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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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During my student film shoot my Key Grip bent over to pick

Resolved Question:

During my student film shoot my Key Grip bent over to pick up a bunch of stands and threw out his back. He was immediately taken to the emergency room where he was given pain killers and sent home. He later visited his family chiropractor who gave hims some sort of treatment. He has sent me both bills for the deductible and is now claiming that his insurance has declined to pay anything.

He had said that he had a bad back but agreed to work with my DP insisted he be brought on because of his size. I negotiated paying him for dropping off and picking up equipment. All other days on the shoot were voluntary. He hurt his back on a volunteer day.

I did not have worker's compensation insurance at the time of the injury. Am I liable for all of it? Can this man continue to come after me anytime his back hurts?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Is the key grip an employee of yours?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do not own a company or business license. He was fellow student who volunteered to work on the project. I did offer him $100 to help me pick up equipment a day before the shoot and another $100 to drop off equipment after the shoot.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I see.

Then you would not normally be required to carry worker's comp benefits for the individual because you are not an employer.

In addition, you would not normally be liable for his medical expenses unless you acted negligently in some manner that caused his injuries.

It appears he is attempting to persuade you that you are liable for his injuries when you likely are not.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
how should i proceed? is there a specific law i should cite?how do i deal with him and his insurance?
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Here is a link the discusses what is an employee or independent contractor. At the maximum, he would be an independent contractor, but is arguably a volunteer even though you offered to pay him a small amount.

Entities are not required to provide worker's comp coverage for contractors or volunteers, but only employees, so that should be explained to him typically.

If he continues to demand payment, then it is best to retain a local attorney to draft a more legal response to him.

All the best to you.

Tina and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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