Monthly Archives: October 2015

Kansas Workers’ Compensation – Employee v. Independent Contractor

Being injured or becoming ill while on the job causes an enormous amount of pain, stress, and financial responsibility. Kansas law requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. However, if you are classified as an “independent contractor,” you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits should you be injured or become ill in the course of your employment. For example, if a painting company hire a worker only on a contract basis (i.e., for a particular project), and that worker is injured while working on that project, this worker will likely not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

How to Determine Whether You Are an Employee or Independent Contractor

Most employers will make clear what the employment arrangement is when you are hired. Most individuals are aware from the start that if they are considered an independent contractor, then they will likely not be eligible for the same benefits that employees are eligible for. This does not only include workers’ compensation insurance, but also includes how employees and independent contractors receive pay differently, and how employees are typically eligible for other benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance and/or retirement plans.

Therefore, independent contractors are taking somewhat of a risk when deciding to work on a contract basis. There are certainly positive aspects of working as an independent contractor, but it definitely takes some thinking and consideration when weighing the positive aspects with the negative aspects, especially the fact that workers’ compensation benefits are not available to independent contractors.

Misclassification of Employment Status

While the general rule in Kansas (and in most states), is that independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, there are situations where an independent contractor should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you are hired and you believe you are a true employee of the company you work for, you expect that you will be entitled to the same benefits as other employees. However, if your employer misclassifies you as an “independent contractor,” you will be left in the dark in case you are injured or become ill while on the job. Some employers misclassify workers inadvertently, while others may in fact choose to misclassify workers for the sole purpose of avoiding the obligation to provide workers’ compensation benefits or other employee benefits.

Because the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor may not be as clear cut as you think, you would benefit from speaking with a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney who can evaluate your situation in detail to determine if you truly are an employee or independent contractor. If it turns out that your employer misclassified your employment arrangement, listing you as an independent contractor instead of listing you as an employee, you still may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The sooner you are able to speak with an attorney, the sooner you will be able to resolve the matter and hopefully receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured or become ill while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. To determine if you qualify for benefits, it is essential that you consult with a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. With the help of a skilled and dedicated Kansas workers’ compensation attorney, you will have a better understanding of what you may or may not be entitled to, based on your classification as either an employee or an independent contractor. Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas workers’ compensation attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping injured workers receive the compensation they deserve.   To schedule a free consultation with Michael R. Lawless, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today by calling (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

Kansas Nursing Home Negligence – Signs That Your Loved One Has Been Physically Abused

Many Kansas nursing home patients receive outstanding care from nursing home medical professionals on a regular basis. However, there are also a significant number of nursing home patients who are physically or verbally abused on a regular basis. Because many nursing home patients may not be able to verbally communicate their feelings and concerns to nursing home personnel and/or their loved ones, abuse is often overlooked. A patient may wish to share his or her concerns, but simply does not have the power to do so. If your loved one is receiving care in a nursing home and you suspect your loved one is being physically abused, you should consult with a Kansas   nursing home negligence attorney right away.

How Do I Know If My Loved One Has Been Physically Abused?

Signs that a nursing home patient has been physically abused include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

  • Cuts or scrapes;
  • Bruising on any part of the body;
  • Swelling or bleeding;
  • Pressure marks (often resulting in bed sores due to patient neglect);
  • Signs of poor hygiene;
  • Signs that the patient has soiled him or herself (i.e., not receiving proper assistance in order to use the restroom);
  • Burn marks; and
  • Depression (e., if the nursing home patient generally seems unhappy, unmotivated, sad, and in emotional pain).

It is very important to understand that physical and other forms of abuse may not be discovered for quite some time after the abuse has begun, as many nursing home patients do not see visitors on a regular basis. Further, it is also important to remember that physical abuse is not limited to one individual literally hitting a nursing home patient in some way. Physical abuse can also be present in the form of neglect. As such, neglect of a nursing home patient can certainly lead to physical injuries, and thus could be considered physical abuse.

Should I Complaint to the Nursing Home?

If your loved one has suffered physical or verbal abuse, you may consider voicing your own concerns to nursing home staff members. However, if you are unsure how to approach the situation, you may benefit from the guidance and assistance of a Kansas nursing home negligence attorney who has the necessary experience to evaluate the specific facts of your case and provide you with what options you may have.

While it is acceptable for a loved one to complain to nursing home staff regarding the poor quality of care, abuse or neglect of a patient, such complaints may lead to further harm if nursing home staff become upset or defensive after becoming aware of the complaints. In such cases, a qualified Kansas nursing home attorney can help you address the concerns you may have with the quality of care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home.

Contact Kansas Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation

 When loved ones are placed in nursing homes, the hope we have is that our loved ones will receive the quality care they deserve and improve their health enough to be able to eventually leave the nursing home. However, instead of receiving quality medical care, many nursing home patients are suffering from the negligent conduct of nursing home personnel. Patients are physically abused much more often than many people realize. When you or your loved one has suffered harm as a result of nursing home abuse, it is imperative that you consult with a highly skilled Kansas nursing home negligence attorney as soon as possible as you may be entitled to compensation. With more than 27 years of experience seeking justice for his clients, Michael R. Lawless has the dedication and resources to pursue a personal injury case on behalf of you or your loved one. To schedule a free consultation, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA today by calling (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to you as soon as possible.