Housesitting Accidents: Prevention and Handling

19 Dec, 2019

Housesitting Accidents: Prevention and Handling

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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. These can help you to detail the assignment. Describe 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  house sitter when you’re working at someone’s house? Or if you’re doing paid odd jobs or construction on the property. What if you slip and fall on the property or perhaps while walking the dog. 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. The following is an overview of what you should know about housesitting accidents.

housesitting accidents
Walk the housesitter through any requested chores. Explain the tools to avoid housesitting accidents.

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. NOTE if the worker enters 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. If you get hurt, you could have legal grounds to file a lawsuit.

When 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.

Perhaps, if you have tried to take a case to court and have failed in the first instance, you may feel you need to try again and take it to appeal. In some cases you can win if the representation you have in appellate law is appropriate. It may be worth looking for a good Appellate Lawyer, such as those found here to support you in your case.

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, follows these steps straight away:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and certainly housesitting accidents that might arise.

household tips
Spilled red wine can leave an awful stain if left untreated. This is a common housesitting accident.

For example, there are two kinds of coverage that are part of homeowners’ policies that may cover injury housesitting accidents:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

If therefore, someone is hurt in a home, they receive reimbursement for qualifying medical expenses and lost wages.

Home-workers and possible accidents

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 must secure insurance first to avoid risk. However, currently this is not a requirement in the state of Louisiana in the US.


Further reading on home care, pet care and housesitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

Dog training top tips for good behaviour

How to train a dog to be good with children

Pet and housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

How to dog proof your furniture – Top Tips 

What is House Sitting?

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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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