Construction work often requires contractors to rely on specialized professionals to assist with their projects. Subcontractors, suppliers, and other vendors provide the materials, equipment, tools, and skills necessary to perform quality work, delivered on time. Unfortunately, if you are a general contractor, your liability increases significantly when you employ more and more entities to complete a project. Moreover, you need to ensure consistency with every contract you enter to avoid vulnerability. With that being said, subcontractors, suppliers, and other vendors are critical to completing projects.
Fortunately, a Florida workers’ comp defense attorney can offer contractors protection by providing valuable legal services during every stage of a project. From drafting contracts to reviewing company records, an experienced construction attorney can ensure your business is protected.
Contracts That Keep You Covered
As a Florida-based general contractor, you can’t transfer workers’ compensation liability to another contracting party. In other words, if you wanted to avoid paying workers’ compensation coverage for an uninsured subcontractor’s injured worker, you cannot simply feature a provision in the contract that shifts the burden to the subcontractor. Regardless of the language in the contract, the contractor remains liable for a worker’s injury if a subcontractor fails to provide them with coverage.
Although you can’t shift workers’ compensation liability, if you are a general contractor, your contract with subcontractors can still feature certain provisions related to insurance requirements. These provisions can clearly define the requirements of the other entity and potentially shift the contractual risk allocation to the other party if they fail to comply with these provisions. Speak with a construction attorney about ways you can implement certain insurance requirements into your contracts with subcontractors.
Perform Your Due Diligence
It’s one thing to have a great contract, but it’s another thing to appropriately track the provisions within the agreement. Along with an ironclad contract drafted by a Florida workers’ comp defense lawyer, contractors should require all other entities they are entering into a contract with (subcontractors, suppliers, vendors, etc.) to provide proof of insurance. Taking another contracting party “for their word” is unacceptable. As the general contractor, you need to validate that this entity is covered before they show up to your jobsite. Ensure that any of your subcontractors’ insurance coverage aligns with the requirements specified in your contract.
Partner with a Reliable Lawyer
Although there may be several urgent tasks related to your construction projects, never overlook the importance of making certain that the other entities you work with have the necessary insurance coverage for your projects. For construction contracts, consult an experienced construction lawyer.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.