Employee versus Independent Contractor Distinction

We appreciate your like, share or follow. Your online activity helps us reach a larger audience, so please consider taking a moment to leave us a comment on our videos, or share our posts on social media.

How Can We Help You?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Employee versus Independent Contractor Distinction

Attorney Ben Schwartz discusses the employee versus independent contractor distinction.

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a question from Karen in Dover, Delaware. Karen wrote in and she said she was injured on the job, made a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, but she was denied. The employer and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance company is claiming she is not an employee and is that legal? The direct answer is, we would need to know more about the case. Please come in for a free consultation and we will see if we can make a determination if that is right or not, but I like the question and it is a good springboard to generally talk about the employee versus independent contractor distinction.

The employee versus independent contractor distinction comes into play very commonly in the law. It comes into play in situations like this, where someone is injured on the job, goes to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits to get their medical expenses paid, and the insurance company says we are not paying for anything; you are not an employee and you are not covered under workers’ comp. It also comes into play in other types of personal injury cases.

For example, let’s say that a woman is stopped at a red light and she is rear-ended by a van. The van is driven by Joe the carpet installer and the van says right down the side, XYZ Carpet and Home. Obviously the carpet installer is installing carpet and the carpet was sold by XYZ, but the question that comes up is, is the carpet installer an employee of XYZ, or is he an independent contractor? If he is an independent contractor then XYZ is not legally responsible for the injuries caused to the lady, but if he is the employee then XYZ is also responsible. He is responsible and XYZ is responsible for paying for compensation for the ladies’ injuries.

The question in a lot of these cases is, is the at-fault party an employee or an independent contractor? It depends. Every single case is going to be different. There are factors that we look at to determine the extent of direction and control. How much direction and control is the employer asserting over the employee, or over the independent contractor? I will give you an example just to try and give you a little further context. Let’s say that you hire me as your attorney and we are going to go to court on Tuesday of next week. On the way to court, from my office to the courthouse, we drive separately and I cause an accident. I run a red light and I run into somebody and I injure them. They are going to sue me. Can they sue you? You employed me as the attorney and I was acting for you as I was driving to court. You are going to say that Schwartz was an independent contractor, he is not my employee, therefore I am not responsible to pay for his negligence because he is a bad driver.

The person that I hit may say no, Schwartz is your employee and you directed and controlled him. You sent him to the court that day and he was acting on your behalf and so this is the context in which this question comes up. Of course, if you hire a professional like an attorney to do one particular case, to go to court for you in one particular matter, that is probably going to be an independent contractor relationship. If you own a law firm and you hire me as one of the attorneys in your law firm and you pay me a salary and give me a place to work and you provide me with a car to drive back-and-forth to court, then chances are you, as the law firm owner, you are going to be responsible for my negligence when I run a red light and smashed into somebody, because you are my employer and you are directing and controlling the work.

That is the difference between the employee and independent contractor distinction and it can be a very important question. It is a good question. I am glad we got the chance to discuss this. It is an aspect of the law I think many people are very unfamiliar with unless it comes up in their case. Often times, when it comes up in their case, it hits them over the head like a ton of bricks because it can be the difference between recovering compensation or not recovering compensation. Karen, I appreciate you asking the question, come on in for a free legal consultation. We will sit down and review all of the things that you look at to determine if you are an employee or independent contractor and see if we can help you. If you are watching this video and you have questions for me about the law or your legal rights, send me an e-mail below.

Thanks for watching!

You May Also Like These Related Videos…

The Legal Side of Land-Lease Communities: What You Should Know

If you were interested in purchasing a home, you might have come across land lease agreements. In most home purchases, the buyer purchases the dwelling and the property or land on which the dwelling sits. With land lease agreements, also called ground leases, the purchaser buys a building or home...

read more

Confidential Information On My Dad’s Case

Delaware Attorney Ben Schwartz explains why a viewer was denied confidential information on her Dad's Personal Injury case. https://youtu.be/Ti0aD7C2FO0 Hi I am Benjamin Schwartz, Today we are going to answer a viewer question from Roberta in Georgetown, Delaware. Roberta wrote in and she said, I...

