I am sorry to hear this; that is frustrating to pay for a job that is not well done.
An independent contractor is not afforded the same protections as an employee; rather an independent contractor works on contract, and as such if they don't perform according to the terms of the contract, they can be sued for breach of contract.
An employer is liable for the contractor only if the work involves inherently dangerous activies, or if they are negligent in selecting the contractor. Otherwise they are not liable for their actions, as the contractor, being independent is liable. Similarly since it is a bargained for position (contractual) the parties can sue for breach of contract. This can include monies paid per the terms of the contract, and for "reasonably foreseeable" and "proximately caused" damages.
Often a party will sign a release stating they won't sue if the other party agrees to waive any claimed income.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.