If you get an injury as a freelancer, it could turn a somewhat precarious position into a scary situation.
California law does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance or provide benefits to most freelancers. This means that you might not be able to get coverage if you are not an employee. The laws are, however, different in different states.
What if you are not a freelancer?
Some employers misclassify employees. You might be a freelancer in name only, in which case your injury might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
You would probably need at least two types of legal arguments to secure benefits in a case like this. The first would prove that you are an employee, and the second would prove that your injury was eligible.
In the best situations, employers can sometimes be reluctant to support employees’ claims. It is typically reasonable to expect even more challenges from these complex cases.
What if you have your own insurance?
If you have private health insurance, it might not cover injuries you sustain while working. Unfortunately, this might apply even if you are self-employed. It could also depend on the details of your policy.
Some freelancers carry private workers’ compensation insurance for this reason. This type of insurance could cover workplace injuries for self-employed people and independent contractors.
What other options are there?
If you are a non-employee and you do not carry your own insurance, this might put you in a difficult position in terms of the law. Unfortunately, you would not be alone. From computer programmers to agricultural workers, freelancers in all industries sustain or worsen injuries during the course of their work.