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LEGAL CLINIC: Can I sue for being injured at a construction site?

Thursday May 16 2019

The doctor told me the concrete bucket caused a mild concussion and sprained my left shoulder. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

The doctor told me the concrete bucket caused a mild concussion and sprained my left shoulder. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ERIC MUKOYA
By ERIC MUKOYA
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Hi,

I’m a married man with two children and a lot of financial obligations. This is why I made the decision to be walking to work every day to save on costs but I recently paid dearly for it.

I often pass through a busy street to access my place of work.    

Two months ago, I noticed that a new building was coming up just two metres from the street because the construction company had not erected a fence around the area.

Two weeks ago, at around 7am on my way to work, someone shouted at me to duck from a falling object.

All I could recall was something hitting my head and shoulder. Thereafter, everything went dark.

When I regained consciousness, it was around 11am and I was lying in a hospital bed.

My wife was sitting next to the bed. She explained to me I was hit by a falling bucket full of concrete.

The doctor told me the bucket caused a mild concussion and sprained my left shoulder.

Two days later, I was discharged and instructed to take two weeks’ bedrest. I was slapped with a hospital of bill of Sh70,000. Luckily, my brother came to my aid, though I am expected to repay.

Can I take legal action against the construction company?

 

The answer is a big yes. You say that the construction site is just two meters away from the busy street. The construction company should have taken measures to ensure falling objects do not reach street users, including vehicles.

The company should have gone a step further to erect a sign informing members of the public of the ongoing construction work.

By failing to take measures to caution members of the public from falling objects, the company breached duty of care owed to users of that street.

Once you regain your health, file a civil suit through an advocate of the High Court.

Carry with you proof of hospital expense i.e. every hospital bills, prescription, including taxi cost to and from hospital for yourself and your wife. Ensure the legal action is taken before three years lapse.

The advocate will be in a position to quantify damages suffered including cost of suit and make necessary prayers to the court.

***

Eric Mukoya is the Executive Director, Legal Resources Foundation Trust. Do you have a legal problem you would like addressed by a lawyer? Please email your queries to [email protected]

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