Hurt on the job...

If you got seriously hurt while performing a shop would you let the MSC know about it? Or does it not matter because we are independent contractors. Just wondering...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2018 04:59AM by cflot.

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I did a Costco shop where I had to evaluate the demo people. I exited the location, slipped and fell onto the ground. A security guard happened to witness my fall. I slipped on some thick piece of plastic that was discarded and was on top of these raised bumps. The raised yellow bumps are supposed to be a safety feature to prevent shopping cart runaways. I think the raised bumps are stupid since it makes walking over them difficult and hurts your feet. I was wearing flats. I fell forward where the inner parts of both knees and the inner part of my left elbow caught most of the fall. I felt shaken. The knees and left elbow areas that caught the fall felt sensitive. The security guard asked me to have a seat to rest. I sat down for about five minutes and approached the security guard to call the store manager so I can speak to him. The store manager came over and asked me to come in into the store office. He asked me if I was okay and would I like to fill out an incident report. i replied that I would since I was still felt shaken and wanted to make sure if I would need to see my doctor just in case. I filled out the incident report and was offered some ice to place on the areas that were sensitive from the fall. I remained in their office for about 20 minutes or so until I felt okay. The next day, I felt fine.
I believe we are responsible for our own insurance and protection as business owners. Workers comp doesn't apply, I wouldn't think, since we are not employees.

In Catgrannys case, they may be covered by Costco's liability insurance since the slip and fall happened on their property.

This is something that warrants consideration by each of us for our own security.

Thank goodness I'm too stupid to be mental!
Workers comp most definitely would not apply. No thinking about it. Catgranny did not have a serious injury (thank goodness) so there is nothing to cover.

If I had upcoming shops I could not do because of being in the hospital or out of commission from my injury, I would definitely let the MSC know about it. Otherwise, I guess it would depend on the situation if I got hurt while doing a shop, but I would not expect them to do anything about it.

Although, my husband and I did get food poisoning once from a shop and I did let the MSC know afterwards (the illness struck us after I had submitted the report). The MSC reached out to the management of the place, and they contacted me personally (after the MSC confirmed with me that was ok). They apologized and sent me a $100 gift card. Since I had eaten there before so many times with no problems, I accepted the gift card and I still shop the location. No problems since.
Catgrannyof5 from my experience, the managers that come out to "help", as well as the incident reports, are not there for your benefit. I imagine a serious slip and fall injury at a site would ruin the relationship between the shopper and the store and maybe the MSC.
If I fell in a store and needed stitches, I would get it taken care of as needed. My shop report might not go in as intended, possibly I would reshop the next day. Keep them separate.
I was wondering because I was badly hurt a few days ago while doing a shop. I was knocked off a golf cart while the associate was driving. I hit the pavement pretty hard. I believe she was driving too fast during the entire shop. Anywho, I hurt my shoulder, hit my head, and hip. The location called an ambulance to take me to the hospital because I was feeling pretty dizzy from hitting my head on the pavement and was in a lot of pain everywhere else. No one at the location took a report of the incident. I just went on my way when I was released from the hospital the next day. I have enjoyed doing the type of shop I was doing and would like to continue when I am all better. I am having an MRI this week because the doctor thinks I may have torn my rotator cuff.

I am thinking about all of these medical bills that I am racking up from an accident that was not my fault. I understand that I am an independent contractor.
This is on the establishment (assuming that it was an apartment shop). If they called an ambulance they must know that they were at fault. If there are medical bills, IMO, the apartment management company is responsible. Did you already write your report? In this situation, you should contact the MSC and let them know you plan on holding the apartment complex responsible for your bills and how to proceed with your report for this shop. It seems to me that they would want to know that the leasing agent was recklessly driving the golf cart and endangered your safety.
Look, if I rolled off a golf cart and needed an MRI, I might consider reshopping later and going thru the facility slip and fall process as an individual. The shop was worth what, $120-$350......? Maybe a $35 shop fee? Gosh, I'm not feeling well, I have to cancel my shop, so sorry. Even with full coverage, ins deductibles are going to be more than your shop.
That makes sense. They definitely are going to know that the leasing agent was reckless when they get sued for medical bills and don't need a MS report. Canceling the shop and pursuing compensation for your medical bills and any other hardships incurred would be the way to go.
Personally, I would treat it as: you are a customer in the store and you fell. Since it's not considered WC, then you file with the store for your insurance claim, as a customer who fell in the store.. (I could be wrong so please correct me. I have never had that happen yet).
I also got sick from raw fish (was supposed to be grilled), the MSC paid me for the job immediately, nothing else
was done, haven't been back. Memo to myself, don't order Ahi tuna at a burger place.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
Thanks for the input y’all. I appreciate it. I’m confused about the whole thing. The location hasn’t even called to check to see if I were okay.

Funny thing was that the shop was a recorded shop. So I have the entire thing recorded. Which I thought was funny. Anywho, I cancelled the shop because I did not know when I would be feeling better to get it completed. And I didn’t know if I should tell them what happened.

At this point I’m just very concerned with the mounting bills. It’s my right shoulder and I’m right handed. It’s taking me twice as long to do anything right now. I had to pay out of pocket for my prescriptions, too.
Well, your shoulder might not be intact but it sounds like your mental faculties and sense of humor are. I wish you well.
I am not sure about attorney's in your area but, we receive one free consultation with most attorney's here. Maybe you can find one there that provides a free consultation and go talk to them. Maybe they can help you with this.

