Who is Liable in a Skylight Fall Claim?
Liable Parties Responsible for Skylight Fall Injuries
Rooftop workers either in construction or maintenance are at a high risk of suffering fall injuries via falling through skylights. These architectural features provide natural light to rooms but they also provide a fall hazard for people navigating rooftops. Skylights can be found on any number of buildings ranging from small houses to large office buildings. Regardless of where a skylight is, there is a chance that those working around it can fall through and injure themselves if there are no safety precautions present. There are a number of parties that can be liable for the damage caused by an accident involving a fall through a skylight. These parties can be held responsible for the damage a skylight fall injury causes if they somehow contributed negligence towards the accident occurring.
Parties Potentially Liable for Skylight Fall Injuries
The Owner of the Building
The most obvious party that many will look to for compensation in the event that someone suffers a fall through a skylight is the owner of the building. Premises liability law specifies that those that are invited onto a property owner's premises are to be afforded a reasonably safe and secure environment. If someone fall through a skylight, there is a chance that this could be the fault of the building owner that has a duty of care to invitees. However, that does not mean that they are always liable in the event that someone falls through a skylight every time.
Property owners are expected to provide a reasonably safe and secure environment for people invited onto the premises which means ensuring that safety barriers are in place to prevent falls through a skylight in the form of rails, screens, or cages as well as having the skylight be sufficiently strong enough to hold at least 200 pounds. For example, if someone finds their way onto the roof of a building and falls through a painted over skylight with no safety barrier or screen then the owner of a building might be considered liable for the injuries that person suffers because of the negligent conditions that led to the accident occurring.
The Employer of the Person That Fell
The majority of skylight fall accidents involve maintenance and construction workers up on a roof performing any number of tasks. Exposed skylights during construction are considered especially dangerous since they are often not much different from an exposed hatch leading to the room below. Construction and maintenance workers are expected to work in potentially dangerous environments but with sufficient training and safety equipment to help minimize the risk of an accident such as a skylight fall occurring. Many employers of maintenance and construction workers can be negligent by failing to provide proper safety training and equipment to those working on rooftops. Employers also have the responsibility of ensuring that skylights have barriers during construction and that procedure is followed to avoid dangerous accidents. This means ensuring that their employees have safety harnesses and exposed uninstalled skylights have screens or safety nets. In cases where an employer is negligent and an accident occurs then a person will typically have to seek compensation through a workers compensation claim.
The Manufacturer of the Skylight or Skylight Barrier
There are some occasions where the safety features meant to prevent skylight fall injuries end up failing to result in dangerous accidents. The companies that either designed, manufactured, or distributed the safety features that failed can sometimes be considered liable in a product liability lawsuit over the skylight fall accident. Product liability lawsuits seek to hold the businesses that put out products that harm consumers either because there is a defect in the design, a manufacturing defect, or because of improper labeling. Safety nets or safety harnesses can give out, railings and cages can be bent, and the glass of a skylight can be too weak or have weak spots that can't support the weight of an average person.
Skylight Fall Injuries
Those that end up falling through skylights are almost assuredly going to suffer some kind of injury. The question is more of what degree of intensity the injury will have. Sometimes people that fall through skylights can end up falling about 10 feet into a room below with fairly minor injuries but there also times where someone can end up falling several floors of distance. Common fall injuries include:
Seek an Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a fall through a skylight then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about a free consultation on your case. An experienced lawyer can assist you in seeking the compensation you need to stabilize your life. Workers compensation claims can provide you with the opportunity to get a settlement that can help cover damages caused by a skylight fall injury such as medical bills, The process of a worker's compensation claim can sometimes be difficult and long so do not hesitate to contact an attorney. Lawyers like those at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can provide you with the resources and expertise needed to secure a settlement you can be satisfied with.
Because of the complexity of the laws applicable to workmen's compensation, if you, or someone that you know, sustain an injury while working, it is important to speak with a workers' compensation attorney to discuss your rights and legal remedies. At the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA our team of highly skilled workers' compensation attorneys can assist you to receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our workers' compensation attorneys to discuss your legal options and to receive your rightful compensation.