A 6-year-old boy from Portsmouth, Virginia (VA), suffered multiple injuries when a power line-support pole fell on him. The accident occurred on Des Moines Avenue on the afternoon of April 4, 2015, while the child was out playing, driving a toy car. Witnesses told WAVY-TV 10 that the youngster was briefly trapped under the fallen pole, which caused injuries to his back, neck and head that required hospital treatment.
The pole reportedly belongs to Dominion Virginia Power, and the television station described its condition as "dry-rotted." A gust of wind appears to have snapped the died wood.
Encouragingly, the child did not incur life-threatening injuries. Other than that, however, neither the extent of the harm he suffered nor his prognosis for recovery was immediately known. Blows to the head, especially for children, can cause concussions and adverse lifelong effects on learning, development and physical function. My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues wish the young boy and his parents the best outcomes possible, but we also know from helping hundreds of traumatic brain injury victims that they may have to prepare for months or years of struggling with unexpected and undeserved hardships.
If evidence that the power pole posed a danger for breaking and falling because it was not properly maintained or replaced in a timely manner, Dominion should bear responsibility for the accident and the boy's injuries. The electric utility probably relied on one or more contractors for pole inspections and service. Determining that chain of liability and holding the proper companies and individuals accountable probably requires a fair amount of investigation. While it may be too soon right now for the family to reach out for legal assistance with filing and collecting on claims for compensation, seeking a free consultation with an experienced plaintiff's attorney could ensure their rights and interests get protected.