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Premises Liability for Worker’s Injury on Private Property

Who is Liable for Workers Injuries on Private Property?

If you were injured while working on someone’s property, you may have a limited opportunity of recovering damages for your losses. One option is applying for workers’ compensation insurance. In California, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover for any work-related injuries and illnesses. Coverage includes medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses. 

Workers’ compensation can be bought from the State Fund or by a broker who has created a business relationship with the State Fund. To initiate this process, you must complete an online application. You will be asked to provide information about your business to determine whether or not you qualify to carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

It is a requirement for all employers to buy workers’ compensation insurance, no matter how many employees they have. Having this insurance will make it more convenient for an employee to pay for their medical treatment or recover lost wages if they became ill or injured while on the job. 

If the employee was not appropriately insured or was working for an illegally uninsured employer, then California’s Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF) will replace the insurance company in order to pay off the workers’ compensation benefits. 

Qualifications for Workers’ Compensation

To be qualified for workers’ compensation benefits, you must:

  • Be an employee for a company who has workers’ compensation insurance, and 
  • Be injured at work or from job-related duties.

Regardless of whether you are a seasonal or part-time employee, you may still be granted workers’ compensation benefits. However, certain classes may be exempt from eligibility, including:

  • Temporary employees,
  • Domestic employees,
  • Undocumented employees,
  • Freelance employees, or 
  • Independent contract employees.

If you are working in a private home, you may still obtain eligibility for workers’ compensation primarily if your wagers are paid by the:

  • Agency,
  • Company, or 
  • General contractor. 

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance offers the property owner financial protection for losses and damages done to the home and its contents. This policy covers interior damage, exterior damage, loss or damage of personal assets, and injury while on the premises. If a claim is made in regards to either of these situations, then the homeowner is expected to pay a deductible. 

Homeowner’s insurance does have a liability limit. This will determine the amount of coverage the individual may have if an unfortunate event takes place on their territory. The standard limit is generally set at $100,000. However, it is possible to opt for a higher limit. If a claim is made, then the liability limit will determine the percentage of coverage that would go towards repairing or replacing damages. 

Now, if a worker was injured while on your property, your homeowner’s insurance policy will protect you as long as the accident was unintentional. If the homeowner was fully aware of any hazards surrounding their home and failed to warn the worker’s about it, it can be considered as an intentional injury. A homeowner is expected to provide a duty of care to those who enter their premises. This includes:

  • Business invitees.  Business invitees are employees who are classified as domestic workers and conduct job-related duties on the individual’s property. 
  • Invitees. A regular invitee has a close relation to the property owner and has been invited to visit their premises. An invitee can be identified as a family member, friend, or visitor.
  • Licensees. A licensee is an individual who has no relation to the property owner, but has been given the permission to be on the premises for their own personal benefits.
  • Trespassers. Trespassers are not given any duty of care, unless it is a child. Under this circumstance, the property owner must have warning signs and barriers surrounding their property to prevent a child from entering, while also protecting themselves from facing any premises liability claims. 

Coverage for Personal Injuries

There are two types of homeowner insurance policies that cover for injuries:

  • MedPay. This will cover your medical expenses that resulted from an injury. The injured employee is not required to show proof of the homeowner being negligent. Coverage ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. However, MedPay will not compensate you for costs relating to lost wages and pain and suffering. 
  • Liability. This protects homeowners from any lawsuits from individuals who are not considered members of the household. There will be no liability claims paid by the insurance company except if there is evidence that the homeowner showed negligent behavior that caused the injury. 

Homeowners’ insurance is exempt from injuries that are caused by:

  • Car accidents,
  • Intentional acts,
  • Sexual acts,
  • Criminal acts, or 
  • Violent acts against members of the household. 

Showing Proof of Homeowner’s Negligent Behavior

You are expected to gather evidence of the homeowner’s negligent actions that led to your injury while working for them. This includes showing proof of:

  1. Hazardous conditions surrounding the premises,
  2. The homeowner acknowledging the dangerous conditions existing or potentially existing, 
  3. The homeowner failing to notify you of any hazards surrounding the property,
  4. The homeowner choosing to ignore the issue, 
  5. You not agreeing to assume the risks of getting injured on the job, and 
  6. You are not partaking in the factors that led to your injury. 

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you believe that you were wrongfully neglected by a homeowner, which resulted in your injury, West Coast Trial Lawyers has skillful premises liability attorneys that will help you get the maximum compensation and justice you deserve. No fees will be charged until your case has been settled. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation.

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If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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