When someone hires you to perform landscaping work around their property, you may not realize it, but the agreement for you to work makes them at least partially responsible for your safety while you’re on their property. For this reason, if you are injured, it is important that you report your injuries right away to ensure you are protected.
Notify, Not Agree
You want to notify the homeowner that you have injured yourself as soon as possible, but what you do not want to do is make an agreement about care or compensation. For instance, the homeowner might ask you to agree to take payment in lieu of filing an injury claim. The reason you should not engage in this practice is that the amount of money you agree to will often be far less than what is necessary to meet your needs. Let the law help determine what you need.
Seek Medical Treatment
It is imperative that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Seeking medical treatment is the first step on the path to your diagnosis and recovery, but it also serves as the formal documentation that you were injured, and to what degree. Ideally, you should seek medical treatment immediately after your injury or at the first indication that something is wrong, or whichever is first.
The doctor will likely give you orders that involve a rest period from work, given the physical demands that come with landscaping work. Make sure you follow these orders. For instance, if the doctor prohibits you from working for 8 weeks and you work anyway, this action will be used against you. The insurance company representing the homeowner can use this information to reduce your claim or deny it altogether, as it gives them leverage to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
It is also helpful to collect as much information as you can about your work history. An injury claim will often include compensation for missed time from work. However, unlike someone who works a traditional role, you may not have a paystub to use as supporting evidence for lost wages. Paid invoices from clients or estimates or contracts from future planned work can be helpful for establishing how much compensation you deserve.
If you were injured on a customer's property, make sure you take the matter seriously. For more information, speak with a personal injury attorney in your area.