sharing economy” has boomed. Services such as Uber and Lyft, which hire independent contractors, have grown in popularity. These and other sharing economy services allow employees great freedom to set their own hours and earn commission. Many individuals have flocked to these services, eager to make money with a schedule that works for them. Unfortunately, what many people are unaware of, is that companies in this growing industry are not yet required to provide many of the benefits found in other jobs, particularly workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation operates on the premise that an employee will be financially taken care of by a company if he or she is injured on the job. In exchange, the employee, in most cases, cannot sue their employer. When it comes to workers in the sharing economy, this is not the case. Rather than actual employees, workers are classified as “independent contractors”. At this point in time, this has exempted such companies from the legal requirement to provide workers’ compensation. However, it is still possible that one day these companies will provide workers’ compensation and other benefits. A perfect example is taxi drivers. Taxi drivers are considered independent contractors. However, taxi companies still provide workers’ compensation due to the dangerous nature of the job. Uber and Lyft drivers face the same dangers: the business of picking up strangers can often lead to violent encounters, not to mention the danger of car accidents.
What Should I do if I’m Injured While Working as an Independent Contractor?
If you were injured while working as an independent contractor for a service like Uber or Lyft, you may not be covered by workers’ compensation, but you could still be entitled to financial compensation depending on the circumstances. If you are unsure, a Louisiana personal injury attorney can help you find out what your options are. To learn more about this and other personal injury issues, take a look at our blog and check us out at Twitter and Facebook.
Galloway Jefcoat LLP – Personal Injury Attorneys