Is a waiver signed by a licensed contractor that releases my liability for injuries in my home enforceable in court?

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2015

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2015Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is a waiver signed by a licensed contractor that releases my liability for injuries in my home enforceable in court?

If a licensed contractor that owns a company is not required to have workers’ comp coverage for himself. Only his or her employees are required to have coverage. I have read that if a contractor without workers’ comp is injured while working at a home the homeowner is liable for his hospital bills regardless who is at fault. I have also read that a homeowner is only liable if there is negligence in the upkeep of the home that causes the injury. Which is correct? ?If I hire a licensed contractor and the owner without workers comp works on the project could I have him sign a waiver that releases my liability?

Asked on February 7, 2015 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) A homeowner is not an insurer and is also not strictly liable; he or she is only liable if at fault, typically from allowing or causing a dangerous condition.

2) A liability waiver has some value, but is far from absolute protection. You can get people to waive liability from known or obvious risks of what they are doing, but they can't waive liability from unforeseeable risks. So, for example, loose gutter or dead tree branch falls on someone who was there to work inside the home, not on a gutter or tree--that was not foreseeable, and so they can't waive liability.

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 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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption