As our economy kicks back into gear, cities all across the country have seen a sharp increase in construction projects and renovations. Construction cranes have become a constant on city skylines, and roads are frequently being torn up and repaved. Though all these new projects are good signs for things to come, they pose serious risks to pedestrians and drivers on the roads below. It only takes a mistake from one construction worker on a high rise to send debris raining down on the roads below. This debris can very likely injure or kill an unsuspecting person walking below, or damage cars passing by. When this kind of crisis occurs, the victims are entitled to compensation from the construction company who was at fault.
Because of the high risk nature of construction work, construction sites have a high burden to maintain safe working conditions. This is not only to protect the workers, but to protect the people who live, work, and play near the construction site. When construction sites fail to meet this burden, and the result is injury to someone, they may be found negligent. Negligence essentially means carelessness, and must be proved in any personal injury case.
In most cases of falling debris causing injury or damaging property, the construction company will be the appropriate defendant to name. This is due to a legal principle called, “respondent superior”. This phrase is Latin for “let the master answer” and in this context means that employers are responsible for the actions of their employees who are performing tasks within the scope of their employment. This is better for the victims, as most construction companies will have much deeper pockets to pay out settlements than an individual would. However, if the construction worker was an independent contractor then respondent superior would not apply, and they would be personally liable for their negligent actions.
If you have been the victim of falling debris hurting your person or your property, you should contact a skilled lawyer, like a personal injury attorney Atlanta GA relies on, in your area right away. An attorney with experience in personal injury will be able to analyze the factors of your case and apply the specific laws of your city and state. Your attorney will be able to determine who would be a proper defendant to name, and will lay out an optimal path for you to receive the compensation you deserve. The negligence of someone else should never be your burden to bear.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury practice.