Are You Liable if Someone Gets Hurt While Working on Your Property in Ocala, Florida?
Bill Allen | January 2, 2023 | Premises Liability
Many homeowners assume that workers’ compensation covers injuries if a worker gets hurt while working on their property. While it might be true that the injured worker could be entitled to workers’ comp benefits, it is also a possibility that the homeowner is liable for the worker’s injuries and damages.
Homeowners have a legal duty to provide safe premises for people invited onto their property. That duty of care extends to workers, including repairmen, babysitters, installers, housekeepers, contractors, and others. Premises liability laws could result in a personal injury claim against the homeowner that their homeowner’s insurance might not always cover.
What Is Your Duty of Care to a Worker on Your Property in Ocala?
You could be criminally liable if you intentionally harm a worker on your property. You could also be civilly liable for damages under intentional tort laws. Otherwise, your duties regarding workers on your property include the following:
- The duty to inform workers of known hazards and hidden dangers
- The duty to inspect your property to discover dangerous situations and hidden hazards that could cause harm or injury
- The duty not to willfully act in a manner that causes injury or harm
- The duty to repair and resolve dangerous conditions in a reasonable time
If a homeowner fails to exercise reasonable care, they could be liable if a worker is injured on their property. Reasonable efforts include removing any known hazards, warning of known hazards, and making timely repairs.
For example, suppose you hire a contractor to repair the electrical wiring in your kitchen. However, you failed to warn the contractor and workers of loose flooring that you knew about before you hired the workers. As a result, if a worker falls through the floor, you could be liable for the injuries.
However, suppose you hired workers to fix the damaged flooring in your kitchen. If the worker falls through the floor, the accident is more likely to be covered by workers’ compensation instead of premises liability law.
Exercising Control Over a Job vs. No Control Over a Job
There is also an element that must be considered when analyzing whether you are responsible for a worker injured on your property. Did you exercise control over how the job was performed, or did you allow the workers to select the work methods?
When a homeowner exercises a lot of control over the job, they are more likely to be liable if a worker is injured. Exercising control includes performing tasks that are generally assigned to a general contractor or telling workers how to perform the work. The less control the homeowner exercises, the less likely they are responsible for a worker’s injuries at their home, barring any negligence by the homeowner.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a Worker Injured on Your Property in Ocala?
If you are liable for a worker’s injuries on your property, your homeowner’s insurance should cover the claim, provided you have the required liability coverage. However, there could be exclusions to the policy that might create an exception. For example, if your own negligence or carelessness caused the injury, it could void your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
If a worker is injured on your property, notify your homeowner’s insurance company immediately. However, before making a statement or talking with an insurance adjuster, talk with an Ocala premises liability lawyer. An attorney reviews your case during a free consultation to advise you of your rights and obligations regarding the claim.
Why Would an Injured Worker Sue Me for an Accident on My Property in Ocala?
A workers’ compensation claim is a no-fault claim. The injured employee does not need to prove fault to collect workers’ comp benefits. On the other hand, if the injured worker sues the homeowner, the worker has the burden of proving the claim to recover damages.
So, why would an injured worker go to the trouble of suing the homeowner when filing a workers’ comp claim might be easier?
Therefore, suing the homeowner could result in additional compensation for the injured worker. The worker could receive compensation for all loss of income and other economic damages. The injured worker could also receive compensation for non-economic damages, including emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical pain.
Furthermore, a third-party claim against the homeowner could result in a more considerable settlement amount for future damages if the worker sustains a permanent impairment. The worker could receive money for decreased quality of life, ongoing personal care, and diminished earning capacity.
Homeowners should verify that contractors and workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance before they begin work. Also, it is wise to verify homeowner’s insurance covers accidents involving workers on the property.
Contact Our Ocala Premises Liability Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala premises liability lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: