An independent contractor is typically a self-employed individual who provides certain services and controls the circumstances of his or her employment. When an independent contractor is working for a company, he or she is not afforded the same rights as an employee relating to minimum wage requirements, discrimination prohibition, and overtime wages.
Another important benefit that independent contractors are not entitled to concerns workers’ compensation. Some employees may be ineligible for these benefits as the result of being misclassified by employers, while other independent contractors may have to file lawsuits against negligent employers who were at fault for a victim’s workplace injuries.
Lawyer for Independent Contractor Accidents in Atlanta, GA
Are you encountering problems obtaining workers’ compensation because of your status as an independent contractor in Georgia? You will want to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Contact The Balams Firm today.
Atlanta personal injury attorney ReShea Balams represents clients in such communities as Marietta, East Point, Decatur, Milton, Forest Park, Smyrna, Johns Creek, Riverdale, Norcross, Alpharetta, Roswell, College Park, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and many others.
Call (404) 445-2005 right now to have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation.
Overview of Independent Contractor Injuries in Georgia
- Who is considered an independent contractor in Georgia?
- What options do independent contractors have for obtaining compensation for workplace accidents?
- Where can I find more information about independent contractors in Atlanta?
Independent Contractor Classification in Atlanta
Georgia Code § 34-9-2(e) establishes that a person is considered an independent contractor and not an employee when he or she meets all of the following criteria:
- Is the party to a contract, written or implied, which intends to create an independent contractor relationship;
- Has the right to exercise control over the time, manner, and method of the work to be performed; and
- Is paid on a set price per job or a per unit basis, rather than on a salary or hourly basis.
Any person who does not meet all of the listed criteria is considered an employee unless otherwise determined by an administrative law judge to be an independent contractor.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) helps determine worker status when a person files a Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding.
The IRS considers three categories when determining how to classify a worker properly:
- Behavioral Control — When a business has the right to direct and control the work performed by the worker, that worker is an employee even if that right is not exercised. Behavioral control categories include the type of instructions given, evaluation systems utilized, and training involved.
- Financial Control — The IRS will consider who pays for the equipment the worker uses, whether a worker incurs unreimbursed expenses and methods of payment (hourly vs. flat fee).
- Relationship — Is there a written contract? Does the worker receive benefits? Is the nature of the work only to be performed for a pre-specified period of time?
In order to prove independent contractor status, Rules of Georgia Department of Labor Employment Security Law § 300-2-7-.13 states that an employing unit must prove an individual who receives a wage meets the three-pronged test for exemption from the definition of employment as provided in Georgia Code § 34-8-35(f).
Under that statute, services performed by an individual for wages are deemed to be employment unless and until it is shown that:
(1)(A) Such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services, both under the individual’s contract of service and in fact; and
(B) Such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business; or
(2) Such individual and the services performed for wages are the subjects of an SS-8 determination by the Internal Revenue Service, which decided against employee status.
If you have been improperly classified by an employer in Georgia, The Balams Firm can fight to protect your rights and make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Independent Contractor Lawsuits in Fulton County, GA
Because independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, such victims injured in workplace accidents may have to file personal injury claims against employers or other negligent parties.
Unlike workers’ compensation, which can be collected regardless of fault, an independent contractor who is pursuing a legal claim against another party is going to have to prove that party’s negligence caused his or her injuries.
In some cases, lawsuits may provide injured workers with more than they would otherwise obtain through workers’ compensation. Employers or other negligent parties identified as defendants in legal actions may claim, however, that a person’s injuries were the result of his or her own negligence and sought to have such a finding result in the victim being awarded nothing.
When an independent contractor suffers severe injuries on any job site, he or she will want to seek legal representation as soon as possible for assistance securing evidence and conducting a thorough investigation to hold all negligent parties accountable. Independent contractors who are injured because of any unsafe workplace are often entitled to damages for their medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Independent Contractor Resources in Georgia
Department of Labor | Georgia.gov —The Georgia Department of Labor can audit companies to determine if they are misclassifying 1099 workers. Visit this website to find information and answers to frequently asked questions for individuals and employers. You can also find various forms and publications.
Independent Contractor Defined | IRS — Learn more about how the IRS defines independent contractors. The Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee? The section also provides information about employment tax obligations and guidelines. You can also find information about a Form SS-8, which can be filed by either a business or a worker.
Find an Independent Contractor Injuries Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
If you are having problems obtaining workers’ compensation benefits because an employer has classified you as an independent contractor, it will be in your best interest to quickly contact The Balams Firm. Our firm assists injured workers in communities throughout Gwinnett County, Clayton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, and Fulton County.
ReShea Balams is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta who can fight to help you get the compensation you and your family need and deserve. You can have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (404) 445-2005 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.