In our platform housesitting accidents are rare. However, the unexpected does happen from time to time. We try to help our homeowners and our housesitters by helping them to get prepared. We provide check lists, and guidelines to help them by talking through the assignment detailing any extra tasks that are requested. As a homeowner, think about what you are asking the sitters to do and prepare. A contact list to help the sitters is essential should an incident happen in your absence. What happens if you are injured as a pet or housesitter when you’re working at someone’s house? Or if you’re doing paid odd jobs or construction on the property. Moreover, if you get hurt what should you do?
Housesitting Accidents and Contractor’s Accidents
What Happens If You’re Hurt Working at Someone’s House?
As a domestic worker, whether an employee or a contractor, does a homeowner have an obligation to cover costs that stem from your injuries if you sustain any at their house? Should you hire a lawyer if your hurt at someone’s house while you’re working? or would that be considered an extreme reaction?
These are all common questions people have, and the following is an overview of what you should know about the topic.
General Homeowner Duties
If a homeowner secures a housesitter or even hires someone to do a job at their home, they typically need to provide a reasonably safe environment. At HouseSitMatch we have a suite of documents and guidelines to help you avoid any housesitting accidents. This is usually more relevant to contractors or people doing construction. However, sometimes it can apply to other types of workers that come into the home as well.
If there are problems in a home like a dangerous staircase, the owner must inform anyone who enters their home. Should the worker enter the property as the hired hand to fix the issue and is injured while working, they probably won’t have a case.
If you’re a paid domestic worker, you’re not hired to actually repair the home. So if you get hurt, you could have legal grounds to file a lawsuit.
If a homeowner in the US hires someone to do a job, especially if it is construction-related, and they exercise close control over that project, if someone gets hurt, they may actually be more liable when it comes to personal injury as opposed to if they’d taken a hands-off role in the project.
What Should You Do If You’re Hurt?
Housesitting Accidents or a Work Injury
If you are badly hurt while you’re working at someone else’s house, there are some things you should do right away:
- If necessary, seek medical attention. You should be aware that some symptoms of an injury might take weeks to appear. So if you think there’s any chance you’re injured, you may want to go ahead and get medical attention.
- If things were in bad condition in a home and they led to your injuries, take a picture. If anyone happened to have witnessed the accident or conditions that led to it, write their contact information down.
- Later on, make sure you keep all medical and expense records. Never sign anything without speaking to a legal professional first.
What Does A Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover?
When you work for someone in their home as a paid worker, they should have Homeowners’ Insurance, and that should cover most situations that might arise.
For example, there are two kinds of coverage that are part of homeowners’ policies that may cover injuries:
- Med-pay coverage – is similar to no-fault car insurance. If you receive injuries you don’t have to show negligence on the part of the homeowner. However, the coverage has limits usually anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. This coverage doesn’t pay for pain and suffering.
- Liability coverage – protects a homeowner if a paid worker files a lawsuit against them, and they aren’t part of the household.
- Note – for an Insurance Company to pay this type of liability claim, there must be proof of negligence on the part of a homeowner. Moreover, you would have to show that negligence directly led to the injury.
What About Worker’s Compensation?
Finally, housesitting accidents aside, if you work in a household as an employee, for example, a nanny, then your employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Employers would also need workers’ compensation for housekeepers and similar roles.
Then, if someone is hurt in a home, they receive reimbursement for qualifying medical expenses and lost wages.
When someone employs you in their home and they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, they might be personally liable for these expenses.
If you work in a home in the US and you accept workers’ compensation insurance then it protects the employer. This is generally, because you give up the right to sue your employer. It will apply even if something happens where they would technically be at fault.
Workers’ compensation is actually a type of insurance and not a tax. If your employer is paying you they would need to purchase the insurance through an insurance broker.
Each US state has different requirements so if you are housesitting or working in a new state do check. This relates in particular when an employer would need workers’ compensation for a household employer. Employers should secure insurance first to avoid risk, though this is not required in the state of Louisiana in the US.