When a Connecticut resident becomes injured during the course of his or her employment, they likely face medical bills that are difficult to cover. They may also have to take time off from work to recuperate from their injuries, which means they end up losing wages at the time they likely need it the most. Though workers’ compensation insurance covers most injuries and illnesses caused by work-accidents, these benefits are only available to those who are employees, not independent contractors.
This is increasingly turning into a challenge when it comes to motor carriers, as the industry is shifting to having more independent contractors and owner operators as drivers, rather than employee drivers. Many guess that the high cost of workers’ compensation initially drove the push for carriers to switch up the classification of drivers they were hiring. Owner operators are allowed to carry workers’ compensation or occupational accident coverage. Whereas occupational coverage offers better benefits than health insurance, it is not as wide-ranging as workers’ compensation.
This is complicating the workers’ compensation field in this industry, as companies are not enforcing workers’ compensation policies for their subcontractors and having occupational insurance may violate workers’ comp statutes in some states. As a result, injured drivers may fall through the cracks, as they end up not having any insurance.
When someone is injured in a work accident, it is usually their employer’s responsibility to ensure they get their medical bills covered through insurance provided to them. Employees who are unsure of what their classification is may want to consider consulting an experienced attorney to figure out how they can get the financial help they deserve.