A state appeals court has ruled that taxi driver Refik Ademovic is ineligible to receive workers' compensation after being shot in the face because he was an independent contractor instead of an employee.

The appeals court overturned a ruling of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which said that Mr. Ademovic was an employee of Taxi USA L.L.C., a Charlotte-based company. The Commission's ruling was itself a reversal of an initial ruling from a single deputy commissioner.

The NCIC said that Taxi USA had provided Mr. Ademovic with a cell phone and that his work was an important part of the company's operations. The appeals court disagreed, however, and so Mr. Ademovic will not receive workers' comp benefits for the wounds he suffered when a passenger shot him in the face in 2011.

We've discussed the issue of "independent contractors" in this space. Companies often claim that their employees are independent contractors and thus ineligible for workers' comp. This case and others like it make clear just how dedicated to this proposition many companies are.

It also makes clear just how crucial it is for you to have a skilled workers' compensation attorney on your side. We understand who qualifies as an independent contractor and who qualifies as an employee, and we will not stand idly by if your employer tries to categorize you incorrectly.

If you're a North Carolina resident considering filing for workers' compensation, please contact White & Stradley, PLLC today for a free consultation.  

I enjoyed working with Chris, and I was very impressed with the professionalism of his staff.  I was made to feel very comfortable.