You hire a contractor to add an extension to your Dallas, TX home. While going through the process, one his workers slips and falls, cracking his hip amidst all the flooring they’ve ripped up. Next thing you know, his medical bills have added up and he has a lawyer seeking recovery from you, the homeowner. So then what are the chances of recovery against your property and you as the owner?
While a homeowner can’t stop a party from filing a lawsuit, there are a number of issues here that may get in the way of a direct connection to the homeowner, according to the Eichelmann Insurance Agency. First, the contractor should have had a workers’ compensation policy in place. However, this isn’t always guaranteed. Some contractors hire their help as subcontractors, which means the worker’s comp defense doesn’t apply. Second, the contractor should be licensed and bonded. However, the bond is usually to ensure that if the job doesn’t get finished or fouls up, the homeowner has can recover by going after the bond with the contractor’s bonding agency. Again, a worker’s injury doesn’t usually get covered by these contingencies. Ideally, then, a homeowner will have insisted that the contractor has liability insurance for his work and people, but many homeowners forget to ask, so it can slip by.
If none of the above can be used, then it is likely the homeowner’s insurance may be the next target of a recovery lawsuit if that homeowner’s insurance policy covers injuries in the home. Most general language policies do, but to be sure you should check ahead of initiating a project just in case. For those in the Dallas, TX area, the Eichelmann Insurance Agency can help walk through the particulars or update a coverage to ensure you have contractor injury protection. Call or email for more information.