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Job Site Injury? Are you an independent contractor or an employee? The ten-factor test is key to determining whether you have a personal injury negligence case or a worker's compensation case. In Indiana, if you sustain a job site injury one of the questions that could arise is whether you are an independent contractor or an employee. If you are an employee, then your only option would be pursuing a worker's compensation case. If you are an independent contractor, then you could pursue a personal injury negligence case if you can show that a third party was responsible for your injury, i.e., negligent. Courts in Indiana use a ten-factor test to distinguish employees from independent contractors. This ten-factor test was addressed in the case  Moberly v. Day , 757 N.E.2d 1007 (Ind. 2001), where the Indiana Supreme Court set forth a ten-factor analysis to distinguish employees from independent contractors.  The factors are: (a) the extent of control which, by the agreement, the m
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  Indiana Case Law Update: An independent contractor's personal injury negligence case was not barred by the exclusivity provision of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act. Recently the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a decision in the case  Palmer v. Ake, Fas Pak, Inc., and Bernacchi,  2021 Ind. App. LEXIS 400 * | 2021 WL 6058471 (Ind. Ct. App. 2021) that involved a  worker's action to recover damages for injuries he sustained when he was working on the roof of a barn and part of the barn collapsed.  Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Trial Rule 12(B)(1) arguing that injured worker was an employee and that his exclusive remedy fell under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act. The trial court agreed with the Defendants and dismissed the case. The injured worker appealed the trial court's decision. The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by dismissing the injured worker's negligence lawsuit becau

Vocational Experts: who are they, what are their qualifications, and what role do they play in SSA disability hearings

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Who are Vocational Experts? Generally, a Vocational Expert ("VE") is an expert witness who knows about job availability in the current labor market as well as the skills that are needed to perform specific jobs. In the Social Security Administration ("SSA") disability setting, VEs are vocational professionals who provide impartial expert opinion evidence about a claimant’s vocational abilities that an ALJ considers when making a decision about disability. As many Social Security Disability attorneys know, the bulk of VEs provide testimony in SSA disability hearings.  In this context, the United States Supreme Court noted that VEs are: “[P]professionals under contract with the Social Security Administration to provide impartial testimony in agency proceedings. They must have expertise and current knowledge of working conditions and physical demands of various jobs; knowledge of the existence and numbers of those jobs in the national economy; and involvement in or kn