The New York Times
The Washington Post
USA Today
San Jose Mercury News
CBS This Morning

Ultrahazardous Activities – When Negligence Does Not Matter

Dynamite MiningIf you are injured by a contractor or employee of another company while on the job, you are typically able to bring a lawsuit against that contractor or employee and his or her company for your injuries. A successful lawsuit would require you to show that (1) that person owed you a duty of care; (2) that the person breached that duty of care by acting unreasonably or carelessly; (3) that this breach caused your injuries; and (4) that you suffered damages as a result. If you are successful in showing each of these facts, then you are said to have shown that the other person and/or company that caused your injuries acted negligently. You can then recover compensation for your injuries from that person or company that you were not able to recover through a workers’ compensation claim.

In some cases, though, you may be able to win your case and recover damages without showing negligence. This depends on whether the other person or company was engaged in an ultrahazardous activity.

What is an Ultrahazardous Activity?

Not every workplace activity qualifies as an ultrahazardous activity. In fact, most workplace activities are not ultrahazardous. Finding that an activity is ultrahazardous requires a court to examine several factors, including:

  • Does the activity present a high degree of risk of some harm to a person, land, or property?
  • Is there a likelihood that any harm resulting from the activity would be great?
  • Can this risk of harm be eliminated if a person acts reasonably careful?
  • How common is it for people to engage in this activity?
  • How appropriate is this activity for the location at which it is conducted?
  • How valuable is the activity to the community compared to the dangers it presents?

The “classic” example of an ultrahazardous activity is dynamiting: no matter how careful a person or company is when using explosives, there is always a significant risk that someone or something will be injured, even if the person or company acts carefully.

When a Person is Liable for Injuries from an Ultrahazardous Activity

If you are injured by someone who is engaged in an ultrahazardous activity, you do not need to show that that person or company acted carelessly in order to win your case. You must show that:

  • The person was engaged in an ultrahazardous activity;
  • You were injured;
  • The ultrahazardous activity was a substantial factor in your injuries; and
  • The type of injuries you suffered was the kind of injuries one would anticipate might be caused by the ultrahazardous activity.

When you are injured at work by another’s carelessness, contact a San Jose workplace injury attorney at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. to discuss your case during a free consultation. We can advise you of what facts you will need to prove to win your case and develop a trial strategy to accomplish this goal. Contact us today at (408) 289-1417.

Client Reviews
I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
Best Law Firms
American Board of Trial Advocates
2010 Street Fighter of The Year Award Finalists
Irish Legal 100
The Best Lawyers in America
Santa Clara County Bar
Super Lawyers
The National Trial Lawyers
California Lawyer
Top One
Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association
Public Justice Trial Lawyer of The Year