Are Homeowners Liable for Tree Care Accidents in Jacksonville, FL?

Is a homeowner response for a tree care-related accident that occurs on their property? There isn’t a simple answer to this question, unfortunately. It will depend on several different factors, including the type of insurance coverage that the tree service Jacksonville FL contractor and homeowner have, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and state law.

Liability is a very complex issue. However, there are a number of steps that a homeowner can take to help lower the risk of litigation. Even for an experienced professional, tree work can be quite dangerous. Therefore, homeowners should take extra precautions at all time to ensure that all of their assets are well-protected.

Learn from the following there mistakes that are commonly made by homeowners:

1. Forgetting to verify credentials and contracts

Not every tree care company is a trustworthy business. So before you hire one, always ask to see their current workers’ compensation and liability insurance certificates. It is a critical step to take. If you end up hiring a company with inadequate or no insurance, you might be liable for injuries or accidents and not have any means for recourse in the event that your property gets damaged.

Dishonest tree care companies might not have proper documentation. Some might even forge the documents or exaggerate the amount of coverage that they actually have. That is why it is a good idea to always directly contact their insurance company to verify their coverage.

Insist on having a signed contract that details exactly what is going to be done, when the work will be performed, and how much it will cost. A reputable tree service Jacksonville FL company won’t have any problems complying with those requests.

Public opinion is very important as well. Research prospective tree care companies to find out what their past customers say about them. That can give you insights that might not always be obvious.

2. Ignoring obvious hazards

Even when all of the necessary paperwork is in good order, you might still end up being liable for injuries that occur if you fail to take care of obvious hazards that are on your property. For example, if your porch has a loose step, it can cause problems if your contractor becomes injured due to the loose step while performing tree work.

Inspect your property regularly for these types of dangers and make any necessary repairs. If you discover something that you cannot repair temporarily, make sure to warn the contractor of any potential risks.

3. Micro-managing your tree care project

You might be tempted to micro-manage a tree care project that occurs on your property. You are the owner and have significant emotional and financial investments in this project. Therefore, you naturally want to make sure that everything goes as planned.

However, from a legal standpoint, that might be a mistake. If you monitor the daily operations excessively you could open yourself up to a personal injury liability claim if a worker becomes injured on the job. You should always monitor from a distance, and allow the tree service Jacksonville FL professionals to conduct the job that you have hired them to perform.

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