In the world of workers compensation, the subject of employee vs. self-employed independent contractor is complex. Employers are not required to provide workers compensation coverage for independent contractors. Likewise, employers are not responsible for payroll taxes and other legal obligations that are necessary for employees. However, there are consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor, so it’s important to understand the difference. (more…)
Picture this: An elderly couple wakes up on a cold morning in the middle of winter and they head out for breakfast. On their way, Lenny and Gertrude decide to swing by your business. They pull in and park their car. Lenny rushes out to open Gertrude’s door, as he has done thousands of times before. In his haste, poor Lenny doesn’t notice a small patch of ice on the ground and he slips, breaking his hip. Lenny doesn’t believe your business caused the fall and refuses to turn in a claim. However his healthcare provider, knowing the incident occurred on your property, has gladly decided to pursue a claim on his behalf and begins sending threatening letters to your business.
As a claims professional, hundreds of claims cross my desk in a given year but no claim type matches the frequency and severity that comes with slips, trips, and falls. Often times these falls occur as a result of snow and ice in a parking lot that is serviced by a contractor or as a result of rugs delivered by a linen provider. It’s only after a claim has occurred that a second thought is given to that contract you signed with a service provider that ended up stuffed into the bottom of a filing cabinet somewhere. The simple truth when it comes to liability is that those contracts do matter. They may not always be iron-clad but they can help or hurt your bottom line. (more…)
Can we all agree that there is actually something comforting about looking out the window on a cold winter’s day and seeing a nice new blanket of snow on the ground? Particularly if that snow is no longer on the sidewalks, parking lots, or road ways?
If you are a business owner and you share this sentiment, you have probably long ago thought through what is required for your business to attend to the needs of clearing your adjacent sidewalks and parking lots. You have done this to provide safe access to your building for your customers and employees.
If your solution to this matter has included hiring a snow removal contractor, you’ve probably executed some sort of agreement for this service. This agreement likely has included the level of service they will provide and how much it will cost. But, did the agreement also include language that makes it clear who will be responsible for an accident on the sidewalk or in the parking lot while the snow is being removed or after it has been removed? (more…)