read more

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meet Our Team Of Experts

Rob Collins

Attorney

Gwendolyn Osborn-Gustavson

Attorney

Scott T. Smith

Case Manager

Freddie Daniels

Practice Manager

Steven Schwartz

Founding Partner

Freddie Daniels

Joe Stanley

Attorney

Freddie Daniels

R. Mark Taneyhill

Attorney

Stephen Norman

Of Counsel

Freddie Daniels

Ben Schwartz

Managing Partner

James "Matt" Stiller

Attorney

REQUEST A FREE CASE EVALUATION

Main Office

1140 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901

VISIT US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Dover, Delaware

1140 & 1126 South State Street
Dover, Delaware 19901

More Details

Are you looking for a Dover, Delaware Personal Injury Lawyer?  Our Dover, DE law office is located adjacent to Carroll’s Plaza in Kent County, Delaware.

Bethany Beach, Delaware

34026 Coastal Highway
Bethany Beach, Delaware 19930

More Details

Are you searching for a personal injury or wrongful death attorney handling cases in the Delaware beaches area or Ocean City, MD? Schwartz & Schwartz attorney Stephen Price Norman maintains an office on Route 1, Coastal Highway in South Bethany Beach, DE.

Dagsboro, Delaware

30838 Vines Creek Road, Unit 3
Dagsboro, DE 19939

More Details

Are you trying to find a personal injury lawyer for your Eastern Sussex County, DE or Eastern Shore of Maryland case? Schwartz & Schwartz personal injury lawyer Stephen Price Norman maintains an office on Vines Creek Road in Dagsboro, Delaware.

Wilmington, Delaware

1525 Delaware Ave.
Wilmington, Delaware 19806

More Details

We are Wilmington, Delaware Personal Injury Attorneys. Our Wilmington law office is located at 1525 Delaware Avenue in New Castle County, Delaware 19806.

Salisbury, Maryland

Suite 500-A
100 East Main Street
Salisbury, Maryland 21801

More Details

Are you looking for a Salisbury, Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer? Our Salisbury law office is located next to the Shore Bank in Downtown Salisbury, Maryland. Our building address is 100 East Main Street Salisbury, Maryland 21801 and our office is located in Suite 500-A.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1650 Market Street 36th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

More Details

Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law, P.A. is a Mid-Atlantic regional plaintiff’s trial law firm focusing on wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases, with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Baltimore, Maryland

Legg Mason Tower
100 International Drive, 23rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202

More Details

We are Baltimore, Maryland trial lawyers handling wrongful death and serious personal injury cases

Washington, D.C.

Coming Soon!
Stay Tuned For Our New Office Location
Washington, D.C.

Directions Coming Soon

More Details

Stay tuned for more information about our new Personal Injury & Wrongful Death law office, which will be located in Washington, D.C.

What Are You Waiting For?

We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Free Consultations

We offer free consultations in most cases, but not all. Please give us a call to see if you qualify.

Call or Email Us today

Time is an important factor in most legal cases. Don't delay, send us an email or call today!

24/7 Service

Our normal office hours are Mon - Fri, 9 am - 5 pm. Our answering service is available 24/7 at 1-855-847-8437.

Convenient Regional Locations

We have offices located to provide expert representation in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey.

Tip The Scales of Justice in Your Favor

Schwartz & Schwartz, Attorneys at Law is a major force in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and Pennsylvania civil and criminal litigation.

Law Firm Testimonials

Gwendolyn Osborn-Gustavson

Scott T. Smith

Rob Collins

Steven Schwartz

Freddie Daniels

Joe Stanley

Freddie Daniels

R. Mark Taneyhill

Stephen Norman

Freddie Daniels

Ben Schwartz

James "Matt" Stiller

Tip The Scales of Justice in Your Favor

Our attorneys have significant experience in corporate, business and commercial litigation, in the United States District Court, in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and in the Delaware Superior Court.
Complex Corporate, Business and Commercial Litigation issues require the expertise of skilled legal corporate litigation professionals with experience in the industry and the ability to provide tenacious,

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Delaware

Schwartz & Schwartz offers a FREE CONSULTATION with Criminal Defense Lawyers in Delaware to anyone who has been arrested or who has been contacted about a prospective criminal arrest.