The answer to your question is fairly complicated. There are serveral possibilies:
1. The worker is actually a "misclassified" employee, rather than an independent contractor, and if WCAB determines that the employer has misclassified the worker for the purposes of avoiding liability for workers compensation insurance, then the worker will receive benefits, and the WCAB will assess penalties against the employer for attempting to avoid the law.
This is a fairly typical circumstance.
2. The worker was injured as a result of the contracting company's negligence/lack of due care. If yes, then the worker can sue the contracting company for negligence and recover, despite the worker not being an employee.
This is a fairly rare circumstance.
3. The worker is a true independent contractor, the contracting company was not negligent, and therefore the company is not liable to the worker, and the worker has no legal recourse against the company.
This is about a 50/50 circumstance.
If you would like to try to self-assess whether or not the worker may actually be a misclassified employee, then see the worksheet at this link: DE 38
Please understand that I "justanswer" questions “about” the law. I cannot be responsible if the law does not favor your unique circumstances. The best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not."
Hope this helps.
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