Be careful when hiring someone to shovel snow

You could be forced to pay workers comp if your shoveler is injured

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you hire someone to shovel your driveway, you could be at risk. If that person were to get injured on the job, there is a chance you could face a lawsuit.

‘You have to be careful. If you hire the local kid to do it, depending on the amount of control you exert on the job they’re doing, you might be seen under the law, as their employer,” said Attorney Robert Ditusa of Alekman & Ditusa Law Firm in Springfield.

As an “employer”, you could be forced to pay workers comp to cover your shoveler’s injuries. To avoid that, make sure the person you hire brings their own shovel or tools.

“I think you have to know what you’re doing for one thing. You have to be careful who you have doing your shoveling or snow because if you don’t you’re going to get sued, and that’s the unfortunate part,” said Joseph Cini of Agawam.

If you do have to hire someone, Attorney Ditusa strongly urges you to use a company rather than a kid down the street. He said every case is different, but in all situations, immediately call your homeowners insurance. They’ll investigate the claim for you and even hire an attorney if needed.

While cities legally require you to shovel your sidewalk, the sidewalk is city property. If someone gets hurt there, Attorney Ditusa said it’s likely the city who’d be sued, not you.

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