November 27, 2023
Premises Liability: What Happens if My Injury Was Caused by Construction?
By Jonathan Damashek
Accidents can happen on construction sites, but what if you aren’t a construction worker? While construction workers are aware of risks and hazards around the area, passersby shouldn’t have to worry about them.
There are regulations meant to limit the risk to everyone around a construction job, but sometimes those regulations aren’t enough or ignored. There are remedies for these occasions for anyone hurt by a construction accident that isn’t on the job.
What Is Premises Liability?
If you’ve been injured or harmed when going past a construction site, you could have a case for a premises liability suit. This is a civil suit brought against property owners when some condition on their property injured, harmed, or killed someone.
If you’re walking on the sidewalk near a construction site, you can expect some safety from whatever work they do. If a tool or piece of scaffolding falls on you and injures you, you may have a case for negligence against the property owner, the construction crew, or anyone that might have share liability. You will need to prove the elements of a premises liability case.
The Elements of Premises Liability
If you were walking or driving near a construction site, you should be safe. That’s a reasonable expectation. Accidents can happen, but if something on the site threatens people outside of the site, that is a strong case for negligence.
To receive compensation for someone’s negligence on a construction site, you’ll need to prove the elements of a premises liability case. These essential requirements qualify your case as one dealing with premises liability.
You will need to prove the following were true:
- You were near the project legally.
- The property owner or construction workers owed you a duty of care.
- There was some kind of hazard on the property that posed a danger to you.
- The property owner or workers knew or should have known about the risk.
- They failed to fix the hazard.
- You suffered an injury because of the hazard.
It’s important to note where the accident happened and when: if you were trespassing, your case loses credibility. However, if you were walking on the sidewalk next to the construction site and some scaffolding collapsed, you most likely have a strong claim for negligence.
What Kind of Accidents Can Injure the Public?
Construction is an essential industry, and the work can be dangerous. Even with regulations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported that nearly half of all fatal occupational injuries are in the transportation and construction industry.
A passerby could be endangered near a construction site if workers aren’t careful.
Some common hazards include:
- Accidents caused by vehicles or equipment
- Cement-related accidents
- Collapsing equipment, scaffolding, or fences
- Debris or materials falling from heights (off ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or more)
- Exposure to dangerous gases, chemicals, or substances
- Exposure to electrical hazards
- Lack of safety warnings (improper signage)
These hazards can lead to various injuries, like broken bones, neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, and more.
How do I Determine my Damages in a NY Premises Liability Case?
Under New York personal injury law, seeking compensation for injuries or damages caused by someone’s negligence in a premises liability claim is possible. You can recover economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages can be relatively easy to calculate. They are the costs you’ll pay for out-of-pocket expenses, like medical bills or lost income. If you must repair or replace your car because a crane collapsed on it as you drove past a construction site, you can pursue damages for that replacement cost.
Determining non-economic damages can be more challenging. You can pursue pain and suffering damages that your injuries caused, but there isn’t anything concrete for that claim. You could also seek compensation for emotional distress, disfigurement, or lower quality of life.
How Can a NY Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Premises liability cases can be complex, especially when dealing with a construction site accident. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer will be able to determine if you have a case, investigate your accident, and help you find who can be held responsible for your injuries.
They’ll also be able to calculate the total losses you experienced and what compensation you can pursue for any damages. Construction site accidents can have multiple liable parties, like property owners, negligent general contractors, or negligent subcontractors.
Your attorney can help ensure the proper forms are filed on time. Most premises liability cases have a three-year statute of limitations, and if you miss the deadline, you might not recover any compensation for your injuries.
Call a NY Construction Premises Liability Lawyer
If you’ve been injured as you’ve passed a construction site, you have a right to compensation. You should call the construction premises liability lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. We understand how traumatic accidents can be, especially when you weren’t expecting to be injured.
You deserve to have your damages taken care of. We can help you recover financially so you can focus on recovering physically. We have years of experience helping New Yorkers recover compensation. Call (212) 490-5700 or use our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.