Are Home owners liable for injury?
This is not an easy yes or no answer. It can be very complicated. Here are some factors to consider: One factor is, what did you hire the contractor to do? Say you hire a contractor to fix the holes in your roof, the contractor knows the roof is unsteady, has holes and is dangerous. If he, or one of his workers, falls through the roof, are you liable? Probably not. You hired them to fix that problem and it was their responsibility to make sure the roof was reinforced properly and all workers had safety gear. However , what if you hired a brick mason to repair the chimney and he falls through the roof? Then You may be liable. The reason? It is a home owners responsibility to provide a safe environment for the contractor and by not having the roof already repaired or reinforced you could be held responsible for injury. Another factor is in how much control you decide to have in the building process. Most home owners leave the entire process to a General Contractor. However , if you decide that you would like to be your own General Contractor, you could be putting yourself at risk of being liable for injury. The less control you have over your project , the less liability you take on as well. Even the small act of telling a contractor HOW to do a part of his job or WHERE to put equipment can actually throw liability on to your shoulders. What about workers' compensation? Usually home owners are not responsible for providing Workers' Compensation. Workers' Compensation is taken on by each contractor and subcontractor individually. They cannot file against a home owner unless they are hired as a domestic employee, which in most cases they are not. what about home owners insurance? This can also become complicated. Most home owners insurance policies do not provide for injury to a contractor hired to do work on your home. You should review your policy before beginning any work on your home. Some companies will provide extra coverage while you are building or remodeling and some will not. Reviewing the policy you have and any options they can provide may bring you peace of mind. Be sure to comment if you have anything to add or have any questions. I am not a lawyer and this blog was meant only as a guide and not in any way is it to be used or construed as legal advice. If you have a problem that needs to be addressed on this or any other subject please consult a licensed attorney.