We hired a liciened contractor to put a new roof on the house, with permits. We found out from the city that he has a Workers compensation excemption letter. A worker of the sub contractor, fell off the roof with serious injuries. The contractor says that he hired this subcontractor. ( who was not on the list of the contractors workers conpensation insurance). They say they don't know why he was on the roof. The subcontractor picked him up that morning to work on our roof. Who is liable? Can the owner be sued? The contractor says his insurance will not cover the injured worker because he was not on the list. We do not have home owners insurance.
3 Answers from Attorneys
Retain your own attorney and be prepared for a lawsuit. As an owner, you may have responsibility depending on how the accident occurred.
The contractor's exemption only means that he as the officer of his corporation is not covered by w/c. Does his company have worker's compensation coverage? If so, they should take care of any claims. This is true notwithstanding the fact that the day laborer is not the list. Does the sub have coverage? If so their insurance should pay for the claims Assuming neither entity has coverage, they can both be responsible for worker's compensation or can be sued in circuit court for the injuries. The homeowner can only be responsible for negligence which they were participant in that caused the accident. Have an attorney review all the relevant facts with you and have them check with regard to the coverages on the companies involved. the link to check employer insurance coverage is
It is not the homeowner's responsibility to provide workers compensation coverage. By the nature of the work, the homeowner relies on the roofers to know what they are doing. The homeowner would not be liable unless the homeowner did something wrong that caused the worker to fall off of the roof.