Under NY law, liability attaches to a contractor very early in the negotiating process of contracting a job. I learned that long ago from a lawyer who was well worth the $$$$$$$ I paid him, and also learned I was better off not even looking at some jobs. In NY, the instant you tell a potential customer what a problem is, and what can be done to eliminate the problem, you incurr liability, even if you don't get or take the job. It's insane, but it keeps ambulance chasers drinking good Skotch.
There also seems to be a very interesting situation developing relative to cranes and tree work. 2 weeks ago, after spending a couple hours on the phone calling every crane outfit in the Rochester area, they all had the same answwer, NO CRANES AVAILABLE for tree work. Nobody was even willing to discuss crane rental when they heard the word TREE.