Construction Accidents: Know Your Civilian Rights

Construction accidents and damages occur as a result of activities that involve an endeavor to build, repair, improve, demolish or clean specific structures and facilities. Construction accidents can include everything from property damage to carelessness and personal injuries. Most often with regard to construction accidents, worker safety has been the main concern. However, a great many construction accidents can cause injuries to both workers and people passing by or on the premises.

The Scenarios

Just as workers can sustain dangerous and painful or even fatal injuries on construction sites, so can pedestrians and civilians. For instance, a Philadelphia demolition contractor’s safety violations caused a wall to collapse which resulted in six deaths and 13 people being injured. Below are some other common causes of civilians possibly being injured on construction sites.

1. Pedestrians walking by or on a site could be hurt by falling debris or other materials. For instance, workers removing large pieces of ice on the top of a skyscraper may fail to keep the ice from falling and hitting pedestrians. In this case, there is a good chance that damages may be recovered to compensate for these injuries. A personal injury attorney should be consulted to discuss the matter and file a claim and lawsuit as appropriate.

2. Careless construction workers who come to work inebriated or drink alcohol or use drugs on the job are putting themselves and everyone else they encounter at risk. Just like driving, operating equipment and machinery and attempting to manage building materials should be avoided if there is any chance that judgment could be impaired. This also includes workers who are taking over the counter or prescription medication.

Damages and Injury

As with all types of personal injury cases, construction accidents can result in minor damage, major and lifelong injuries and even death. Situations surrounding isolated incidents themselves can greatly affect the level of compensation that is available for victims. As expressed by one Albany NY personal injury attorney. “If you or a family member has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to recover for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or wrongful death.”

Responsible Parties

It is possible that anyone hurt on a construction site could have a claim against the property owner or contractors involved. Personal injury lawyers can work with victims to investigate the reasons behind injuries to determine which parties to file claims against. Whether struck by falling objects or tripping on uneven and unmarked ground, there is a good chance that victims will not need to deal with medical costs and loss of income themselves.

Assessing Liability

Construction cases can be very complex since many parties are involved. There are property owners, contractors, workers and sometimes municipalities and other levels of government. Therefore, it is not always easy to understand just whom is responsible for injuries.

However, it is necessary to determine who is at fault for the actual injuries before any form of claim or lawsuit may be filed. For instance, subcontractors may have neglected to warn civilians of potential harm by failing to erect proper signs and barriers. There may have been defective machinery and tools being used that ultimately caused civilian damages.

Legal Representation

These questions of liability are dependent upon specific case circumstances. Only a qualified personal injury lawyer understands how to determine proper liability. In some cases, more than one party is involved which complicates the case substantially.

The main thing for injured civilians to remember is that should they become victims of a construction accident, it is important to seek legal counsel in order to recover medical costs, loss of income and pain and suffering expenses.


Nadine Swayne forwards this information to pedestrians injured at construction sites. Bottar Leone, PLLC, an Albany NY personal injury attorney group, has decades of experience in investigating their clients’ injury claims to get them the compensation they deserve.

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