We have represented many families where there were injuries to kids. Having children around is a blessing but not necessarily around construction with kids in the home. Home renovation accidents involving children do happen but there are ways to prevent it by following these suggestions:
- Try to have the children out of the house as much as possible during the work. If a family member lives nearby, ask if you can stay there during the day, or as long as possible, while the renovation work is proceeding. If no relatives are available, inquire about a day care facility.
- If you and the children have to stay in the home, have the work areas cordoned off safely and let your children know that these areas are off-limits.
- Set up a play area or temporary kitchen in the garage if available or practical or at least in some area of the house as far removed as possible from the work being done.
- Discuss the child situation with the contractor and ask what suggestions they may have since they should have experience working around small children.
- Hire a contractor who is not only licensed but is registered with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards and possesses a Certificate of Insurance for general liability insurance coverage. There are contractors who are exempt from registration, which can be found under The Home Improvement Contractor law.
- Check with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Better Business Bureau before hiring the contractor regarding any complaints and if the contractor has been involved in litigation. Avoid one who either has sued or has been sued a number of times.
- To minimize particulates from infiltrating the home, be sure that the contractor cleans up after each day, seals off the HVAC vents, hangs plastic sheeting and vacuums the carpets and floors.
- All waste is to be removed from the home each day and properly disposed of by the contractor.
- Ask the contractor to use low VOC or volatile organic compounds in their paint and primers. Open windows and use air filters if chemicals are used.
- The contractor should point out hazards such as holes in the floors or outside and that they have been covered or secured.
Holding Contractors Liable for Home Injuries
Contractors working at your home have a duty to use reasonable care. Since they know they are working in a home and that children are present, they need to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of the homeowners and of the children since they are the ones creating hazards.
Accidents that can happen as a result of contractor negligence might include:
- Trip and fall
- Falling objects
- Leaving power tools behind
- Using certain chemicals or high VOC materials when asked not to by homeowner
- Not removing trash or debris from the home that contains nails, glass, pieces of wood or metal
- Not properly ventilating the home
These are just some of the hazards created by contractors who are not safety conscious or who are careless with tools or other aspects of their work.
Damages in Home Renovation Accidents
You can be compensated if the contractor’s negligence led to a child’s injury. Your damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Treatment costs if permanently brain damaged or otherwise suffers a permanent impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney if your child was injured in the home by the carelessness of a contractor engaged in home remodeling. Neil Burns has handled home renovation accidents and injuries to children in the home and has recovered substantial amounts for his clients in such mishaps that can lead to significant and permanent injuries. Contact him today for a free evaluation of your child’s injury claim.