Posted By The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. Posted in: Premises Liability.
It often happens that independent contractors sustain injuries on the property of the party who hired them. But what does California’s premises liability law say about this situations?
It is true that a scenario in which an independent contractor gets injuries on the property of the party who hired him or her usually results in a more complicated legal process compared to situations in which people are injured on the property of someone else while not acting within the scope of employment.
The problem with a situation in which an independent contractor sustains injuries on his/her hirer’s property is that under California law, the injured party has a right to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit against the hirer only if (a) the defendant affected the contractor’s work in a manner that had contributed to the injury, or (b) the defendant failed to warn the contractor of a hidden (concealed) hazard on the property.
“If your situation does not fit either of these two scenarios, your personal injury claim will most likely be dismissed before you get the chance to go to trial,” warns our Chula Vista premises liability attorney at the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C.
However, as always, there are exceptions to the general rule. Let’s imagine the following scenario. A wealthy homeowner retains the services a group of professional painters to paint the walls in his mansion in Chula Vista. While the team of painters were performing their job on the roof, one of the independent contractors slipped and fell off the room.
The injured painter then sues the homeowner under the legal theory of premises liability. Our experienced premises liability attorney in Chula Vista explains that regardless of where you sustained your injuries as an independent contractor – on the roof of the home, inside the home, in the yard attached to the property, or elsewhere on the premises – the homeowner has a legal duty to keep the premises safe for you and other independent contractors.
As long as you are on the property with permission, the homeowner has a legal obligation to either remedy or fix the dangerous condition on his or her premises or warn of the hazard.
In the injured painter’s case, he claimed that there were loose rocks, pebbles, and sand on the roof, which contributed to the slip and fall accident on the roof. The painter also alleged that the roof was dangerous because the ladder to the roof lacked safety railings, while the shingles on the roof were crumbling and caused the surface to be slippery.
“Therefore,” our Chula Vista premises liability attorney explains, “the injured painter could seek compensation for his injury on the basis of the allegation that the homeowner failed to warn him of both hidden and open hazards.” Under California law, a homeowner has a legal duty to warn independent contractors of any hidden hazards as well as open hazards when these hazards are unavoidable.
Even though some of the conditions that caused the slip and fall accident were open and known by the injured painter, they could not be practically avoided by him since the hazards were unavoidable due to the requirements of his job.
Let our lawyers at the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C., review your particular case and explain how you might be able to hold your hirer liable for your injuries sustained on his/her property. Call our offices at 619-577-4077 or fill out this contact form to get a free consultation.