Often, construction sites have electrical hazards, such as buried power lines. Employers must follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations related to their electrical work on a construction site. Electrical accidents on a construction site can cause catastrophic injuries. Injuries can include heart problems, burns, nerve damage, and even fatalities. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse electrical accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages.Injuries Arising From Electrical Accidents
Electrical power circuits are supposed to be protected. There is a huge risk to workers from unprotected power circuits, and employers are supposed to have a safety and health program to address the potential for electrical accidents. Electrical equipment must be evaluated before it is used, and when there are frayed cords, they should be replaced. There are greater risks if tools that can touch power lines become conduits from a circuit into a worker's body. Generally, overhead lines should be assumed to be energized, and workers should be using fiberglass ladders or non-conductive wood when working by power lines. Electrocution is one of the most common causes of death on construction sites.
If you are injured as a result of an electrical accident, you should retain an experienced electrical accident attorney in the Syracuse area. We can look at which parties may bear responsibility and whether the employer adhered to appropriate OSHA regulations and safety guidelines. Sometimes there are contracts in place that limit indemnity or determine the precise scope of the work. Often, the general contractor subcontracts work to various subcontractors and suppliers, and the subcontracts and supply contracts will specify whether a subcontractor owes a duty to indemnify a developer or contractor for liability arising out of work done on a construction project.
When a construction project is large, there may be multiple parties that share fault, including the property owner, the developer, the general contractor, design professionals, subcontractors, and material suppliers. The general contractor owes a duty for overall work site safety. Other issues include who had control over the electrical scope (often an electrical subcontractor) and who had control over the location where the accident occurred or the reason for there being an electrical issue.
Electrical accidents can harm an employee or a bystander. If an employee is harmed in the course of their work, they should be able to recover workers' compensation benefits through their employer. However, our Syracuse electrical accident attorneys also may be able to bring a claim against a third party. For example, if an employee of the framing contractor is electrocuted as a result of shoddy work by an electrical subcontractor, it may be possible for the framing contractor employee to sue the electrical subcontractor for damages under a theory of negligence, even though they can only recover workers' compensation benefits from their employer. To establish negligence, the employee would need to prove duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. If the electrical accident is also a gravity-related accident or involves a fall, you may be able to recover damages under Labor Law 240, which imposes strict liability on contractors and property owners.
Sometimes it is possible to hold the property owner liable for an electrical accident. If you are a bystander at a construction site, you may be able to hold a property owner liable for electrical injuries under a premises liability theory. A premises liability lawsuit would require you to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous electrical condition.
A public utility may also bear some responsibility for an electrical accident under a theory of negligence. For example, an electric company could be liable if it failed to insulate an on-site electrical line that electrocutes you.
We can also look at whether a product at the construction site that caused an electrical accident or that failed to protect you from an electrical accident when it was supposed to do so had a defect. Design and manufacturing defects that cause injuries may be actionable under a strict liability theory.Hire an Electrical Accident Lawyer at Our Syracuse Firm
If you have been injured because of an electrical accident, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from the responsible parties. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents injured people in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, and Lyons. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.