How do I create a legal document preventing a client’s parents from suing me personally in the event of a car accident?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I create a legal document preventing a client’s parents from suing me personally in the event of a car accident?

I am privately employed by a family to provide occupational/speech therapy related services to a developmentally disabled individual. I am paid in cash and am off the books. The family and I would like me to drive him to and from a facility approximately 5 miles away from his house. I am worried about liability protecting my assets in case of an accident.

Asked on June 3, 2011 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to completely protect yourself. You can draft up a fairly simple agreement--either stand alone or as part of an employment agreement--stating that the family agrees to waive any claims against your relating to any injuries or damages caused while you are transporting the girl in the course of employment, including too and from the facility in question. While that might, if signed by them, protect you from claims arising out of simple negligence--e.g. driving a bit too fast for conditions--you can't insulate yourself from liabilty arising out of gross negligence (more than normally careless behavior, like DUI or texting while driving) or intentional bad acts.

There are also a number of other issues you have to face:

1) If you have car insurance--or will be driving their car, under their insurance--if the insurance is simply for non-business, non-work use (in other words, the typical car insurance), it may not cover against injuries or damages arising from a business or employment use, such as driving a child as part of your job.

2) If you're being paid under the table or off the books, you--and they--are committing tax fraud, and could incur tax liability.

3) Being paid off the books also means no unemployment, not earning anything towards social security, etc.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption