Non-Subscriber Case FAQ: Who’s responsible for a temp worker’s injuries?

By Michael GrossmanJanuary 13, 2015Reading Time: 3 minutes

A common way for people to find work is to use a temp agency. These companies find temporary jobs which might wind up just being short-term projects or lead to long-term employment. We think this is great, of course, as, among other things, it allows workers to try out different fields and companies before settling into something more permanent.

However, things can get complicated for temporary workers if and when they get hurt. In this blog, we want to try to address these common questions:

  • If I'm hurt, do I sue the temp agency or the company?
  • Can I file claims against both the temp agency and the company?

It's vital for you and your family to go into this process with full awareness of your rights. Make sure you check out our Comprehensive Guide to Non-Subscriber Work Injury Law for more information.

When injured temporary workers try to file claims, both the temp agency and the company almost always refuse to pay.

Maybe it's just human nature, but everyone likes to point the finger after something goes wrong. Whether it's little kids blaming each other when milk is spilled, or a player screaming at a referee after a call that went against them, people just don't like taking responsibility and admitting that they screwed up.

Temp agencies are no exception to this rule, as they often want to blame the company workers went to work for if they're injured on the job. Conversely, the company always tries to claim that injured workers aren't their employees, and so they don't owe them anything. All this gets a little complicated in practice, but where there's no workers' comp in place, a few principles apply:

  • Generally speaking, you are technically an employee of the temp agency. They then "lease" you out, so to speak, to a company. This means that the temp agency has certain responsibilities to keep you safe.
  • The company you're working for has a duty to maintain a reasonably safe working environment. While they're not your employer, they have you on their property and must take steps to make sure the premises are in good order and their own employees don't behave improperly.
  • Both entities---the temp agency and company---will try to argue that you are an "independent contractor." Why? Because it lowers their own risk of exposure to lawsuits. This is because the law requires employers to go above and beyond to protect their employees, but doesn't require similar efforts from people who employ contractors.

The law on this is a little complex, but you can bet that the lawyers for both parties will try to paint you as the responsible party and offer you absolutely nothing for your injuries.

Temp agencies and the companies that use them have a responsibility to keep workers safe. However, non-subscriber work accidents are still complex. Attorney Michael Grossman explains why a lawyer is need to help navigate these waters.
Following a non-subscriber work accident, temp workers face a unique set of challenges.

Who's actually responsible for your accident is an open question.

By the time injured workers call us---even if it's the same day they were injured---they likely have a theory about exactly what happened. And they are often at least partially right. Nonetheless, you don't do this kind of law for 25 years without seeing a lot of crazy circumstances. Yeah, sure, it might seem plain enough that it was a coworker from the temp agency who hurt you, but who told him to do what he did? A machine might have fallen on you, but that could be due to a fault in the machine itself, meaning you could have a potential products liability claim.

To be clear, we're not saying you're wrong at all in your view of what occurred, only that there may be additional parties to go after. If you want to receive everything you're entitled to, you'll need an attorney with broad experience investigating not only work injury accidents, but also the full spectrum of injury law cases.

Call us today and let's get moving.

It's our honor to have guided people in just your position through the legal process for almost 30 years. Keep in mind, as non-subscriber work injury lawyers who've sued temp agencies, we've never once charged a client a penny out of pocket. We only recover our expenses and fees if we successfully put money into your pocket. You can call us 24/7 and talk to a lawyer, for free, to find out what your rights are and what kind of money damages are available to you. Call today at 1-855-326-0000.