Personal Injury and the Independent Contractor Defense: Common Law and Statutory Exceptions

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, April 30, 2021

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will review the many common law and statutory exceptions to the independent contractor defense that defendants routinely assert in wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases. The program will explore how these exceptions are evolving with changing work platforms, how personal injury attorneys can leverage these exceptions, and what counsel for the company, the contractor, and other defendants can do to shore up their position that the negligent party is truly independent.


The general rule is that a business is not liable to third parties for an independent contractor's negligence. Since many businesses use third parties to provide their services, the independent contractor defense remains one of the most prolific defenses in personal injury, wrongful death, and other tort cases.

The numerous exceptions to the general rule that arise both in common law and by statute create traps for defendants and opportunities for plaintiffs. First and foremost, the agreement between the company and the contractor may be poorly drafted, out of date, or nonexistent, offering little protection. Sometimes, the independent contractor status may have been contrived to avoid responsibility using a labyrinth of contractor business relationships and shell companies. If the defendant is perceived as attempting to avoid responsibility, it may not fare well.

Just because one exception does not cause the defense to fall, the defendants cannot let their guard down, and plaintiffs should not surrender. Often various common law exceptions, statutes, regulations, and other ordinances can be woven together to pierce the defense or shore it up in many different types of personal injury matters.

Listen as this experienced panel guides counsel through the independent contractor defense and its many exceptions in the context of personal injury claims.



  1. Overview of the general rule
  2. Exceptions to the general rule
  3. Strategies for plaintiffs
  4. Strategies for defendants


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the most important provisions in an independent contractor agreement that make or break the defense?
  • What is the test for an independent contractor in the context of personal injuries?
  • Does it matter if a defendant is or is not an independent contractor for purposes of labor laws?
  • Are there certain harms for which the defense cannot be asserted?
  • How has the defense been altered by the "gig" economy?


McCabe, Christopher
Christopher (Chris) McCabe

Bordas & Bordas

Mr. McCabe has represented and counseled insurance carriers and corporations during his first 15-years of practice. He...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.
Attend on May 19

Early Discount (through 04/30/21)

Cannot Attend May 19?

Early Discount (through 04/30/21)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video