Q: Can I have an Attorney draw up a release form in lieu of getting workers comp insurance for my business?
I own a small owner operated carpet cleaning service in Kingston Ga. I do a great deal of work for property management companies. A few of the companies are asking for a workers comp policy from me. Since I am the only employee and the workers comp will not cover me, can I have an attorney draw up a release form whereby I agree to not hold the management company liable for any injury that may occur?
A: You could try that. I would if it mattered. Whether those companies -- and more likely their insurance companies and risk managers who are driving this request -- would accept that is another matter. It may be not so much a question of law as a question of their risk management practices.
If you wanted to cover yourself under workers comp, you probably could. The firm in which I was a partner decades ago elected to cover partners under workers comp. The next year, I had a back injury on a business trip and was covered. In my law office now, which is also too small for workers compensation insurance to be required, I buy WC coverage anyway. We have never had a claim and probably never will, but if a valued employee were hurt going to the courthouse, I would be glad she was covered.
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