An accident with what some are calling a miraculous ending occurred in San Francisco. A window washer fell from the roof of an 11 story building onto a moving car. The window washer and a co-worker were adjusting their cables from the roof while their working platform was lying on the ground. Something happened that caused the window washer to fall from the building.
The man flew from the top of the building, and landed on the top of a moving Toyota Camry 11 stories below. He caved in the back part of the car’s roof, and then fell onto the street. The driver of the Camry said he heard something very loud and felt a hard impact. He thought he had hit someone. When he got out of the car, he saw the accident victim on the ground, shaking and disoriented.
After the accident, witnesses rushed over to help. They covered him with towels, called 911, and talked to him until help arrived. The man suffered a broken arm and injuries to his side, and was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. He was conscious when he was transported. The man in the car was miraculously not injured.
According to medical experts, it is highly unlikely the man would have survived the fall if he had not landed on the top of a car. The fact that the roof of the car caved in ended up softening the blow, which allowed him to stop falling. The driver of the vehicle was circling the block looking for a place to park when the person landed on his car, putting him in the right place at the right time.
After the accident, Cal-OSHA investigators were on the scene to interview witnesses, and to investigate whether the window cleaning company has ever been cited for safety violations. Cal-OSHA discovered that the company had been cited for safety violations four times in 2008, including one serious violation that resulted in a penalty of over $6,000, which was reduced later to $2,700.
It’s currently unclear what caused this accident. Some are speculating that the man may have slipped as he was adjusting the cables of his rig. He had not yet clipped himself onto his safety line when the accident occurred.
This accident illustrates how dangerous some occupations can be, and how important it is for employers, as well as employees, to take workplace safety seriously. An employer is legally responsible for providing its employees with a safe workplace. If an employer fails to do so, the employer can be held legally liable for damages. An injured employee may be limited to obtaining only workers’ compensation. In other cases, the employee may be able to sue the employer directly for negligence, if an accident is caused because the employer failed to provide a safe workplace. Also, there may potentially be liability against other parties for a workplace accident. For example, in this case if the accident was caused by a defective safety harness or a wire that snapped, the company that manufactured the wire or the harness could be found legally liable for the accident.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, it’s best that you discuss the accident with an attorney. If you are in the San Francisco area, including Oakland, Tracy, Fairfield, Berkeley, San Jose, or the surrounding area, call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco personal injury attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She works closely with injured accident victims to ensure they are treated fairly and obtain the compensation they deserve. Call to learn more about your legal options.