Five Dry Creek youth were injured recently when a roof fell on them. As reported by Southwest Louisiana’s americanpress.com, the five were working to tear down on old building at the Dry Creek Baptist camp when the accident occurred. According to the article:
Beauregard Parish Sheriff Ricky Moses said that at around 3:45 p.m., officers received a call that the building had collapsed and that the youths were trapped underneath.
Everyone was pulled from the building by the time authorities arrived and two of the young people were seriously injured. Dry Creek Baptist Camp is located on La. 113 and is a Christian camp that specializes in youth and adult retreats.
After an accident, the primary focus for those who have been injured and their families should be getting better. However, with an accident as unexpected and tragic as this one, one cannot help but wonder what may have been the cause. Further, is there some kind of legal redress for those injured? If someone is injured because of the action or inaction of someone else (individual or entity) they typically will be held liable, or financially responsible, for the accident and must pay damages. Damages can include the cost of medical care, lost wages if the injured person is unable to work while recovering, compensation for pain and suffering, or even punitive damages meant to punish the party at fault.
It is the job of the attorney representing an individual who has been injured to ascertain any and all possible legal claims and determine which are the most viable. For example, while very little is known of the facts in this situation, there could be several potential liability issues.
A good attorney must know how to ask the important questions and find answers to them. Here, what was the relationship between the youth and the camp? Were they attending as patrons or employees? Relationship often determines the level of responsibility for taking safety precautions. Was the work to tear down the old building inherently dangerous where an injury like this one was likely or forseeable or was this accident completely unexpected? Has an accident like this ever occurred before with other old buildings? Did the camp take adequate precautions to prevent this kind of accident or were they (meaning their employees in this case) negligent in any way?
A finding of negligence is key to liability. Negligent behavior falls below the reasonable standard of care for the particular circumstances. Proving negligence can be difficult and requires proof of four elements:
First, the defendant must have owed a duty to the injured party. As mentioned above, duty can be established by the relationship between the parties and is sometimes clarified by state law. Second, the duty must have been breached. This means that the defendant did not live up to their duty to the injured person. Third, the breach of duty must have been a cause of the injury. Causation requires both that the injury would not have occurred but for the breach and that the injury was not too far removed from the breach. The injury must have naturally resulted from the breach. Fourth there must be actual compensable damages that can be recovered for, and the damages must be proven.
If you or a family member has been injured and think that you are entitled to recover damages from the person who caused the injury it is very important that you have an attorney on your side who understands and fights to protect your legal rights.