What Happens If a Hired Home Improvement Contractor Gets Injured on My Property?

B

While you don’t have to have a law degree to renovate a home, it helps to know what happens if a home improvement contractor gets injured on your property. Injuries are unfortunate but can occur as a fault of your own or the contractors. While you want to do your best to help and can’t stand to see anyone get hurt, prepare yourself if an injury occurs, as they often do happen.

From navigating the technicalities of liability to working with an attorney for the first time, the decisions you make after a contractor is injured at your house can set you forward or backward, so think first. Trust yourself enough to know you’ll do what’s in your family’s best interests. Hopefully, everyone will remain calm and focused. But if there’s a problem, here’s your guide to a solution.

You Must Determine the Liability

Varying factors can contribute to you being deemed liable. If a contractor says you helped create an unsafe work environment, you’re responsible if you’ve done that, primarily if you worked against the company’s recommendations. If the contractor stayed up and partied all night and slipped and fell the next day, he and the company would be liable, and you would owe them nothing. It’s crucial to analyze the scenario in your head after an accident.

The truth is that accidents are more common than expected, even if that’s not the news you want to hear. An injury is especially possible if your contractor is a roofer and isn’t following the best safety protocols. Did you know that 75% of houses in North America are outfitted with roof shingles meant to protect owners from the elements? That means you depend on these contractors, so your reputation matters, but you still have to be ready to see who’s at fault.

You Must Consider if Your Insurance Will Pay

If your insurance pays, then you’re in luck and fortunate. Your insurance will pay if you’re not liable and have a good history with the insurance company. Insurance companies won’t pay if they expect you were reckless and responsible. So check with the company after the injury to ensure they’ll cover some of the costs. You might not need to consult with an attorney.

You Must Hire an Attorney

Choose the most qualified, skilled attorney available. You’ll want an attorney if you’re liable, but you’ll also enjoy an attorney if you’re second-guessing yourself. Choose between the attorneys in your area and double-check your funds to see that you can afford the expense. Most qualified associate attorneys in Seattle, for example, charge between $250 and $375 an hour, but depending on practice area and experience, you may pay more. Remember, your goal with an attorney is to fend off a lawsuit if the injury wasn’t your fault.

You Must Reschedule Your Project

If your contractor’s injured, the news will be most unsettling. Whether for personal reasons or because there’s no replacement, you’ll have to consider rescheduling. Unless your home improvement project was intended to improve safety, changes like adding bathroom fixtures and kitchen cabinets or replacing the HVAC system could wait temporarily.

Most homeowners in the United States will spend up to $1,105 a year on house maintenance, and that’s even considering the existing expenses they have. Still, it’s better to reschedule with a company than abandon the project altogether. After the injury, at least wait until you’ve understood the law and know how to protect yourself going forward.

You Must Defend Yourself if You’re Not Responsible

In addition to your attorney’s work, you’ll need to be brave. Remind a judge or jury at trial that you followed the guidelines and helped create a safe working environment. Go over the day’s tasks in as much detail as possible. The more you stand up for yourself in court, the better. Often, a contractor suing you may know you’re not liable, so keep this information in mind if you choose to let down your guard. A well-prepared defense with your legal team? That’s the ticket to returning to the home improvement project you need to finish.

The home improvement project was supposed to be a great time. An injury happened, and that’s unfortunate. Now that you know what will happen, you can trust that your attorney has enough law experience to help you avoid paying an excessive amount. Either way, it’s always critical that your working environment is safe before you begin working with a contractor.