As an independent contractor, what If I get injured on the job or get sued for poor work by a client, is my agency liable/responsible for anything?

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As an independent contractor, what If I get injured on the job or get sued for poor work by a client, is my agency liable/responsible for anything?

If so, what type of coverage should my boss have on her independent contractors?I work for an agency that sends me jobs. Recently, my agency boss informed me I need to get professional, E/O and equipment insurance to cover myself in case a client sues me.I understand these basic liability insurances are good for me to have. However, as my agency boss what is she liable for? She has no insurance or worker’s comp on any of her workers.

Asked on October 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, assuming you are an independent contractor and not an employee of the agency that you work out of, if you were to be received injuries for a work related event, your employment agency would not be responsible for such under worker's compensation laws.

However, if you are sued for defective work, your employment agency could have liability as well if its representative knew or should have know that the quality of work you performed as an alleged independent contractor was deficient.

I suggest that you place a policy of insurance for you as to the type of work with sufficient limits. You should also read the presumed independent contractor's agreement that you have with your employment agency to understand thoroughly the rights and obligations that you each have.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you truly are an independent contractor, you are not entitled to Worker's Compensation; only employees are.

If you are injured on a job, if it is due to the negligence (unreasonable carelessness) of your agency or of the client (e.g. the job site is reasonably dangerous), you could potentially sue one or both. However, you would only be entitled to compensation if there was negligence; if no one else was at fault, you would have no recourse.

If there is a problem with work quality, specifications, etc., a client could sue you or your agency, or both. You would both need insurance to protect you; the agency is under no obligation to defend or indemnify you, unless your contract with it specifically says that it is.


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