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I was an "independent contractor" at a construction site, doing roof work. I fell and was hospitalized. Can I sue my employer

Clifton, NJ |

Can I sue my employer? I don't believe he has worker's compensation but, since I was an "independent contractor", I don't qualify for worker's compensation. Thus, can I sue my employer for *negligence* or do I have to prove "intentionality""?

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Attorney answers 4


Negligence will work, but he was either your Employer or your Contractor. Employer is W/C, and Contractor is Negligence. You should probably get an Attorney, because it is not always Black and White.

I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.


The fact that he told you that you were an independent contractor does not make it so. This is a common form of workers' comp fraud known as "misclassification." See a local work comp lawyer for help.

This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice. If you want to have a free consultation with me, please contact me through AVVO.


Consult a WC attorney to determine your true legal status as employee or contractor. The attorney can guide you from there.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:



And what is Avvo for? So I ask a question, which by it's nature I expect to be answered, and the answer that I get is that "If you want an answer see an attorney." Well, that takes me back to square one and this forum useless.

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano


Not at all. Many people ask relatively simple questions which can be answered fairly succinctly. Your question begs many additional questions, primarily whether you really are an employee or an independent contractor as defined by the case law. The analysis to determine whether you are an independent contractor or an employee requires a number of small details about your work, how you do your work, directs your work, directs the hours of your work, and provides the tools with which you work, and sets the standards for the work which you perform. But my colleagues were trying to tell you is that many employers seek to miss classify their employees as independent contractors simply shirk the responsibility of paying their workers compensation insurance. If it turns out that you are legally classified as an employee, it doesn't make any difference whether your employer calls you an independent contractor or even whether you regard yourself as an independent contractor. If you look through my answers, I often tell people that they do not need an attorney. You probably do need an attorney. You won't know whether you need an attorney until you have a fairly detailed discussion with an attorney. That discussion should be provided without any fee or obligation. This forum allows you to readily identify professionals in your area of practice in this very specialized area of law. This enables you to get an answer to almost any legal question by typing a question or by clicking on an attorney's name and dialing the telephone. I would not call that worthless.


New Jersey's rules make it very difficult for an employer to claim that an individual is an independent contractor. The majority of cases usually find the individual to have been an employee. You will need to sit down with an attorney. Regarding whether he was insured, go online to NJCRIB and select the coverage search option. You must put in the employer (company name, sometimes variations of the name) date of loss. It is about 95% accurate. If you can't find anything on the site then call NJCRIB. The extensions for the individuals that search coverage are listed on the site.

Note if the company is uninsured and you were an employee you may have an uninsured claim. The uninsured fund will pay medical and temp. disability. You may still obtain a judgment against the employer.
You need to sit down with someone that can explore all you options.

Good luck.

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