I was injured by cables loosened by high winds on a construction site. Can I still recover damages even though the accident was technically caused by an act of God?
Yes. Your employer and others working on the construction site had no control over the wind; however, they did have control over what work was done in the windy conditions. It was not the wind itself that caused your accident but rather the work that you did in the windy weather that led to your injury.
Employers Should Know Better
We may all poke fun at meteorologists, but the reality is that there are many ways a construction employer can reasonably anticipate windy weather and the danger it creates. Specifically, construction employers may:
- Check the weather
- Subscribe to the New York City Department of Buildings weather advisories
- Halt construction at the first sign of dangerous winds
If the windy weather had been anticipated and work on your job site had been temporarily suspended, you would not have been hurt in a fall, by falling debris, or by downed wires or trees. But you were and you deserve a recovery.
Making a Claim
If your employer allowed work on the job site and you were hurt, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. You may be entitled to damages for medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. However, if it was a third party who caused your construction accident injury, you may be able to recover additional damages such as all of your lost income and pain and suffering.
What you should know now is that you were not the one who caused your accident, and it was not an act of nature or God that was responsible for your injury. Instead, it was the employer or employers who allowed work to continue in dangerous conditions.