Manholes serve a vital purpose in allowing workers to access utilities and sewers below ground. However, when manholes aren’t properly managed, they can pose serious danger to innocent civilians. If left uncovered or ajar, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike are at risk for severe injury.
Sadly, a manhole injury can leave you to cope with severe physical pain and disability. What’s more, you might not be able to go to work and earn badly needed income to pay off your medical bills.
You shouldn’t suffer because someone else was negligent in managing a manhole. If you were injured in a manhole accident, you may be able to recover compensation including lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. A Morgan & Morgan attorney can help: Here’s what you should know.
Causes of Manhole Accidents
Many construction sites are located near manholes, which are entry points to utility controls in cities. They allow workers to regulate utility systems and perform various construction tasks. However, open manholes can pose danger in many situations. Common causes of manhole accidents include:
- Failure on the part of the construction team to post appropriate warning signs
- Leaving a manhole uncovered
- Neglecting to put up physical barriers around an open manhole
Types of Manhole Accidents
There are many types of manhole accidents:
- Slip-and-Fall: Misplaced or missing manhole covers pose a significant hazard to pedestrians.
- Steam and Burn Injuries: The surface of a manhole cover can become extremely hot and scald pedestrians. Burn injury victims may be left to cope with skin damage, nerve trauma, scars, and disfigurement, among other lasting medical concerns.
- Explosions: Electrical shortages can cause manhole explosions, which endanger everyone in the vicinity.
- Occupational Injuries: Construction workers, who often spend hours at a time near manholes, may become victim to an unsecured manhole.
Injuries Caused by Manhole Cover Accidents
It’s easy to underestimate just how dangerous a manhole accident can be. Common injuries resulting from these mishaps include:
- Cuts and sprains from tripping over a defective manhole cover
- Fractures from falling into a manhole
- Concussions from impact to the head
- Infection from contact with contaminated sewage or water systems
- Paralysis or death from a large fall
Determining Liability in a Manhole Accident
There are many parties who may be responsible for a manhole injury. For example, if the manhole cover was actively undergoing repair at the time of the accident, the repair crew should have posted proper signage to steer drivers and pedestrians clear of the area. If local authorities were not properly maintaining road surfaces, including periodically checking that manhole covers were secured, they may also be liable. Or if a local power company was not regularly inspecting wiring beneath the manhole cover and an explosion occurred, it may be responsible for your injury.
Contact a Manhole Accident Lawyer
A manhole accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you get to the bottom of what happened and determine who behaved negligently. Our highly skilled attorneys will examine the facts of your case and collect evidence in support of your claim. As a result, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Lost earnings
- Reduced future earnings
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
To get started, contact us to schedule a free consultation. There’s no upfront cost, and it’s free unless we win.