More than two weeks after the construction accident at the Atlanta Botanical Garden that killed one worker and injured 18 others, the last worker who was still receiving treatment for his injuries, has been discharged from the hospital.
That means all of the workers who were injured are now back at home, many still facing the prospect of extensive physical rehabilitative therapy to regain their strength. Since the collapse of the pedestrian walkway at the Garden on December 19, doctors have treated workers with injuries ranging from fractures, to spinal and brain injuries.Fortunately, there have been no spinal cord injuries that resulted in paralysis. At The Shepherd Center, where doctors treated at least half a dozen victims of the collapse, all the workers were able to walk out of the facility. Fortunately, there have been no spinal cord injuries that resulted in paralysis.
The accident occurred when workers were pouring concrete on the walkway, billed as the only one of its kind in the country. The bridge suddenly collapsed, toppling all workers standing on the bridge, more than 40 feet to the ground below. One worker, Angel Chupin was confirmed dead in the initial minutes after the accident.The collapse has raised questions about the stability of the under-construction pedestrian bridge, and the kind of priority given to the security of workers who were on the bridge. In the days after the accident, we have also learned that Hardin Construction, the company that was overseeing construction work at the walkway, has had a worker die in an accident in 2001, when his head became trapped between a ceiling and platform at a construction site. The concrete company that was overseeing the pouring of the concrete on the walkway has also had a worker death in the past due to a truck malfunction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting investigations into the accident at the Garden, but it will be months before we find out the level of negligence that may have caused the structure to collapse the way it did.
Fall accidents are some of the most common ones that occur in the construction industry. Unstable, poorly constructed scaffolding, the absence of guardrails to protect from a fall, and poorly designed platforms can all contribute to workers falling from elevated positions, and sustaining severe traumatic injuries.Fortunately, workers are covered under Georgia’s Worker’s Compensation laws that provide for reimbursement of medical bills, lost wages and other expenses in the event of a workplace accident.
If an employer delays compensation to the worker, denies it, or pays out lesser than is due, then an Atlanta Worker’s Compensation attorney can help the employee obtain the compensation he deserves. In addition to Worker’s Compensation which can often be insufficient, a worker can hire an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to file lawsuits against other parties that may have been responsible for the accident, including manufacturers of defective equipment, architects and engineers who were responsible for the design of the structure, or in this case, the concrete company that had been hired for the pouring of the concrete.