How Can HVAC Independent Contractors Be Compensated For Work Injuries?
Many HVAC installers operate as independent contractors. These contractors have the option to provide their own workers’ compensation insurance, which covers the same expenses as employer-provided plans (medical bills and a portion of lost wages). Uninsured contractors can still recover compensation in a personal injury claim if a third party’s negligence caused an injury.
For example, if you were installing an air conditioning unit at a private home and injured yourself in a slip and fall accident on a wet floor, you could potentially have grounds for a lawsuit against the homeowner.
Sometimes, HVAC company employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors in order to avoid providing benefits. This is illegal, and a work injury lawyer can help you fight for your rights as a worker if your in this situation.
Occupational Hazards In The HVAC Industry
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There are several occupational hazards that all HVAC technicians should be aware of:
- Fatigue – Many HVAC employees and contractors work long hours, sometimes logging as many as 60 per week. This makes it easy for fatigue to set in, which can cause work-related mistakes and accidents to occur because of impaired mental functions. Fatigue can also lead to physical injuries, such as muscle strains and sprains.
- Falls – Many commercial properties have HVAC equipment on the roof, which means contractors must work from heights on these projects.
- Burns – HVAC work often involves heat sources, such as hot equipment, soldering for repairs, hot furnaces and air conditioners, and heating systems which use flames. Accidents involving these heat sources often cause serious burn injuries which can lead to permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Exposure to hazardous substances – HVAC contractors work in all types of homes, including older ones which may have been built using lead or asbestos. Exposure to toxic substances can cause serious injuries and illnesses, such as mesothelioma.
- Electrocutions – HVAC equipment is made up of electrical components and wiring, which means there is a risk of electrocution. These accidents can cause severe burns, internal damage, and are often fatal. It’s important for all HVAC workers to be aware of these risks by making sure power circuit boxes are turned off and testing wires.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Get Compensation?
If you’ve recently suffered a serious work injury as an HVAC employee or contractor, our lawyers are prepared to help you plan for the best route to compensation. For injured employees, we understand how the workers’ compensation works and we know how to deal with insurance companies.
Insurance companies have their own lawyers who specialize in denying claims. Our lawyers have the respected reputation you need to avoid these roadblocks when applying for your benefits. Additionally, we can help you gather additional evidence and appeal a claim which has already been denied.
We’ll also evaluate your case to see if you’re eligible for other forms of compensation, such as a personal injury claim against a negligent property owner. Our dedicated work injury lawyers offer free consultations and only require payment as a small percentage of your benefits if we help you win, which means there’s no risk for you.