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liability

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by BossPlowGuy04, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. BossPlowGuy04

    BossPlowGuy04 Senior Member
    from novi Mi
    Messages: 134

    hey guys, have a few questions about plowing and liablity, i put a bid in on a parking lot of a doctors office/vet clinic and an insurance agency, they want plowing and salting i plan on haveing the lot plowed and salted by 8:00am when they open. but if i salt and plow the lot am i responsible for someone if they slip and fall?? i will be coverd for 1million in liability so that should cover it correct? also what should i put in the contract should i put something about me not being liable for sliping and falling?? i'm new to plowing so any help would be greatly appericated.
    thanks
    alex
     
  2. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    i don't kow any other way around it rather that haveing gen liab but

    you assume some responsibility but not all, the law in MO says that as long as you make a "reasonable attempt" you are fine, you can't hold everyones hand

    we work for wal-mart and several others and even government office complex and we carry 2or3mil gen liab and everyone is sue crazy and when they slip&fall it actually comes back on the landowner and it's on the landowner to sue you for compensation.

    the only reason i know is because we took a contract from a local groundskeeper that within the first snowfall had 3slip&fall's and a car wreck and the land owner's insurance had to defend themselves in 5 suits.

    Knock on wood we have never had an incident
     
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    You assume potential for liability by providing service of any type. There is no way to avoid that and no clause in your contract is going to completely absolve you of potential liability. Notice I said "potential liability" That is because should someone sue for damages related to an "incident", it will be up to (first) the plaintiff's attorney to decide who will be sued and (second) up to the judge to decide who will actually be included in the legal proceedings. Most contracts will have a "hold harmless" clause, in which the one party agrees to defend the other party against lawsuits. Contracts also usually contain a clause that you are "not responsible for Acts of God" and "assumes no responsibility for naturally occurring conditions".

    But the best defense in "slip and fall" cases is to perform exactly according to contract, keep good record of conditions before and after servicing the site and have a good insurance policy. Remember, when people sue - in thier mind, they're suing the place where the accident occured (the big, rich doctor's office or that big, rich retail store) not the poor little plow guy.
     
  4. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Don't forget that you will need two insurance policies, one for the vehicle, commercial vehicle policy for things you might bump into with the truck and one for the business operation, a comprehensive general liablity policy often nic-named the CGL for the coverage of things like the slip and fall's and damages such as the snowthrower might do by hurling a chunk of ice at someone or something.
     
  5. fortywinks

    fortywinks Member
    from NE OH
    Messages: 82

    CGL Policy

    Is that basically a commercial umbrella policy you are referring to? One policy covers the truck while plowing or transporting and the CGL covers what additionally? If you are not throwing salt/de-icers or not snow blowing/shoveling what is the need for the cgl? I'm new to this so any info/opinions are welcome.
     
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Commercial General Liability covers "completed operations". While it covers other things, like lost/destroyed records, the completed operations is the most significant for most snow plow operators. This is coverage for the "slip and fall" claim or a claim involving other than that caused directly by the truck or plow.
     
  7. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    A little background on liability

    If you are a snowplower it is considered that you know what you are doing...

    You are plowing the lot to make it 'safe'

    When you have finished plowing the lot that for you is a 'completed operation' referred to above

    If you fail to do this and injury or damage occurs because of that, you are responsible 'liable'

    if you leave snow or ice behind and someone slip and falls you CAN be liable (a decision that the courts will make)


    questions so far . . .
     
  8. BossPlowGuy04

    BossPlowGuy04 Senior Member
    from novi Mi
    Messages: 134


    so basicaly i do my job clean the snow, and salt the crap out of the lot and sidewalks i should be ok. right?
     
  9. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Basically, yes, BUT If someone even THINKS that they can get a free ride on your back they can sue in court. A lot of common folk look upon suing a company as playing the slots, little to lose and lots to gain. Some plaintiff's lawyers even build their fee system on a contingency basis. If they don't win some money for their client, they don't get paid. So, the guy suing has no risk to lose money on lawyer's fees and everything to gain. The cost of the insurer's defence is worth the price of the premium. Litagation is time consuming and expensive, even if it's proven that you did nothing wrong. The insuer knows what they are doing in these battles. The same way you know how to snow plow.

    You have to help them out though, as mentioned keep records as to timing response of service, weather conditions, timing of plowing runs, timing of salting runs, anything that says how compentent and diligent you are.

    Yes you won't need a CGL if nothing goes wrong. Just like seatbelts, spare parts, and repair bases won't be needed if nothing ever goes wrong.

    Be prepared
     
  10. BossPlowGuy04

    BossPlowGuy04 Senior Member
    from novi Mi
    Messages: 134

    thanks for all your help.