Construction is often the sign of a thriving local economy. It means that businesses and builders want to invest in the area. It can also mean that previously poorly maintained areas can soon become a source of beauty, rather than a blight, for the local community. Construction provides new housing opportunities for people in densely populated areas in New York, and it creates a host of jobs.
Unfortunately, construction is also a source of risk for both debilitating injuries and death. Construction workers have some of the highest injury and fatality rates of any professionals. The risk doesn't end with those wearing hard hats to work, however. Other people nearby can also be at risk in the event of serious construction issues.
Falling debris is a serious risk at construction sites
There's a good reason why workers in an active construction zone must wear hard hats. There is an ongoing potential for materials, tools or other items to fall and strike people down below. The results can be severe head and neck injuries that cause permanent, serious disability.
While hard hats do mitigate some of the risk, construction workers still end up injured and killed every year because of items falling near construction sites. More importantly, other people nearby do not have the protection of any special gear, leaving them at serious risk.
Of course, workers are not the only ones at risk. Many times, construction zones do not shut down streets or sidewalks. Instead, there are warning signs and minor diversions for traffic. Pedestrians walking by and people in vehicles could also end up hurt by falling materials or items. People have suffered head injuries or even had vehicles crushed by things falling from construction sites.
You may have the right to seek compensation if you get hurt at a construction site
While there are some mitigating circumstances, such as the commission of a crime, that could preclude you from compensation, construction site injuries are often the responsibility of the company involved. Proper safeguards and well-maintained equipment should prevent the majority of these kinds of incidents.
Unfortunately, like any business, the average construction company is always looking for ways to cut costs. This can mean inadequate training or failing to properly maintain machinery, tools and equipment.
When that failure results in an injury to another person, the person who ends up hurt has the right to seek compensation for any losses they incur. Those losses could include lost wages, medical costs and property damage. If you or someone you know got hurt by falling items or other unsafe materials at a construction site, you should document everything about the situation and look into your rights under New York law.