In other posts, we discussed how New York Labor Law protects construction
site laborers who use scaffolding and ladders. We also discussed how civil
actions may be based on multiple theories; statutory violations and negligence.
An experienced Newburgh construction accident attorney has seen numerous
different causes by which laborers were injured at the construction site.
A number of these injuries are caused by falling debris. Injuries caused
by falling debris can injure pedestrians as well as persons employed at
the construction site. Injuries to pedestrians are amplified by the fact
that these victims may not have been within the “work zone”
and therefore not wearing, and not required to wear, a hardhat.
Any number of objects may fall from elevated construction areas. Bricks,
blocks, tools, glass, and metal bars are just a few to be named. Some
of the heavier objects can easily be imagined to cause severe harm. Lighter
objects, however, may cause substantial harm as well. A simple screwdriver,
belt, or bolt falling from a height of several hundred feet can easily
maim or kill an individual.
Injuries caused by falling debris are some of the most catastrophic in
all of construction accidents. Being struck on the head may cause a concussion,
brain bleeding, brain damage, a fractured skull, coma, spinal injury,
paralysis, blindness, loss of speech, etc. all of which may be permanent.
Of course it may be impossible for you to control the actions of others,
so there are some steps you yourself can take to prevent injury from falling
debris. Namely for workers is the wearing of hardhats. For pedestrians,
making sure to read construction signs and warnings, and even detouring
one’s route to avoid construction zones may ensure safety. Unfortunately,
even with these precautions, you may still be injured. Some falling objects
are just too large and have fallen from too great a height for any protective
measure to adequately prevent injury.
Since falling debris injuries are unique in that pedestrians are at risk
instead of just employees, a suit in negligence may be the only way to
recover because workers’ compensation only applies to injuries caused
to employees. Contractors, subcontractors, and property owners owe pedestrians
a duty to keep pedestrians safe just as they must do for employees. Breaching
this duty, thereby causing injury to laborer or pedestrian, leading to
the accrual of damages, gives the injured party a valid claim in negligence.
Any loss related to the breach may be recovered. Pain and suffering may
be recovered. Medical costs are recoverable. You can recover lost wages,
lost earning potential, and loss of a spouse’s income if your loved
one was killed or permanently injured.
Are you interested in learning more about construction accidents and the
various duties? Visit our latest article here covering these details here
and return each day this week for more information. Visit some of the
other posts this week about scaffolding falls, falls from ladders, and
make sure to check out our scaffolding and ladder safety tips!
Our construction accident attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.