Who is at Fault, the Contractor or the Sub-Contractor?

by Terral
(Memphis, TN)

I work in a building where new security systems are being placed in every office. A metal bar that was installed on my door fell off while I was entering into the office and hit me in the top of my head.

The bar did not break any skin, but my head is sore and I have been experiencing headaches. The Company who was hired by my place of business, hired some sub-contractors to install the metal bars.

Who is at fault? The Contractor or the Sub-Contractor?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Who is at Fault, the Contractor or the Sub-Contractor?":

Building contractors as well as their subs are required to have and maintain liability insurance when working under a license issued by their state.

Contractors frequently hire sub-contractors to perform many specialty trades (electrical, plumbing, t-bar, for example) and they have agreements between them, one of which should address liability.

However, the injured party is not required to know the contents of those private agreements when it comes to liability. With the information you have provided, it seems that you should be able to seek recovery from the general contractor AND the sub-contractor, but what about another source?

There is a theory called premises liability. With that, you are able to sue the property owner upon which an injury occurred. This may or may not be your employer and you will have to decide whether you want to pursue that route, however when asking who is liable, you should know all the possibilities.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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