Construction sites are areas ripe with potential disaster for both the workers and passersby. In local neighborhoods, it is far easier to avoid getting too close to a construction site, but in larger cities, especially when construction is occurring in downtown areas, that is not always the case. For this reason, a worker or someone walking by the site could be injured through no fault of there own by falling debris.
Workers Vs. Passersby
While there are always going to be exceptions to rule, for the most part, injured workers cases are going to be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Those cases that are not covered or where the worker would have an option to sue due to negligence by the worksite or equipment manufacturer have been covered in detail in another post (click here to see that post).
However, for non-workers, some common construction mistakes could result in a construction accident injury case. While there are literally dozens of ways someone could be injured, these are the most common:
- Failing to properly inspect equipment
- Failing to secure equipment and tools
- Insufficient barricades
- Insufficient signage
Failing to Properly Inspect Equipment
Over time, all equipment suffers wear and tear, this can be especially true of the devices uses to secure equipment, such as cords and hooks. The devices used to secure this equipment should be checked regularly for this very reason. If not, equipment could easily become dislodged or fall over to injury an unsuspecting passerby.
Failing to Secure Equipment and Tools
This is an extension of the first rule but would include not even securing the equipment rather than securing it with faulty equipment. In many construction accident injury cases, this will ultimately be the cause of equipment tipping over or falling and injuring someone. For instance, a worker leaves a hammer on scaffolding during his or her break and a big gust of winds knocks the hammer over, falling below where it hits someone. Workers are supposed to secure their tools when not in use specifically for this reason.
Due to the dangerous nature of construction sites, everyone walking around within the site itself is required to wear a hard hat. Barricades should be erected to ensure that pedestrians cannot enter these areas. If the barricades are not put in place or are set too close to the construction site, it would be very easy for a pedestrian to be injured by random debris or falling equipment.
All entries to construction sites where someone runs the risk of dangerous objects falling should be clearly labeled, but this is not always the case. When this happens, pedestrians could inadvertently enter these dangerous areas without the proper protective equipment, such as a hard hat.
Keeping Construction Zones Safe
On virtually every major construction site and work area, there is someone specifically responsible for the safety of the site. It is this individual’s job to patrol the work areas to ensure all work safety rules are being followed and all workers are abiding by safety rules in place. This would also pertain to the site keeping pedestrians safe from danger.
This can get a bit fuzzier when a personal contractor is doing work, however, due to the smaller amount of people working on the project. However, even then, the contractor has a responsibility to provide proper safety measures, especially if he or she is working in any area where there will be pedestrians. For instance, a neighbor has hired a contractor to replace the vinyl siding on his or her home. Any areas where siding will be falling or could fall should be adequately marked off by the contractor.
Breach of Duty
When the safety conditions mentioned above are not followed properly or just blatantly ignored, that is considered to be a breach of duty. For instance, a construction site was supposed to have a marked perimeter of 10 yards from where the work was being done but only marked an area off of 10 feet. If someone is injured outside of the marked area but inside what should have been the marked construction site, the construction company would more than likely be found negligent.
What Can You Recover from Breach of Duty?
These types of cases are going to fall in line with damages that can be recovered in other types of personal injury cases. Some of the most common damages are:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for loss of normal life
Were you recently injured near a construction site? Do you believe the construction company was negligent in properly protecting passersby? If so, we would love to discuss your case to see if you have a possible construction accident injury lawsuit. Your consultation is free of charge and you are under no obligation to use our services for talking with us. You can contact us at 855-633-0888. If you would like to read more about our legal services before contacting us, please click here.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and Injury law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any injuries from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice.