Injuries on construction sites can take on many forms. Electrical shocks, rollover accidents and falling from heights are all included in the list of most common injuries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The often-overlooked injury is dropped objects. When tools and other equipment or materials are dropped from height, they can cause serious, and even fatal, injuries.
If you have been injured by a dropped object on a construction site in San Luis Obispo, you may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury attorneys of Ernst Law Group can help. We have been assisting construction injury victims for over 30 years. Call us today at (805) 541-0300 today for a free consultation.
What Causes Dropped Objects?
On most construction sites, there are specific safety regulations in place to prevent objects from falling from height. However, any number of mistakes can cause accidents. These may include any or all of the following:
Not Securing Materials
There are a variety of different tools and materials used on scaffolding and platforms. These may range from hand tools to paint buckets to metal poles. Ideally, these are secured before workers move to the next job. But with tight deadlines, that precaution isn’t always taken.
Insufficient Warning Signs
There are times when workers and passersby alike may not realize that construction is happening above them. As such, they may walk underneath platforms and scaffolding, putting themselves in danger. Signs should be clearly visible, warning about the dangers.
Not Inspecting Equipment
Even if tools and materials are secured, they may still fall if the equipment used to secure them are defective. All protective equipment should be inspected on a regular basis. Any hooks, cables, etc. that are flawed should be replaced.
Lack of Barricades
When a construction site is close to a sidewalk or road, it’s generally expected pedestrians will be nearby. Because said pedestrians likely won’t be wearing hardhats, it is essential that any area in which they may be in danger be barricaded off.
Liability for Dropped Objects
When you are hit by a dropped object at a construction site, determining liability may be complicated. If you are a worker at the site, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Under California law, no fault has to be proven to get workers’ compensation. However, that assistance may not be enough to cover your medical bills, especially if the dropped object caused serious injury.
If that’s the case, a lawsuit may be possible. However, you cannot sue your employer for the injury. The lawsuit must be brought against a third party, if they were responsible. For example, if you were hit in the head by a falling hammer, and your hardhat did not adequately protect you, you may be able to bring a suit against the hard hat manufacturer. However, if there is no third party responsible for your injury, bringing a lawsuit may be much more difficult.
If You Aren’t Working On Site
If you are a pedestrian or other passerby and are injured by a dropped object at a construction site, the process for recovering damages is somewhat simpler — but can still be complex. If certain criteria are met, a lawsuit can be brought against the construction company responsible for the site. These criteria include:
- The construction company had a duty to keep the site safe
- That duty was breached
- Said breach caused your injury
The most difficult part of cases like this is proving the construction site wasn’t safe. These areas are inherently dangerous, which is why they are normally inaccessible to pedestrians or other non-workers. But, if the site wasn’t properly barricaded, didn’t have proper signage or otherwise did not follow a reasonable standard of safety, it may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Because construction site dropped objects lawsuits are often more complicated than normal personal injury cases, it is imperative victims hire an attorney who has experience with this exact area of practice. At Ernst Law Group, we have been fighting for the rights of dropped objects victims in San Luis Obispo for over 30 years. Contact us today, either by phone at (805) 541-0300 or online, for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Our Clients Say About Us
“I could not be more satisfied with Ernst Law Group. Over the course of my case they were nothing but kind and friendly. When you’re in a situation where you need a lawyer it can be a very stressful time…Samantha Spelman
“Enough cannot be said for the amazing job done for us by the Ernst Law Group. Their compassion and dedication to ‘doing what is right’ makes them go above and beyond in all that they do. After spending time and money on other local attorneys, Don, Taylor and Terry were a blessing to us. They never backed down even though our case was a very unusual case. Thank you Ernst Law Group.“Mary Barrett
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