If I hired a man to do some work on my roof, does his signed document holding me harmless in the event he injures himself?

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If I hired a man to do some work on my roof, does his signed document holding me harmless in the event he injures himself?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer is, "it depends":

1) A person can waive his or her  right to sue for ordinary risks of the activity; so, for example, if he falls without it being some fault of yours, the hold harmless should suffice.

2) However, it generally difficult, if not impossible, to have a liability waiver or hold harmless agreement insulate you from liability due to your fault. In a roofing case, for example, say that he doesn't fall on the roof itself, but on the front stairs to the home because of a loose railing or broken step which you never fixed--you could be liable for that. You could also be liable for his injury if he used a ladder of yours which was broken; if there were  hidden dangerous conditions on the roof (e.g. the rafter beams are broken, creating "soft spots" or hazards not visible from the outside); etc.

Therefore, you should probably not  hire him unless he can show you proof of insurance he has obtained for his own benefit.


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