Simply paying someone to cut your grass or clean your home could turn out to be a legal problem. While there are tax and employment laws you might have to consider, you also have to avoid any liability if the person gets injured while working at your home. Contact a lawyer immediately if someone you’ve hired gets injured while in your home.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy probably will not cover their injuries. If a friend is visiting your home and gets injured, the insurance policy will pay; if you are paying someone to be there, then you aren’t covered. (And asking the paid person to lie about working for you is insurance fraud.)
Workers should either come with their own insurance coverage, or they should explicitly waive your liability. Of course, companies and referral agencies will have their own coverage. You need to be worried when you hire a friend, neighbor, or stranger off Craigslist.
Start with a written waiver statement about injuries and liabilities. You can add the statement to the same piece of paper about pay. For a one-time job, this should suffice. If you intend on having the same person working at your home on a regular basis, ask a lawyer to draft a short contract that limits your liability.Read More
As the injured party, you probably don’t care where or how you got hurt; you’ve been injured by no fault of your own and you want to recover your losses. However, where and how you got hurt makes a tremendous difference to the legal system. In order to find the right lawyer to help you, you need to have a working knowledge of the differences between employment practices, workers compensation, and personal injury cases.
Workers compensation cases are based on a physical or mental injury sustained by an employee while at work. For example, if you work in a warehouse and a shelf falls on you, then you have a workers compensation claim. The employer is responsible for the injuries because the accident occurred while you were on the job. Likewise, if you have a boss that constantly yells at you and threatens to fire you, you can develop stress-related health issues like anxiety and sleeplessness.
Employment practices is generally about sexual or emotional harassment and discrimination. Of course the typical example for sexual harassment is a boss demanding sex in exchange for a promotion. Realistically, harassment is more subtle, and includes a workplace environment where abusive or sexual jokes and unwelcome advances are commonplace. Discrimination lawsuits are generally based on ethnicity, age, and gender. Discrimination cases are harder to prove, but with several unrelated victims detailing the same problems, a lawyer can make a case for discrimination.
Personal injury takes place outside of the claimant’s workplace. Personal injury accidents include injuries sustained in a retail store, in a car accident, by a faulty product, etc. If you’ve been injured by no (or little) fault of you own, then you probably qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. One major exception is for accidents that happen in your own home. If you slip and fall while in your own kitchen, you can’t sue yourself or your homeowner’s insurance company for medical bills.Read More
If you’ve ever been to the emergency room with a broken bone, you might have received a letter from your health insurance company asking if the injury happened at work. Why would they care if you got hurt at work? Because if you broke a bone while working, then the employer’s insurance plan has to pay for the medical expenses — not your health insurance plan.
So when you file a personal injury claim, you frequently unleash a battle between insurance companies as to which one is responsible for the costs. When insurance companies sue each other, its call subrogation. And frequently, as the insured you don’t know that these insurance battles are raging on behind the scenes. In the fine print of every insurance policy (and there is a lot of fine print) you give permission for the companies to sue each other.
However, while the insurance companies will fight with each other over the cost of your x-rays and pain prescriptions, they probably aren’t asking if you’ve lost wages due to the injury. You have to hire your own lawyer so that the lawsuits include all of your costs. With a few weeks out of work or a lifetime of disability, you have to become an advocate for yourself by hiring a lawyer.
And you have to do it before all of the insurance money runs out. Let’s say you were crossing the street and got hit by a car. You broke your foot. Initially, your health insurance covers the costs, but they soon realize the driver’s insurance company should be paying for the medical coverage. The insurance companies fight it out and come to a settlement. Meanwhile, you’re at home with a broken foot, unable to work. After a few months, you realize that you could still get some money for your lost wages. And with a lawyer, you can. It might take some time, but you can get money because you couldn’t work with a broken foot. However, had you contacted a lawyer right away, you could have come to a settlement before the insurance companies used it up for themselves.
Personal injuries cost more than the price of medical treatments. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer and claim your share of the insurance money.Read More