Are Homeowners Liable For Injuries To Contractors On Their Property?
Homeowners have a responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe. If they fail to do so and a person is injured as a result, the homeowner may be held liable for damages in certain cases.
For example, if a huge crack develops in the driveway and the property owner fails to fix it in a timely fashion, it could be considered negligence. As a result, he or she could end up facing a personal injury claim if someone trips over the crack and falls.
Of course, if that someone happens to be the contractor who was hired to fix the driveway, the situation is a bit more complex, and several factors could affect liability. Because construction is a notoriously dangerous industry, general contractors must purchase workers’ compensation insurance in order to obtain a valid license in the state of New Mexico.
Thus, homeowners who hire licensed contractors are usually free from liability in the event of a construction accident on their property. On the other hand, those who hire unlicensed and, subsequently, uninsured contractors could end up footing the bill if someone gets hurt on the job.
Unfortunately, construction workers are not the only ones who can sustain injuries on job sites. If you were hurt when passing a residential or commercial work zone because of dangerous conditions, turn to The Law Office of Brian K. Branch.
Since 1997, our firm has been providing compassionate yet aggressive representation to people throughout New Mexico who have suffered injuries at the hands of negligent or reckless parties. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free case evaluation with a construction accident lawyer in Albuquerque.
Are Homeowners Liable for Injuries to Contractors on Their Property?
Before hiring a contractor, it’s important to remember that there are certain scenarios in which members of a construction crew can hold the property owner liable for injuries sustained on site. For example, homeowners must provide a reasonably safe work environment, even if the property is a “fixer upper.”
That means they must advise the crew of any potential hazards, like rotting wood or a crumbling foundation, before work begins, even if the job has nothing to do with the danger. Otherwise, the homeowner could be liable if someone gets hurt on the premises after failing to take proper precautions.
If you hire a contractor to paint the house and the porch collapses under the weight of their equipment because of termite damage, you could be responsible for the medical bills and lost wages of any workers who get hurt in the process. Assuming you knew about the damage, you had an obligation to tell them.
Property owners may also have to cover the damages that result from a construction accident on their property if they hire unlicensed and uninsured contractors. Although your homeowners’ insurance may include bodily injury liability, it likely has a clause voiding coverage if you knowingly hire an unlicensed individual to perform work on the property.
Hiring a licensed and insured contractor will also protect your own family members in the event of an accident. If the crew fails to exercise adequate care at any stage of the project and you or a loved one sustains injuries as a result, you can file a claim with the contractor’s insurance provider.