Follow
Share

I need some advice and maybe someone has asked this question before. My sister is wanting someone to come in to the home for 8 hrs a day 3/4 days a week. I’m worried that if this person gets hurt she might sue my husband. She said she would sign a waiver but not sure we should even go this route. We are waiting for help from DFACS, been on a list for a few years. Mom has dementia but we think she isn’t ready for the care facility yet. Need some advice before getting ourselves in trouble.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Good morning everyone:) Wanted to update you all on our situation. We just received word from our area agency that our mother was approved for in home care 3 days a week for now. So we were so excited that we didn’t have to go the route of outside help and everything that would have made us go through. Thanks to everyone for your advice! I was researching some of your answers about getting someone to come in the home without the help of an agency and we definitely didn’t want to go through all it intailed. It’s great to have this forum to turn to when you need advice from the experienced! Thanks so much.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This may vary depending on where you live, but in my state Workman's Comp through Labor and Industries DOES NOT PAY if their employee was injured on private property. The liability would go onto the shoulders of the property owner, and therefore upon the homeowners insurance up to the limit of liability coverage.

Liability coverage is cheap to upgrade depending on the limits. For example, in my state to upgrade from $300,000 to $500,000 of liability coverage it only costs an extra few dollars per month. Going above $500k generally requires an umbrella policy; depending on who the insurance carrier is and the policy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Ask them to come do an assessment on what care Mon needs. They will be able to offer assistance in finding care through agencies they have approved and who will have insurance to cover the worker.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Any employee has to be covered by workman's comp insurance.This is not part of a homeowners policy which covers visitors to the home or any one who walks on your ground, swims in your pool etc, even those sweet little trick or treaters.
There are different rules for domestic employees. So if you have a full time live in Nanny or Housekeeper you are an employer and must have the necessary insurances, pay state taxes etc.
An agency that simply places employees and labels them as independant contractors is skating on pretty thin. An independent contractor must have their own official place of business ice. i got caught like that when I started the horse farm. A young woman who was in college came every week to give my daughter and one other riding lessons. I paid he a set fee from the farm business account and had the misfortune to get audited and had to pay all the back taxes. Another woman in town who opened a book shop had a friend who volunteered to help her without pay. Thesame auditor was visiting when the friend breezed in , hung up her coat and said "Now B where would you like me to start to-day. No amount of explaining sorted that one out. The friend was acting like an employee therefor she was an employee!!!!!!!!!!!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Everyone needs homeowner's or renter's insurance. All it would take is the mailman slipping on your front walkway, and you might be the subject of a big, fat lawsuit.

I recommend ONLY hiring help through an agency. They are required to hold liability insurance for their employees.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Fivets, I haven't read any of these posts as I have been extremely busy with my Mother's issues too, neither here nor there.

Are you absolutely sure that the house is in your "husband's" name and his alone? He may be named as the sole beneficiary on beneficiary deed, which means that once she passes, then the house belongs to him and the deed will then be placed on State record that the house is his and his alone.

EVEN, if it is or is not.....EVEN if the in-home care person states that he/she will sign a waiver YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND ARE NOT PROTECTED.

One should ALWAYS HAVE HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE no matter. If a friend comes to visit your Mother-in-law and happens to trip coming/going, inside the house which causes injury.....who ever is named on the Homeowner's Insurance coverage will be the responsible party.

Your husband may have had the insurance placed in his name with your Mother's-in-law ok thus making your husband the 'owner' of the policy, but not the house to protect/pay for any incident that may occur.

Just because the home maybe mortgage free does not exclude it from having insurance. That would be like driving your car without full coverage or liability.

99.9999% you could also be named in the law suit should one arise; most assuredly your husband can be sued. The waiver is worthless unless you need tissue to blow your nose.

It would need to be a legal part of the insurance policy and EVERYONE WHO STEPS FOOT IN THE HOUSE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO SIGN TOO.

Best thing is to contact the care provider's employer and discuss the issue. Since the person would actually be 'on the job', the employer should have coverage for their health/accidents as required by law for such companies. Make sure that the company is LICENSED/BONDED for your protection.

IF ANYTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW DUE TO NEGLIGENCE, YOU CAN MAKE CLAIM AGAINST THEIR INSURER AND POSSIBLY NEED TO PLACE A MECHANIC'S LIEN ( has nothing to due with cars etc).

