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DISCUSSION If someone falls

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by zackman, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. zackman

    zackman Member
    Messages: 43

    Sorry having a discussion with my sister who husband is also in the plowing business.....If someone falls and you have done " EVERYTHING" I mean cleaned up applied Sand/salt EVERYTHING and you now leave the site and someone falls what happens?????

    Also someone handed my boss a snow contract the other day (he just came in and gave this to him) for snow plowing and at the end of the contract This is exactly what it says.... XXXXXX is fully insured but will not be held liable for slips, falls, accidents etc. because melted snow or water can freeze at anytime after a sufficient snow removal..

    Now hubby saids that will not hold up in court, is that true???? We don't have anything in our contracts like that, but it's making me think about adding something like that....:help:
  2. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Defend yourself or company by retaining a good attorney , which if you have been in this business you should have one already .

    Stipulations in your contracts(ie: not liable for slip/fall litigation ) dont mean didly ,
  3. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    No matter what, you as the snow remover, and the property owner are both responsible. You both can try to push liability back on each other with hold harmless agreements. It all comes down to whos claims adjuster, and/or laywers are better when it gets to that point.
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    QUOTE] AC2717 No matter what, you as the snow remover, and the property owner are both responsible. You both can try to push liability back on each other with hold harmless agreements. It all comes down to whos claims adjuster, and/or laywers are better when it gets to that point. [[/QUOTE]

    That pretty much sums it up. Do I have a similiar disclaimer in my contract, ABSOUTLY. If you've done everything resonable & within the scope of your contract, you should be OK. That said does it mean you won't be named & insurance co may have to defend or choose to settle, NO.
    I have only been named once an account we only salted on call,(3 inch plow depth) 80 year old guy fell we had not plowed or salted in previous 2 weeks. Insurance adjuster looked at it, looked at documentation, said we had no liablity & "decliened to participated". Could it of gone further probably, but that was it.
    From what I've read the courts are getting better about people taking personally responsibility. The problem lies in our industry itself, & the clients. Due to the nature of this business we utilize alot of part-time & seasonal people. To educate our staff & clients staff, develop accident obsevation forms, etc would be a huge undertaking......would it reduce the amount of claims...definitly. Think of the granny walking on a lot at zero degrees in high heals, accident waiting to happen.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  5. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Carefull there AC.
    I hate to see people viewing to interpret your words to read "free cash".

    The plower or property owner is not responsible for God peeing on a lot or a lady spilling her pepsi.

    But if it happens both could get named in a suit reguardless of contract.
    then I agree, the Insurance companies and Lawyers hagle it out depending on the details.
    It's really anybody's guess till thats over.

    It would still be one major pain in the rump but at least our insurance companies would do the fighting for us.

    May be diferent in each State.
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    While we are on the subject. Lets say someone accepts a rediculous contract like a 6" trigger for commercial. Guy plows and salts, but owner doesnt want him back till 6" are on the lot. Someone falls at 4". Both are named. Contractor did exactly what he is supposed to. Who has been negligent?
  7. Mick

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

    Depends. Up here - the guy walking in 4"of snow and not using due caution. Legally, in Maine businesses have no obligations to clear snow in their lots or walkways until a "reasonable" amount of time following cessation of snowfall (no mention of depth).
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    In the end,a jury will decide for both of you who is right and wrong. Most of the time a judge will look at the contract and terms of it also.
  9. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    I competely agree but at the same time I disagree, if there is a good lawyer they will find a way. Always keep in mind the people that sue McDonalds, especially the lady that spilled her coffee, while driving her car, on her own lap, out of a covered cup, she burned herself, sued because the coffee was too hot, and won,
    Unfortunatley if you do not have a good insurance carrier, you could end up getting brought in, it is just the way of the world. You are in the business taking care of God's Pee, you call it, therefore you can be responsible.
  10. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    we have a clause in our snow contracts that states "if you decline service against your recomendation we shall not be held responsible for ANY slip and falls that happen on the property, unfortunately my insurance says that still may not protect me, i have to have documented every time a client refuses service, so i have them email me to decline service. Don't know about the states, but in Canada, (as it was put to me) because i am considered the expert, i must let my customers know that when i believe a situation is evident, also we have specific contracts that state, we refuse to insure for slip and falls on properties that are on a call in basis, that way i feel comfortable that if someone does slip and fall, the responsibility to plow was on us (for the record we have never had a slip and fall)
  11. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Buckwheat la

    You are actually correct for most of the US as well. My insurance company and lawyer have me get both my opinion and the decline of work in writing so there are no questions. Often A property managers translation of what you said can be known to change after an incident. Keeps it from being your word against his.

    So much crap to keep track of.....
  12. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    too bad there is all the dishonesty, when we started to take on banks we were warned that people love to slip and fall at banks, thinking they are screwing the bank, not realizing they are really screwing me, this is also why we watch our banks like hawks, when it comes to service (also why they pay double of most our other contracts)
  13. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    You can not sign away your right to sue. you can not have a contract that denies another right to sue. You can not have a contract that denies all liability.

    You can have a contract that states the parameters of service and limits of liability you are willing to assume. You can have a good insurance policy to pay the legal bills. You can keep good records of services performed. You can communicate with your customer to express concerns or need of service.

    Having a "hold harmless" codicil in your contract is a great idea. Have a lawyer review your contract and write one he feels he can defend. Remember your insurance company will chose your lawyer for you so having them review should be free and a real safe move.
  14. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    had this happen last year. 15" of snow in the matter of 5 hours. we plowed for 5 hours, salted the lot, by the time i finished salting, the lot had another 1.5" of snow on it again, so we started plowing again. plowed for 4 more hours and finally salted for the last time. someone slipped. i gave my insurance company my log, my employee's time sheets, pictures of us in action, salt tickets from the application and got the case thrown out
  15. Jaspell

    Jaspell Member
    from 06117
    Messages: 61

    If someone falls on ice in a parking lot or driveway you plowed, you will either be named in the original suit, or ""mpleadeded as a defendant by the homeowner. Your insurance covers this. That's why you have it. Doesnt really matter if you did the job right or not. The by words are sue them all and let God (or the jury) sort it out
  16. palmtree907

    palmtree907 Member
    Messages: 69

    My contract states that I push snow only. I don't sand, chip, shovel, etc. And therefore if the property owner wanted more, he should have hired somone else. And yes, I have more business thanI can handle. My clients are ok with that.