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My brother was making repairs to the roof at an industrial warehouse and fell through the skylight. He broke almost every bone in his body. Is there anything else we can do other than file a workers' compensation claim?

 

A:

Yes, your brother may be able to file a lawsuit against a third party responsible for his fall.  In a fall accident like your brother's, a fall protection system probably was either not implemented or was improperly implemented.  Skylights are not made to withstand the weight of someone falling on them.  Therefore, safety measures should have been in place to prevent someone from falling through, such as a skylight screen or cover, guardrail, or personal fall protection equipment like a body harness.

If a third party was responsible for performing a safety inspection to check that appropriate fall protection was being used but failed to do so prior to your brother's accident, then a lawsuit may be filed against the third party.

Other third parties could also be held liable for your brother's injuries if they had to install the fall protection, but failed to do so properly.

Therefore, in order to identify other possible liable third parties, a thorough investigation must be conducted.  Contracts of all contractors, sub-contractors and vendors must be examined to determine the relationship and responsibilities of all parties at the work site.

It is important that your brother talks to an experienced fall accident lawyer who is familiar with OSHA standards in order to maximize his recovery.  I am sorry about your brother's accident.  He must be worried about his future after his catastrophic injuries.

Feel free to have your brother call me to discuss his accident, and we can help him explore his legal options. For more information about fall accidents and fall protection at work sites, click on the articles below:


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