Benefits Of Hiring Lawyers For Workers Compensation Cases

Overcoming The Independent Contractor Defense

by Marilyn Olson

In some cases, you may sue a business for injuries caused by their agent only for the business to claim that the agent is actually an independent contractor who is liable for their own actions. This is known as the independent contractor defense, but there are a few things you can do to overcome it. For example, the contractor defense shouldn't apply under the following circumstances:

The Defendant Was Directly In Control of Some of the Work

Some people do not relinquish 100% control of a work they have already contracted to another person. For example, a landowner may hire a building contractor to construct a commercial property on the lot, but retain control over some issues such as the vendors to work with or how to secure the site during construction. In such a case, if you are injured by something that was still under the control of the landowner, you can hold them liable for your damages even though an independent contractor was in charge of the whole project.

The Defendant Negligently Hired the Contractor

There are situations where the principal contractor may still be liable for your injuries even if the independent contractor was fully in charge of the project. One of this is if the principal contractor hired a dangerous or negligent contractor even though they knew or should have known of the contractor's nature. For example, if a property owner hires a contractor whose license is under suspicion because of dangerous practices, and you get injured on the construction site, you can use negligent hiring to hold the property owner liable for your injuries.

The Defendant Failed to Inspect the Contractor's Work

In some cases, the principal contractor is expected to inspect the other contractors' work after the work is done to confirm that is safe. For example, if a landlord has hired a contractor to fix defective smoke detectors in a building or to plug a leaking roof, the landlord should confirm that the repairs have been accomplished. Therefore, if the landlord fails to do this and you end up getting injured due to the contractor's shady work, then the landlord may also be on the hook for your damages.

Defendant Did Not Take Precautions for Dangerous Work

Some jobs are inherently dangerous so that those who are doing them must put measures in place to prevent injuries to other people. Construction is a classic example of such jobs, which is why construction sites need to be fenced and warnings put up. The owner of the structure under construction must make sure that the protective measures are in place either by putting the measures in place on their own or by including the issue in the contract so that the contractor can take care of them. You may succeed in holding a property owner liable for your construction site injuries if they failed to do any of those things and their failure led to your injuries.

To learn more, contact a law firm like The Gil Law Firm