Construction is a dangerous business. As a contractor, you need to know your potential liability. Walking in blind can lead to disastrous results. Here are the top three forms of liability we recommend you take notice of today:
1. Personal Injury
2. Property Damage
3. Work Defects
When it comes to the world of physical labor, anything can go wrong. Accidents can and do occur. If a subcontractor, worker, or even a bystander is injured on or near the worksite, you may be held responsible. Though you might not have intended for the injury, an injured party can still have a claim against you for damages. If, for example, debris falls on and injures a passerby, he/she may sue you for monetary relief. We encourage our clients to familiarize themselves with guidelines set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the Department of Labor, regarding safety standards. Many times there is an insurance policy in place to cover these types of injuries.
In addition to bodily injury, you may be held responsible for property damage. You may be liable for physical injury to tangible property caused as a result of your work or efforts. For instance, if you install defective windows that allow for leaks or floods in the future, you may be held liable for property damage caused a result of those defects. Defects can result because the work was not carried out in a manner consistent with good practice or because defective products were used. As a contractor, you may have primary liability for factors outside your immediate control.
In addition to liability resulting from bodily or property damage, you may also be responsible for work that has not met your contractual standards. For instance, in a successful breach of contract case you may be required to provide restitution to put the client in as good of a position as he/she would be if the work was carried out correctly.Though this would be decided on a case-by-case basis, it is an important form of liability to keep in mind.
Safety in Numbers: Get a Legal Team Behind You
The three forms of liability above are just a few of the things you should look out for when entering into a construction contract. The right liability coverage can save you thousands of dollars down the road. Additionally, you should always consult with a qualified attorney to assist you in understanding the risks and taking the right steps. With years of experience behind us, the attorneys at Smiley Law can help keep you “safe” and aware. Call us today for all your construction law needs.