They have to protect themselves from the same type of action should something happen with their employees i.e. stealing, physically hurting, not doing their job...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If a meter reader or postal worker get hurt on ur property because of negligence on ur part, they can sue. I think all HO policies have liability. I had neighborhood kids running around my backyard when playing next door. I asked them to stop because I can be held liable if they get hurt on my property.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I worked Elder Care and I was insured by my company for injury, probably with Worker's Comp. The family also carried a little extra insurance for "me" as they were all actually IN the insurance business. I did get hurt at work several times (Lifting my way too heavy client and once, shoveling their enormous driveway!!) but neither required a drs visit, or a lasting injury. If I had a caregiver here, I would talk to my ins guy and add some kind of extra coverage.

My MIL owned a rental house, the mailman walked across the lawn and stepped into a hole in the lawn--(barely sprained his ankle) and sued my inlaws for $250K! SO stupid, and he actually lost b/c he was not supposed to walk across lawns, only on sidewalks, which are "owned" by the county--anyway, people can and will sue over some pretty stupid stuff, so it's better to be prepared than be sorry.

The mailman lawsuit lasted over 2 years. It was so stressful for MIL.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Do note that if you hire through an agency, they don't all provide workmen's comp. This would likely only be covered by the agency if the people they send are their employees, and not independent contractors. I pay an agency which does all the paperwork (taxes, SS etc.) for the caregivers they send to us. They are identified in the contract as independent contractors, but the agency doesn't provide workers comp. I added it to my homeowners insurance after discussing the situation at length with the insurance agents and making sure I had it in writing. The difference here is the amount of time the worker is spending at your home, and you'd have to check with your homeowners insurance to see what their limits are. People such as the guy who delivers the paper would be covered under your homeowners insurance already. Just an added note: (In dealing with insurance companies, it helps to remember that they are in business to make a profit and they are only going to pay claims if they have to.)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm certainly no expert on liability but my understanding is that claims are generally based on the degree of negligence involved, so aside from having good insurance you would be wise to go through the home and the caregiver's duties with that in mind. For example it isn't reasonable to expect someone to transfer a patient without the appropriate assistive devices, or to attempt to work with any equipment that is in poor repair, or to work in a home that may have unsafe areas such as broken steps or non gfi electrical outlets in hazardous areas, etc
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hospice worker's work for a company that should be carrying w/c policy. Hired employees by homeowner are a different story altogether. I'm sure each state, maybe even county has its own rules. I personally have never found an insurance agent that could answer the "how should this be strucutured to protect us?" Can they tell me if my insurance covers me if....they should be able to. Realize that not all agents are familiar with the nuances of commercial or asset protection. Make sure your agent knows the whole story, mom, sister, paid worker. You would not want to have a worker hurt, hire an attorney then find out that you are not protected. It is to late at that point.

Yes, is seems simple enough insured or not? Paying them is the game changer and unless they are in this country illegally if they get seriously hurt you can guarantee someone will advise them to sue. Who wouldn't, hurt, can't work, no workers comp insurance to pay medical bills and 2/3rd of salary.

Just an example of how crazy the judicial system is. We were building a playground shade cover out of structural steel, the area was fenced off and posted under construction keep out. A mom helped her child through the construction fence and allowed them to play on the stacked up construction material, the child fell breaking their arm injuring their head, they turned around and sued our company . They actually won medical expenses and damages, even though we had complied with the law providing a barrier with written notification. They illegally entered the area and still made enough for this child to go to college on. That is why I recommend talk to your agent and find out if the worker is covered but also talk to a lawyer to guarantee that your assets are protected. Attorneys are hungry and will take any kind of care. If you are sued, all of your personal assets could be at stake if this worker is not insured. Insurance companies will not even provide an attorney if it is deemed that the situation was never covered under your policy. 
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I think it is somewhat dependent on the state you live in and it's laws. There are now services that take care of the insurance and tax part by making the care providers "employees" of some sort but let them run their own schedule and charge what they want for their services. You pay the service and they basically take their fee and then pay the care provider. You as the client choose the provider you want and they kind of advertise themselves on the site (best I can describe it) so no dealing with the company or service really for you other than having the protection of paying them rather than the person who comes to your house and knowing insurance and tax stuff is covered. They also offer the service I guess the providers get to choose whether to pay for it or not but some are background checked while other aren't (I would choose someone who has been checked) but there are various levels of certification and things they will do from RN's to non cert, full or part time. I haven't investigated as thoroughly as I plan to but certainly worth checking into. The one that first comes to mind is Care.com (I think it is) because they are big enough to advertise. Now the drawback of course is that you (or someone) is responsible for scheduling and making sure shifts are covered, etc. One of the big benefits of a service is that they deal with the headaches of scheduling and making sure there is coverage of someone gets sick or has car trouble last min but the savings might be significant enough, especially if she isn't needing highly trained nursing care, to be worth the headache when she is living with family who can adjust last min.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Wow, so you don't worry about the mailman or a teen delivering flyers or the water meter reader or utility company meter reader and God knows who else comes on to your property? You are worrying about a matter that is more than your writing. If you don't have homeowner's insurance, get some and free your mental so you can properly care for your Mother. Best of Luck
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have to wonder what people are getting up to that this is that big an issue...

