independent contractor

(redirected from Tort Liability)
Also found in: Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

independent contractor

One who is hired to reach a certain goal or perform a certain task,but who has the ability and the right to determine the methods and times for reaching that goal or task,so long as it is not illegal and is within the limits of the contract.This is an important concept because

1. Employers must take withholding taxes and pay matching taxes for employees but not independent contractors. The IRS has significantly tightened the definition of indepen- dent contractor so that most work relationships do not qualify. Under certain circum- stances, real estate agents have been held to be employees for tax purposes.

2. If an independent contractor is negligent or commits an intentional tort, then the person who hired the contractor is not generally liable for the resulting damage. If an employee did the same thing, the employer would be liable so long as the employee was acting within the line and scope of his or her employment, which is usually a fairly easy hurdle for plaintiffs' lawyers to overcome.

3. An exception exists for the general rule of nonliability for the actions of an independent contractor, and that is in the area of real estate brokerage. Most real estate agents are independent contractors working for the broker. Real estate licensing laws, however, usu- ally hold the broker responsible for the actions of agents.

Independent Contractor

A taxpayer who contracts to do work according to his own methods and who is not subject to control except as to the results of such work. An employee, by contrast, is subject to the control of the employer as to the methods to be used to obtain the desired results.
References in periodicals archive ?
The problem, of course, is whether the additional insured coverage is broad enough to encompass the tort liability assumed.
In addition to tort liability for moral damages--the most common case in practice, the doctrine admitted the possibility of financial reparation of the moral damage resulting from contractual liability (Albu, 1992: 29; Albu, 1994: 258-266), for example, the corresponding failure of an employment contract (Beligradeanu, 1992: 35-39).
We test this hypothesis using a large sample of automobile insurance claims from accidents occurring in 42 states over the period 1972-1997 when tort liability for insurer bad faith was expanding.
As a result, the issue of tort liability for injury or death of crew members arose infrequently and, in the United States, only within the bounds of the Federal Tort Claims Act.
2) It was said that, in case of paid medical units, public or private, a contractual liability may be withhold upon the physician burden, while in case of public medical establishments, free of charge, a tort liability may be held, because in this case doctors cannot be chosen by patients.
have generally rejected tort liability for speech on a theory of
Rather, from the standpoint of economic efficiency, for continuous safety choices the penalties established through tort liability should provide financial incentives for firms to provide the products that achieve a level of risk that equates the incremental benefits of greater safety with the incremental costs.
controversy over the underlying rationale for tort liability, one that
Not only would potential tort liability against such contractors affect military costs and efficiencies and contractors' availability, it would also present the possibility that military commanders could be hauled into civilian courts for the purpose of evaluating and differentiating between military and contractor decisions.
The reason, however, lies outside the existing debate because ex post tort liability is an ineffective deterrent for decisions that have impacts with long periods of latency.
23) "[T]he threat of tort liability has the capacity to deter broadly.
Civil liability has two main forms, respectively tort liability and contractual liability (4).