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Contractor injury

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by Murphi02, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Murphi02

    Murphi02 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We hired a contractor to install a metal roof on our cabin. We did ask if they had insurance - yes. A neighbor notified us yesterday that one of the workers had fallen off the roof and was being transported by ambulance to a hospital 2 1/2 hours away (meaning the injury was likely significant).

    We called the contractor to find out what happened and were told that, while he had work comp. insurance, the injured employee was a new hire and had yet to be added to the policy. The contractor said he told the worker to wear a harness but then left to grab breakfast. No harness was worn and the fall happened shortly after he left.

    The injured employee reportedly has health insurance and we do have homeowner's insurance.
    I did report the incident to our homeowner's company. The rep took down the information and said they would now just wait and see what happens.

    Of course our thoughts are with the injured employee but I do worry about our potential liability. With this scenerio, what would the order of insurance coverage be?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    More than likely the employee is covered by the employer or the employer's insurance.

    You've reported it to your carrier, so simply wait until someone makes the next move.

    I doubt that you'll be liable for the negligence of others.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Why would you think you might have any potential liability?
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That doesn't make any sense and shows that business people, especially contractors, know very little about the insurance that they carry. I have never (35 years in the insurance business) heard of a WC policy that required each employee to be added to the policy when they are hired. WC insurance is based on payroll which is estimated at the beginning of the year, audited at the end of the year, or reported monthly depending on the size of the business. Every employee is covered from day one of hire.

    Doesn't matter with regard to the employee's WC coverage.

    WC pays first. For your insurance to pay anything you would have had to have been negligent somehow in causing the accident and I don't see any of that in the situation you describe.

    Relax.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Your description is correct for employers who play by all the rules.

    The cheaters, crooks, charlatans, flim flam artists, deceivers, connivers; on the other hand, might not have ALL (or any) employees on a payroll where taxes are deducted, SS, etc...
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Unfortunately true.
     
  7. Murphi02

    Murphi02 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So I'm curious, in the event this employee was not on the payroll (if that is what the contractor was eluding to), what would that mean for us?
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Nothing more, nothing less.

    It could mean trouble for others.
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Nothing.

    Again, why would you think you might have any potential liability?
     
  10. Murphi02

    Murphi02 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oh, I don't think we're "liable" at all. I just don't want my insurance company to have to pay then jack my rates up.
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In the future, make sure you SEE (and validate) PROOF that a contractor is insured.

    You should also make sure the contractor is licensed to do the kind of repairs or maintenance for which you're contemplating hiring the person to do.
     
  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    There are two circumstances under which your insurer might pay:

    1. If the injury falls within the scope of the medical payments component of your homeowner's insurance policy, then the insurer will pay up to the policy amount (typically no more than $5k in a standard homeowner's policy), regardless of legal liability. If your insurer pays under this coverage, it is incredibly unlikely that it will impact your premium (of course that depends on who your insurer is, and you can always inquire of your insurer's claims rep about that).

    2. If a court or your insurer determines that you are or may be legally liable for the injury, then your insurer will pay up to the limit of your liability coverage (which will be be much higher than the med-pay coverage). If that happens, it very likely will impact your premium. I agree that you have posted nothing that would make anyone believe this is a reasonable possibility.
     
  13. Murphi02

    Murphi02 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you very much!
     
  14. Murphi02

    Murphi02 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks. I will definitely ask for proof next time, even for a 1-2 job like this was supppsed to be. He did take care of getting the necessary permits and met with the inspector so we assume he was properly licensed - but I know what they say about assumptions
     

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