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would this help cover.....

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by southsideone, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. southsideone

    southsideone Member
    Messages: 35

    since im just starting out, and only doing residential, im concerned about slip and falls and being held liable. i am not a business. just starting out. all verbal agreements. i was wondering if perhaps after every clients residence i do, that maybe it would be a good idea to snap a few pics w/ my digital camera showing the quality of snow removal and salting. and i am going to be 100% upfront and honest w/ my clients that i do not carry any type of insurance. (snowblowing and shoveling, no truck or plow) as well as indicate to them that i cant be held responsible for a slip/fall. i fully understand that may not hold up. so would taking a quick few pics be helpful???
  2. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Yes and No a good lawyer would find his way around the pictures. Make them sign the contract that states that.But I would get insurance if you ar eplanning on getting into the business.

  3. southsideone

    southsideone Member
    Messages: 35

    say i do come up w/ a contract w/ the correct wording to exempt me from all liability associated w/ bodily injury or property damage that someone could sustain. now say they persue this w/ an attorney. i am not a business, this is going to be, how do you say, "under the table". what could be the potential fallout?....
    (im only looking to obtain roughly 20-25 clients)

    or, since they signed the contract, they cant sue me, but the gov can still can come after me??
  4. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    slip and fall is a bunch of bull isn't it????? tell them to sue mother nature. most of the liability should be covered under the homeowners policy. now if the homeowner falls?????
  5. 06HD BOSS

    06HD BOSS 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,611

    Not true. You can have them sign a contract that states whatever but they can still sue under whatever pretenses. This guy i used to know had a certain business sign a contract stating he wasnt responsible for blah blah blah after snow removal and sand/salting & that the company would cover any lawsuits from falls or slips...whatever...so he ended up getting sued by the company's insurance company who said "we never signed your contract and we are the ones ultimately responsible for liabilities" ended up costing him however much and his insurance company dropped him
    This was based on commercial not residential
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2006
  6. Mick

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

    Yes, but not because of the contract. They'll look for money moving through your checking account or other indications of money, such as "excessive" purchases based on your claimed income. Checks deposited are the most common means. Whatever you do, pay taxes on:

    1. Money paid by check
    2. Money paid by cash
    3. Payment rec'd "in kind" (bartering)

    What some people don't realize is often plowing snow can be considered a "business expense" for your clients - even those with a home business. Their return is then cross-referenced with yours to verify the claimed expense. You're not showing any income from plowing snow, so somebody is in error. Now, when that second person claims to have paid you to plow snow, it sets a pattern for believe-ability. Can you say "audit"? Can you save "tax evasion"?
  7. Mick

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

    Who gets sued depends on the plaintiff's lawyer. Usually everybody he can think of that may have something to do with the action (obviously the plow guy). The judge can then dismiss people from the lawsuit as he sees fit. The homeowner's insurance company is obviously going to try to shift blame away from themselves. The best way is to blame the one who was hired to clean the area of snow/ice.

    I heard of a case once in Canada where the lawyer included people who were not even remotely involved in the case. He just left it up to the judge to remove them from the case. But they still had to show up or hire a lawyer to show up for them to request to be removed. If they or their rep didn't show up, they stayed on the lawsuit.

    I didn't hear how it turned out.
  8. EnviroTeam

    EnviroTeam Member
    Messages: 71

    Most times residentials are covered under their home owner policy, Business/commercial is a whole different can of worms, and contracts for that sort of thing don't amount to a hill of beans. As has been said, they will sue anyway. That being said, my advice would still be, since you say you are only doing residentials is to have a contract that says specifically that you do not do salting or sanding or ice control of any kind. If there is an ice event or twenty through the season, you can have some salt on hand and throw it down for a couple of bucks but by setting it up this way you are putting the responsibility on the home owner to decide when and if they want ice control.
    Personally, I don't offer ice control to residentials, but I always have some salt on the truck to throw down in a pinch.