Nov 04

A reader of the ApartmentAssoc Yahoo Group asks:

I am about to hire someone to cut some trees around houses. I told him that I would like him sign something to knowledge that I will not be responsible of his personal injury from this job if it happens. What kind of form and where I can find it? and is it enough or something else I have to do to insure that I will be absolutely OK if his personal injury from work actually happens

It is not possible to have someone sign away their rights or your liability under Wisconsin worker comp laws.  The only safe options are to have a minimum worker comp policy of your own or only hire companies that are insured.

Remember that a dwelling liability policy will not cover injuries to those working on the property.  This is an area that a lot of owners of small multi families run into problems with when they assign a tenant to do lawn work or snow removal for a discount in rent.

There is really a great risk in not having the coverage or in hiring people without coverage. I had an employee that was making a minor repair to a small first floor porch overhang. He made a wrong move, fell and the worker comp carrier had to pay out $140,000.  If we would have been uninsured that would have been me paying out the $140k, and probably more as insurers get discounts from the medical providers.

If you have employees, or non employees deemed to be statutory employees,  then the law requires coverage.

I think the minimum worker comp policies are around a grand a year, but am not positive.

2 Responses to “Avoiding responsiblities for a worker’s injuries”

  1. Sam Maropis says:

    Accidents happen all of the time and as such as landlords, we must always be carful of workers who are spot labor. As part of our workers comp we do cover our employees and helpers. I think your estimate of the cost is way to high. I seem to remember a rate around $300 a year for a full time person for the year. It may have even been less, I would shop around.

    For the cost verse for the risk, the cost will be nothing.

    Sam Maropis
    TrainingLandlords.com

  2. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service?

    Thanks a lot!

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