The probability of a contractor getting hurt during a home renovation is relatively high. Handling sharp machinery, working long hours, and sometimes executing different tasks carelessly are a few of the factors that lead to this unfortunate event. However, when deciding who to blame or hold accountable for an injury of this nature, the owner is put in scrutiny just as much as the contractor. For us to accurately decide who’s liable for a contractor’s injury during a home renovation, a clear distinction between who exercises control over the property is needed.
This article aims at identifying the criteria through which one can determine who is liable for a contractor’s injury during the renovation.
Decide on Who Has Control Over The Property
As a homeowner, you need to decide whether you want to actively participate in renovations or not. Homeowners who do not exercise some type of control over the property agree with a contractor to perform certain work on the property for a fixed amount of time and money. By doing so, the homeowner makes a few assumptions that exempt them from any legal liability. Through a contractual agreement, both the contractor and homeowner are guaranteed their rights. Nonetheless, the homeowner is required, by law, to provide a safe environment for the contractors. Yet, if the contractor is hired for a specific job while knowing there’s a risk to it, and is injured by that specific job, the contractor cannot sue the homeowner for any damages.
On the other hand, if you decide as a homeowner to exercise control over your property, you become legally liable for any damages a worker might suffer. If you directly instruct a contractor to do a certain job, and he gets directly injured from it, you become legally liable to compensate for all the damages done to the worker. For that, and so much more, you can choose to have your own homeowner insurance that guarantees coverage for anything that happens in your space.
Does the Contractor Work for a Licensed General Contractor, Self-Employed, or Your Own Employee?
A rather crucial distinction, each category of the aforementioned have different legal consequences. If the contractor works for a licensed general contractor, there is a very high chance of them being already insured through their employer. If they are self-employed, or your own employee, chances are you’re going to have to pay for the damages. Though some homeowners might argue that the injuries were sustained because of the contractor’s negligence, according to the lawyers at https://www.stewartlawoffices.net/, laws of specific countries hold homeowners liable for the contractor’s actions because they deem them as the homeowner’s employees. You should look over at the distinctions between the 3 categorized contractors, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and choose the type of contractor that best fits your aspirations and you’re most comfortable with.
Protect Yourself, Legally!
There has to be legal backing to any agreement made between you (the homeowner) and the contractor. Make sure to hire a contractor who has their own insurance. Looking at sources clarifies that a contractor’s insurance should cover any bodily injury or property damage they had caused to you, injuries the contractor might cause through damage to the property, and a few other clauses that the link will provide. With insurance of that nature, you minimize your risks of any legal actions coming your way because of an unfortunate event. Make sure to get rid of any additional items before your contractors show up. By doing so, you ensure that no external sources might cause any harm to your property or the contractor.
Having a well-written contract with your contractor will eliminate most, if not all, risks. Make sure your lawyer goes through the document before it is signed. Legal experience, in matters of this sort, is crucial to ensure maximum benefits being guaranteed to you as a homeowner. All in all, there isn’t a set-in-stone method through which one can identify who is liable when a contractor gets hurt during a home renovation. Some will blame the contractor, others will blame the homeowners, but we should all remember that the contractor is, after all, a human being. Being injured can sometimes be scary. People will do whatever it takes to get healthy without having to bear all of the costs. You want to make sure that, whoever has to pay for such costs, is the person who is truly responsible. Being at fault is okay, as long as you recognize that mistake and make sure to fairly compensate for the damaged party.
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