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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 16367
Experience:  13 years experience in Consumer Protection law, in particular construction law and auto repo law
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I hired a contractor to drain, fill, and crush my septic tank.

Customer Question

I hired a contractor to drain, fill, and crush my septic tank. After the job I stepped in a sink hole above the tank. I was then able to push a broom stick into the hole by hand to a depth of about 4 feet. When I pulled the stick out the bottom 14 inches was covered with very wet mud. I have since learned that I now have a torn meniscus in my right knee due to the fall. I am seeking damages from the contractor as I feel he is responsible. He did come back out to refill the hole at no additional cost which, in my mind, is admitting fault for not properly compacting the backfill properly in the first place.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
Hello there
It actually sounds to me like you have a very good case against the contractor and if he is in the business of working on septic tanks then he is required to carry general liability insurance under the law of every state. Unfortunately, most of the time small business owners such as contractors have no idea WHAT to do when they are notified of an accident and a potential lawsuit. If you want to approach the insurance company yourself without using an attorney at this time to determine what they might be willing to do for you without using a lawyer or going to court (some insurers will simply accept liability and offer payment of medical expenses and a personal injury settlement) then you should write a letter to the contractor and ask him for the name and address of either his insurance agent or the insurance company who insures him (if he does not use an agent). The insurance company will open a claim and assess the situation and will possibly offer to settle the matter with you . In the event that the contractor will not give you the contact information for his insurer or the insurance company denies liability here, then you will have to actually hire an attorney to go forth with a personal injury lawsuit against the contractor and the insurer.
You have about three years from the date of a personal injury to file a lawsuit against the contractor and so you should get started on this as soon as possible, Three years goes by quickly and the insurance company would love to drag the matter out to make you miss the filing deadline if they can get away with it (this happens sometimes when the plaintiff (you) delays in hiring an attorney and suddenly all of the filing dates have gone by).
Please let me know if you have further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating in the rating section before you leave this question page so that I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating on this page (we do not receive paychecks). THANK YOU VERY MUCH
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** been able to determine that actually. Asking Just Answer was a bit premature I think. However, you are correct in that all the websites I viewed specify sand or other granular material for filling the tank which was not used, so I think I will pursue this with a local attorney.
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome. I would appreciate it if you would press a positive rating before leaving the website so I will receive credit for my time assisting you today. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MARY