Falling objects and equipment malfunction are two potentially dangerous situations that can arise on a construction site, in retail store or other similar public area. When remodeling, building or inventory stocking is underway in public places there is always an element of potential peril for passersby, shoppers or workers.
The possibility for injury can arise from multiple factors.
- improperly placed materials.
- precariously stacked boxes.
- or, faulty equipment.
When heavy material or equipment falls on an individual, serious injury or death can result. It is the responsibility of the property owner and/or contractors and employees to maintain a safe environment for everyone in or nearby the area. When errors are made or negligence is present, the risk of injury to innocent parties by falling objects increases.
If injured by falling debris or equipment malfunction in Bristol or Bucks County, you may be entitled to compensation. Premises liability law assigns responsibility to negligent parties when an injury occurs. Attorneys familiar with premises liability can help you determine if you’ve been the victim of negligence and will help you build your case against the party liable for your damages.
What errors cause falling objects accidents?
While human error is a reasonable risk that accompanies any construction site or other work area that contains heavy materials or equipment, there are some errors that can be attributed to negligence or incompetence. The following scenarios are common causes of falling debris accidents.
- Unsecured tools or materials – Workers commonly move tools and other materials around while they work. Careless placement of heavy or sharp items can result in accidents. Falling tools can injure or kill innocent parties walking or standing below. Workers must place tools and materials in a secure location when not in use to avoid falling objects-related accidents.
- Poor signage – It is the contractor’s or property owner’s responsibility to clearly mark a construction area or other hazardous work area to alert shoppers or passers-by that there is an immediate risk of falling debris.
- Failure to clearly define dangerous areas can be construed as negligence.
- Missing or inadequate barricades – Blocking off dangerous areas is essential to preventing falling debris accidents. There is typically a designated hard-hat zone within construction sites that must be barricaded to prevent accidental entry by unknowing pedestrians or shoppers. If a barricade is knocked down or never erected, the liability for injuries may fall on the construction manager or the property owner.
- Faulty equipment – All equipment used in a public area must be properly maintained to prevent critical failure. Faulty cords, hooks or other functional devices that hold materials or other heavy tools in place can cause falling objects accidents. Liability for faulty equipment can fall with the equipment owner, manufacturing company, maintenance contractor or property owner.
What if I’ve been injured by a falling object or equipment malfunction in Bristol?
If you were struck by falling debris in a public place, consider whether you have a viable case for premises liability. A premises liability attorney can help you gather information and evidence and will assist you with building a viable case against the responsible party.
To prove liability, the attorney will help you prove each of the following required elements:
- the party in question had a responsibility to keep the work site secured and/or safe from dangers.
- that same party breached the responsibility.
- the breach of responsibility caused harm.
It is often difficult to pinpoint the responsible party in a falling objects or other premises liability case. Understanding and interpreting the contract agreement between property owners, contractors and other involved parties is crucial to identifying who had responsibility for the work site where the injury occurred. Your attorney will investigate the accident and the contract involved in the work site and will be able to identify against which party you need to file a claim.