The worker was over the weight limit posted on the ladder, which caused the ladder to buckle and the worker to lose balance and fall. He is now in hospital care and will have surgery with months of rehab. How do I protect myself?
Your liability is probably limited based upon the facts that you presented. Do you maintain insurance coverage for these types of ocurrences? If so, that insurance company should provide you with a defense at no additional cost. The key for you is to place the insurance company on notice as quickly as possible once you receive notice of the injured person making a claim or pursuing you. If you have workers comp insurance, the same likely applies.
First of all, you should have premises liability insurance coverage on the property and should report it to your carrier. They should take over for you and defend any action that may be filed or any claims that may be made. If you do not have insurance, you should contact a FL attorney to help you and to advise you on how to protect your interests. You should also not discuss the matter with anyone other than your own insurance company or your own attorney.
If you have the ability to do so, you should keep the ladder as evidence. While your description makes it sound like the worker disregarded weight limits posted on the ladder, there may be other variables which contributed to the fall that need to be examined. This is the province of an expert. If you have insurance, they will take this responsibility.
JOYCE J. SWEINBERG ESQUIRE
Attorney at Law
105 A East Maple Avenue
Langhorne PA 19047
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.
Generally, homeowners insurance policies do not provide workers compensation coverage to people whom you hire to work on your property. However, your policy may contain medical payments coverage, which would be available to pay on the injured party's medical bills up to the limit of your coverage. In any event, you should contact your homeowner's insurance company and placed them on notice of this incident. There does not appear to be any breach of duty on your part, which would make you in any way liable to this injured worker.Discuss this further with your insurance carrier.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.