We would like to believe that most construction projects in Louisiana will be completed without a hitch, but construction work can be dangerous, and it is not uncommon for a worker to be injured on the job. Specifically, when it comes to independent contractors, it is important to understand who is liable for injuries workers suffer while performing their job duties.
In general, the business that hires the independent contractor will not be liable for injuries suffered by third parties caused by the negligent acts of the contractor. This is because the contractor has authority over the work they do, and, thus, has an obligation to make sure the work environment is safe. If a third party is injured due to an unsafe work environment that the contractor controls, the contractor may be held responsible.
However, there are exceptions to this rule in which the hiring company may be liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor. The hiring company may be liable if: it failed to keep its premises safe; if the independent contractor was hired to complete jobs that are inherently risky and apt to result in injuries even if precautions are taken to keep workers safe; if it hires a contractor whose incompetence causes injuries due to poor workmanship; and if it does not provide sufficient supervision over the work of the contractor.
Negligence under construction law is a complex topic, and this post only scratches the surface of this important issue. Because this post does not provide legal advice, third parties injured while performing construction work will want to seek legal guidance to determine who can be held responsible for the damages they suffered.