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Who's liable?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by cwags73, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. cwags73

    cwags73 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    This may sound like a dumb question but I'm new to being paid for snow plowing. If I'm contracted to plow townhouses and someone (not an employee) slips and injures themselves, is the property owner liable or am I? I carry insurance but want to make sure about this before actually signing a contract.
     
  2. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    You would be held liable, im sure the property owner could be held too.
     
  3. Mick

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

    The lawyer representing the injured person will name everybody remotely involved and let the judge sort them out.
     
  4. rfed32

    rfed32 Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    you...we had this happen a couple years ago but nothing ever endin up going thru with it...they realized the fallin person was at fault wearin 6in high heals to work in the snow...so it ended like that
     
  5. CNY Plow

    CNY Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 145

    Who's contract

    Is this your contract or the property owner's contract?
    I state specifically that there is no guarantee that we will leave completly BARE pavement - we all know that's impossible. I do not accept liability, and I do not sign someone elses contract without my lawyer reading it.
     
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549

    :nono: There are some things you can not sign away.

    If you did something wrong or did not do something that you should have you are liable.
     
  7. Mick

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

    You don't have to; the judge will give it to you.
     
  8. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    You guys are sorta right and sorta wrong. (Edit: Actually Farmer is exactly right....)

    Most of our contracts read that we aren't liable for slip-and falls and damage to surafces, etc., etc.

    These DO hold up in court!!! and should be included in everyone's contract!!!

    The ONLY way you can be find liable (assuming you have a good contract) is if they can PROVE you were NEGLIGENT!!!

    If you and your employees are doing your jobs to the best of your ability, and to the terms of the contract - you shouldn't have any big problems.
    Nothing can guarantee you wont be sued however. Anyone can sue anybody for anything.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  9. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Exactly, we're going through that right now. This is why detailed records are a must and that is why we do site checks on all our big accounts every morning 7 days a week between 3 and 6 am. We salt puddles, runoff and any other slippery spot and we write down exactly what we did. The more documentation you have, if you have to go to court, the better off you will be.
     
  10. cwags73

    cwags73 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Thanks guys, the one outfit wants snow blowing and shoveling but they want the homeowners to put their own ice melt down. The other wants me to do everything.
     
  11. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    I only do full service on stuff like that. We shovel, we put down the salt. The truth is, as Mick said, we will likely have the liability put on us. It just makes sense to take the responsibility from the start and do everything and document it.
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549


    Mick is right if it gets that far.


    As a pedestrian slipping/tripping on a berm you left in a parking lot.

    I get hurt. Being old,:waving: I break my hip. I want to sue someone, I'm pissed!:gunsfiring:

    But the plow guy has a contract That states he can not be held liable.

    Ding, ding,
    You can not sign away my right to sue you! Right or wrong.

    Now, if the case is not settled out of court as most are by the INS Co. by this time.
    The Judge will tell you who is liable.

    You
    The Business owner
    Or No one
     
  13. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    How about some PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY????? How bout it's YOUR fault, cause YOU decided to walk your old *** over the berm of snow!!!!! :gunsfiring:

    Seriously though, the judge is going to base his decision as to the contractors liability by determining whether on not he was negligent in performing the work contracted for, on said property. So yea, obviously Mick is right because ultimately the judge decides whether the contractor is liable (and in turn negligent). But the contractor CANNOT be liable unless he is found negligent in performing the work contracted for. Think about it.........

    and there is NO WAY that ins. companies settle "a majority" of general liability claims.


    And when you quoted me, you left out when i said:
    "If you and your employees are doing your jobs to the best of your ability, and to the terms of the contract - you shouldn't have any big problems.
    Nothing can guarantee you wont be sued however. Anyone can sue anybody for anything."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2007
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549

    Relax there big guy!
    I was agreeing with you.

    Yea, where is the accountability?
    You left the berm.
    It is not a natural occurrence but a man made one.

    What if your best work is not good enough or down right poor?

    The most careful contractor can and will have a problem sooner or later.

    Yes most are settled out of court by the INS CO, ATTY.
    I never said in who's favor......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2007
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    People sue for no reason everyday, the sad part is they win. They don't have to prove you're negligent, you have to dis-prove their claims of negligence.
    A man bought a new Winnebago, headed home, got to the interstate set the cruise control on 55 an went back to fix a cup of coffee. The motor home rolled down a embankment. Gentleman sued successfully to the tune of 1.4 million because the instructions did not state that that the driver had to remain in control of the vehicle.
    The parameters of service must be clearly defined in the contract, nothing can be assumed, you can not write a contract contradictory to the law.You could find yourself in a supplication suit. Being sued by an insurance company to recover funds paid to someone hurt on a property you are contracted to maintain, or named as a secondary party by someone suing the property owner.
    It all boils down to you cann't escape a lawsuit, anybody can sue, employees, customers, property owners, your competition, an insurance company, anybody, your only protection, a good contract and better insurance.
     
  16. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    I was joking around with the guns! They were directed toward the example-old-guy that tromps through my banks and sues me. Forget him!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2007