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Dangerous Property / Apr 17,2023

Who is liable when someone gets hurt by falling objects?

Most people know that many construction workers are at risk for injury at work because of the elevations at which they perform their jobs and the heavy machinery they often have to handle. Fewer people recognize how construction sites around Colorado are also a source of risk for the general public.

Pedestrians, motorists and visitors near construction sites can end up hurt because of falling objects. Gravity-related incidents are a leading cause of both worker injuries and visitor incidents at construction sites. There are often fences meant to exclude people from certain spaces and signs warning of hardhat requirements to help address this risk. But such measures do not prevent all injurious accidents.

Contractors and construction companies may be to blame

Often, falling materials or machinery are a sign that a company has not complied with best practices at a construction site. The failure to provide equipment tethers, the use of outdated machinery or the decision to forgo crucial safety training for workers can all contribute to a falling object incident.

Not only should the company seek to prevent falls and falling object incidents, but it also needs to keep members of the public, including motorists and pedestrians, far enough away from a work site to avoid injury. Whether it was a worker mistake or a failure to comply with safety practices, a construction company may be directly responsible for the injuries suffered by visitors and passers-by when items fall.

A property owner could also have liability

If a business providing construction services isn’t aware of unsafe conditions or other risk factors because the property owner that hired them did not make thorough disclosures, the property owner could be to blame when a catastrophic failure of some sort leads to a passerby’s injury.

In scenarios where there is a clear connection between property maintenance or the behaviors of the property owner and the falling objects incident, the injured person may have a claim against the property owner rather than the company performing the construction work at the facility.

Carefully examining the circumstances that led to someone’s injury at a construction site with the assistance of an experienced legal professional can help them determine whether they have grounds for a premises liability claim, a personal injury lawsuit, a workers’ compensation claim and/or a business insurance claim.

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