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