Can a caregiver sue me if they have no health insurance and get hurt? How do I protect myself?

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HI everyone, it seems that every person I interview for help on weekends here in my home has no health insurance. Its tough enough to find someone without adding this to the mix. Could she claim she was hurt here and sue me, what can I do to protect myself? If I asked my Homeowners insurance would it cost me a forturne because paying a caretaker is too much already. Is there any medical release forms or something I can do? Thanks for any ideas and help.

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Hi luvmom,
That's why going through an agency is often prudent. Yes, if an independent contractor gets hurt on your property, and you are the "employer", which you would be in some cases, they could sue you.
Please check with your state insurance department to see what you need to have in place if you are hiring directly. Otherwise, you should go through an agency that covers their worker's compensation taxes, etc. This isn't about health insurance, it's about liability factors.
Your homeowner's insurance may should cover a visitor who gets hurt, but a paid person coming regularly is not likely to be covered. You can check with your insurance on that, however. Also, you are responsible for a background check if they are not with an agency. Good agencies do that before hiring.
People can find the gem of a lifetime through hiring independently, but they also take on an employee (at least in most states), unless the person can prove they are set up as a business and they cover their own taxes for worker's comp., etc. Even then, checking your state laws is a good idea. Tread carefully.
Carol
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Have you considered hiring someone as an "Independent Contractor". Which means they work for you but are considered self-employeed. You will have to give them a 1099 for tax purposes. They will have to sign a contract stating your terms(ex: not responsible for work related injuries, their duties, etc...).

Many years ago I had a part-time job that I was considered an "Independent worker" with a company. I signed a contract of my duties to perform and a waiver stating the business was not responsible if I got injuried while I was on the job. I needed to be self insured, and if not, it was at my own risk.
Something like that might relieve you from responsiblity if an injury occurs.I am not sure if that is something you could do or if that is only for business'. I would suggest maybe talking to an attorney or someone that professionally knows what you should do to protect yourself and if something I suggested could apply to you. If so, make a legal binding contract stating everything you are and aren't responsible for, and their duties.

Agencies charge a fortune but they are insured. If you are really concerned about being sued and have no way of protecting yourself. Then an agency is the way you should go.
.
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Thank you both for replying. We do use a 1099 form and tell them they are independent contractors but who knows when if comes down to an injury what they will try. The reason I didnt go thru an agency is because they want $25 an hour and I knew of a couple of them who stole from their caretakers home. Agencies hire caregivers cheap cheap and they are usually people who cannot find any other job. (some are good) I have learned older adults that do it on their own do it out of love and to make a difference with their lives, and, are less money. I do get background checks on care.com or I send a form into the State before I hire. But, then again, what if? I was hoping someone had an issue or a form I could learn from or use. Thanks so much.
luvmom
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You don't legally have to provide them with health insurance. You would have to have workman's comp if they are a legal employee. If they are under the table you would be liable for an injury if they care to get into all that, it would be bad for you but also for them, taxwise.

If they are working for an agency, none of the above. Unless they are injured in a way that is not part of their duties, then it is a lawsuit apart from the employment, and law and court can decide.
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I would make sure that they are signing a release that has been notorized with the verbage in there saying you are not responsible for expenses incurred from injuries do to a work related incident. Better yet, I would suggest that you hire an agency. Sometimes hiring an individual is cheaper, but in the long run you get more benefits from the agency. Not only are the covered under the agencies insurance, but the agency can provide another caregiver if yours becomes sick. Also independant caregivers are not screened and have background checks like the ones with the agencies.
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Thank you for writing. An agency is $25 an hour and I find help for $12-$15 an hour, great people too. I have had bad luck with agencie people as they really only get about $9-10 an hour and the agency gets the rest. I rather pay them more and get more, if you know what I mean. A notorized release form is a good idea, thanks. I do not pay under the table, I pay by check, its all legally documented and done correctly as far as that goes. We have a form stating they are their own employee and responsible for their own taxes they sign, must add more to it I suppose. So no one here knows how much house insurance goes up if I call them for this?
love the info, thanks!
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My understanding of sub-contractor vs. employee is if they have a say over their schedule and duties...not sure if that applies when you need a caregiver when you need them to do what you need them to do???
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If you are set on not going through a reputable agency, then I would recommend reading the following blog:
http://homefront676.blogspot.com/

Look for the April 28th post featuring private caregivers
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Thank you for that article. It seems we are doing everything right. The ones we hire are in business for themselves and we give them a 1099 at the end of each year. By them signing a medical release form also, I guess we will be all set. Honestly, I have dodged two health aides from agencies who were later sued for stealing, these are agency people. The people I get love what they do, are in business for themselves, and arent doing it because they cannot get a job doing anything else, like most agency people have from my experience. I know thats not the case on all but I tried an agency over 3 years ago and met several whom I wouldnt ever choose, and they wanted $25 an hour, ouch. I make it clear they will pay their own taxes as we report them yearly on what we pay them. Thank you.
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My daughter has ALS and must have a home health aid. She found a wonderful lady from an Agency, but at $18.50 an hour she cannot continue to pay. What happens if the employee leaves the Agency and works for my daughter at a lesser rate? Would the Agency sue my daughter (she is only 40 years old and has no assets.)
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