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Starting Contract Engineer

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't assume the operator you work for will automatically cover you in the event of a lawsuit. If you are a contractor (You invoice under an incorporated or limited company), you are not automatically covered by their insurance company.

I was required to attend an examination for discovery a few years ago for a lawsuit relating to a 2003 accident. One of our engineers and my self were contractors at the time of the accident and about 2 hours in the examination, the defendant's lawyer found out that we were contractors and he got a big grin on his face and made a comment to the effect that we were going to be named in the lawsuit as well.

The case was settled out of court before this could happen but our contract engineer still had to spend many thousands of dollars for legal representation for an examination of his own. Our company paid his expenses anyways but the point is, we were under no legal obligation to do so.

I'm no legal expert but the way our lawyers explained it goes something like this: As a contractor, you're on your own unless you have a written agreement with your operators' insurance company. If you are named as a defendant weather you are guilty or not of any kind of negligence, your personal assets are probably not going to be affected but you still have to get a lawyer to defend yourself. That's expensive.

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