Although being self-employed has many advantages, you don’t enjoy the same protection as employees. The employee status confers a person more leeway to deal with unpredictable life events, but a freelancer has to foresee risks and prepare in advance for all types of contingencies. One of the most challenging situations for freelancers is becoming the victim of an accident. An injured freelancer who cannot work loses income, whereas an injured employee can take sick days and still enjoy the benefits of a regular salary.
Have you been injured? Are you unable to work and find yourself in the position of losing your business contracts? Read on to learn how to minimize your losses.
Seek Compensation from the Liable Party
Analyze your situation carefully and determine what caused your accident. Identify the person or entity who is responsible for your injuries. The party guilty of your accident must pay for your medical bills and replace your lost earnings. In some cases, determining liability is not straightforward. According to this New Jersey law firm, a person or an entity can be held accountable legally not just for directly causing an accident, but also for indirectly creating the conditions that led to an accident.
Were you injured in a car or bike accident? Were you injured due to a falling object, poorly-maintained walkways or stairs, cracked or uneven sidewalks, or poor lighting in a public place? For any accident caused by someone’s negligence, whether it’s an individual or an entity, you deserve and can get compensation for your medical bills and lost income.
Getting compensation will require, however, extensive negotiations with insurance providers, so seek legal representation to protect your interests. You can find certified lawyers in Palm Beach County. With decades of experience in personal injury litigation, they can help you throughout the entire settlement process. Representation matters substantially when it comes to getting a fair settlement.
Consider Temporary Subcontracting
As a freelancer, you don’t make money when you’re not generating business. So, as long as an injury stops you from being productive, you don’t earn anything. This is a dire prospect. Not only that your income can dramatically drop to zero, but you also risk losing important business contracts. Ask your physician for a realistic recovery timeline. How many days, weeks, or months would you need for a full recovery? Once you have an approximate answer, you can proceed to create a business strategy for that period.
An excellent way to minimize your long-term losses in case of an accident that stops you from working is to enlist the help of other professionals. This means hiring out your work to one or two freelancers in your field who can match your skills and provide services of equal quality. This is known as subcontracting, and it’s a popular practice among freelancers who want to expand their client base but cannot personally handle more work.
Temporary subcontracting is a valid way to maintain your business contracts when you cannot work due to an injury. Although your earnings will drop, you won’t lose your clients and be forced to start from scratch after recovery. When ready to work, you’ll simply end your subcontractor agreements and resume your normal activity. A key thing to look for is whether your business contracts allow subcontracting or not. You can also ask your clients for an additional clause that permits subcontracting work.
Cut as Many Expenses as Possible
Freelancers have various business expenses, depending on the type of work they do. Look at your monthly expenses and see whether you’ll need those specific products or services in the near future. If you won’t be able to work for several weeks or months, pause or cut as many of your business expenses as possible. Do you rent an office or have a monthly co-working space membership? Why continue to pay if you won’t need the service?
Some freelancers set automatic payments for social media campaigns to promote their business, website hosting for their portfolio, software subscriptions, or accounting fees. If you can’t have business activity due to your injury, stop paying for these services. Since you won’t be earning money as usual, you need to save as much as possible.
Although self-employment is an attractive prospect for many people, only those who know how to manage risky and challenging situations can thrive as freelancers. Whereas regular jobs come with health insurance and paid sick leave, self-employed people are always on their own. If you’re a freelancer whose business was affected by an unfortunate accident, use the tips above to stay afloat.
Ryan Robinson is the Content Marketing Lead at CreativeLive. Creator at ryrob.com where I teach entrepreneurs how to start a meaningful self-employed career.