Shopping Arkansas, Louisiana, & Mississippi.
Stores all have Ins., if a customer falls in your lot, there "usually" is Ins., yes, I would consult an Atty., first 1/2 hour is free.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
I think of most shops as evaluating the customer experience. If a shopper gets hurt doing a shop through no fault of their own, why not include the accident information in the report? If it happened to a shopper, the same thing could happen to a customer. I would expect the client would want to know how the accident happened and how it was handled by staff and management. How to get compensated for medical costs is a different issue altogether.
I agree with the suggestion to talk to an attorney asap if it looks like this is where events are leading. I wouldn't talk to the location or their parent company until you have talked to the attorney even if they do try to contact you. Such an ugly process, I don't envy you. Good luck.
Shelovestoshop, that's all going to come out after the suit is filed. The client doesn't need the report from the shopper as a great more detail is going to be revealed about how the accident happened and was handled when the suit is filed.
Shelovestoshop - The reason why I personally would not submit the shop, given the accident is because when a shop is submitted for pay/reimbursement you give up your rights to demand the company makes things right.
Shelovestoshop - The reason why I personally would not submit the shop, given the accident is because when a shop is submitted for pay/reimbursement you give up your rights to demand the company makes things right.
Get an attorney NOW. Do not delay. Do NOT destroy that recording!

The type of attorney you need is called a "Personal Injury" specialist.

The establishment is on the hook for 100% of your medical bills, and you need to get something in writing to them IMMEDIATELY. (Possibly also for lost work and pain and suffering.)

Tell the attorney something like this -- "I was being escorted around XXXX property by
XXXX, an employee, on a golf cart, and she drove recklessly and I was thrown from the golf cart and was injured. I have thousands in medical bills because of it, and I'm losing work. Can you help me?"

Keep us posted, do.
It is too late for this shop obviously and I read you did not file a report for the shop with the msc. I personally would have called the msc and asked what their advice would be as long as they were still open before the report was due.
My friend was hurt badly on private business property. She was not on a shop but her health insurance told her they expect her to file a claim against the owner of the private property to repay them for the medical bills as they do not want to pay them otherwise. They have covered her until the results of the claim are in. You might want to double check with your medical insurance to make sure they do not feel the same way her medical insurance company feels. She uses Kaiser.
As an Independent Contractor and not an Employee of the MSP, you are responsible for insuring yourself against an accident. The MSP does not carry insurance for contractors, only employees of the company. You should see a clause in your ICA that talks about providing your own insurance in the event of an accident during a shop or an audit.

If the accident was the result of something that happened while on the property being shopped and it was a result of the negligence of the owner or lessee of the property, you should seek legal assistance and get their insurance to cover damages.
Maybe you should find a lawyer. I detest frivolous lawsuits, but I had an experience with a torn rotator cup. I was moving a set-piece for a company I worked for, and it was badly constructed and fell full force on my shoulder. The doctor said it's like a football player hitting the ground with his shoulder first. They fought me for even workman's comp, but the result was I could never play tennis again. I played in high school and college, and I love that sport. The injury also has interfered with many daily tasks. So just a "heads up,", as they say in tennis.
Hi I’m a lawyer and a large part of my practice involves workers’ Comp and personal injury. I defend employers and companies. I mystery shop for fun and to pay down those darn school loans. I will say that the law varies from state to state and I can’t tell you what it is in your state, but generally independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation. That being said just because you signed an agreement saying you are an independent contractor does not mean the workers’ Comp commission or court will see it that way, it is not determinative. It varies again by state but the court is going to look at the facts to see if you qualify as an employee or not. A contract is only a part of the evidence. It’s also can they hire/fire, do they set your schedule, what type of work are you doing for them is it specialized or is it in the same business of the company, if it’s specialized you are more likely an IC if not you are more likely an employee. So a builder hires a plumber the plumber is a specialized trade in which the business does not practice. I can’t say absolutely in every circumstance a mystery shopper is an IC and often what’s considered an IC for tax purposes is not the same as for WC. The biggest difference between filing a personal injury suit and WC is fault. You do not have to prove anybody did anything wrong to get WC just that you were working and it happened and usually your employer bears the larger burden of proof. When you sue for negligence you must prove the store, or facility was negligent, and depending on the state prove that you were not at all negligent yourself or less negligent that the company you are suing. It’s a pretty high burden. Just water in the floor is not enough. The water must have been there long enough for the store to discover it. And it’s your burden to show it was. You also are limited in what damages you can receive generally personal injury suits are worth a lot more money than workers Comp ones are. WC is wage replacement and medical treatment there is no pain and suffering. WC also kicks in quicker and is adjudicated quicker. In PI if you allege you fell at a store due to their negligence and they say no we were not negligent they don’t have to pay you a dime until that case goes to trial and you get a verdict which could be years! Also if you get WC and then sue a negligent party other than you employer, so mystery shopper slips at store, gets WC from MSC then she’s store, MSC generally holds a lien on the proceeds of the settlement or verdict so you have to pay back what they paid you first. Best advice is see a lawyer in your state but don’t presume that just because you signed an IC agreement that you are an IC. Also never ever ever sign anything from the merchant that gives up your right to sue. They may offer you gift cards, etc just don’t do it. If you are really hurt turn it down and call a lawyer.
If you PM me what state you live in, I can try to get you a referral for a lawyer. I’m on the east coast but could ask around for other referrals.
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