But sensible precautions are only sensible, and insurance is the answer. For home owner's liability, see your home insurance broker. For hospice workers' indemnity, check with your hospice provider what cover is held by whom for what and that there aren't any gaps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My husband is in Hospice care. Would they be responsible if one of there employees got hurt in our home?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Please also read this,
dwyerlaw.com.au/blog/2016/june/the-consequences-if-someone-is-injured-on-your-p.aspx
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

A waiver is only a piece of paper.   It will not protect you fully.

Yes, in my opinion, she could sue - but I believe it would be covered under your House/Home Insurance. Ask your Insurance Agent about this. He/she should know the answer.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

We've addressed this issue, not for in home care but for chore services. I contacted our insurance agent with the request to add a worker's comp rider and learned that this can't be done in Michigan. W/c insurance is a commercial, not a homeowner's insurance. There's no such thing as a comp rider to a HO policy.

It would cost between $750 and $1,000 annually (with guaranteed price increased over the year(s) ) to purchase a commercial w/c policy. And that's only the base cost of the policy. If the person was injured actually was, and filed a successful w/c claim, then the payments for the injury could go on for an indefinite period, depending on the award.

We went the route of hiring people through an agency. There's too much risk not to do this.

The claim would be filed against the individual who's of record as holding title to the house.

As to waivers, one potential issue could be proof that the individual who signed it actually understood what she was doing - "informed consent" might be the best way to describe it. I.e., did she realize what she was waiving?

If you go this route, definitely have an attorney draft the waiver. This isn't a DIY job.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

YES. It doesn't mean that the claim would prevail, but you would likely be sued. Get insurance.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Call your insurance agent. S/he will be able to tell you if your current liability plan covers this, and tell you how much it would be to have this property listed as a rental - just a quote, not a policy yet.
 
If there is any possibility that grandma might not have enough money to pay for her care when she needs a nursing home, the Medicare spend down allows her to pay rent. You can always give her back the rent (less taxes) if she does not need medicare assistance for a NH later on, once she's out of money. She can pay renter's liability insurance (really cheap) and she should be the one hiring the aide and having the consult with CPA. If grandma realizes she can't handle all this money talk, she needs to give her durable POA to someone local so they can take care of it in HER name, not anyone else's.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Who pays the house insurance? This is the first one you would file a liability claim. Suing the owner would come in if the person sued beyond the insurance cap. If an agency, find out if they cover their aids. Private pay is a whole other ball. The answer: is yes your husband can be sued.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Is sister wanting to hire from an agency? If not tell her she needs to do so or buy workmans compensation insurance. The latter should be checked for your area, it might throw other requirements into the plan, ie matching SS and Medicare pmts, state tax, unemployment tax, federal tax. I have never had in home care so I'm not sure, I do run a business and all of these must be paid.

I would also check about the waiver, some states will not allow documents that give away people's rights. Maybe a caregiver contract would be the way to avoid being sued. I would consult an attorney and a cpa.

To many times I have heard about the person that will sign a waiver, hold harmless, etc, until they get hurt, then all if that goes out the window.

Maybe rent the house to sister and make her provide insurance, I'm sure an attorney will lead you to the best way to protect yourselves that let mom have some help.

Please come back and let us know what happens, we are all learning. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.