We are all supposed to be protected by barriers, netting, warning signs, and temporary walkways at construction sites, and most of the time we are. If you are one of the unfortunate innocents who is seriously injured by construction materials or equipment, however, you are not likely to be reassured by the fact that the statistics were in your favor. As you may have personally found out, even one such accident is too many.
If you have suffered a serious injury while standing near or walking by a construction site, you have every right to seek legal recourse. Levin & Malkin’s experienced construction accident attorneys have won millions of dollars for our New Jersey clients over the past 40 years and are well-prepared to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Though the construction company did not intentionally cause you harm, their negligence is almost always a factor in your injury. Therefore, you are entitled to file a claim against them for economic and non-economic damages. The former include medical costs and lost income; the latter include pain and suffering and permanent disability and disfigurement. Because the construction company no doubt has a team of savvy lawyers fighting on its side, it is critical that you have knowledgeable, aggressive attorneys fighting for you.
Ways Passersby May Be Injured in Construction Accidents
In most passerby construction accidents, victims are totally unaware that they are in harm’s way when one of the following occurs:
- Debris falls on them from a height (roof, facing, window, scaffold, ladder)
- Exposed wiring results in shock or electrocution
- Malfunction or misguidance of machinery pushes heavy materials into them
- Stray tools or other obstacles left on sidewalks or roads create tripping hazards
- Ground collapses under them due to construction holes and trenches that have destabilized the ground
- Pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers are injured by materials left on the roadway, inadequate warning signage, or poor traffic direction by a construction worker
- Unsafely maneuvered construction vehicles, e.g. bulldozers, cranes, or dump trucks, hit them or cause them to fall
In many cases of personal injury, the principle of comparative negligence, in which each party bears some measure of fault, applies. In construction accidents, this is rarely, if ever, the case. It is difficult, for example, to imagine that the victim is liable, in any degree, for roofing material falling on her head or unstable ground collapsing under her feet. In your case of a construction accident involving a passerby, therefore, if we win your case you will probably be able to retain all of the damages the court awards.
Types of Injuries Passersby May Suffer in Construction Accidents
Tragically, the injuries suffered by unwitting passersby can be just as severe as those suffered by victims aware there is an element of some risk in their actions. These injuries, which can result in surgery, prolonged recovery, permanent incapacitation, or even wrongful death, include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) –possible neurological damage, impaired cognition, mood disorder, seizures
- Spinal cord injury – possible partial or complete paralysis
- Internal bleeding and/or organ loss or damage
- Bone fractures
- Severe burns
- PTSD, anxiety, depression
Why You Need a Strong Attorney to Fight for You
Although construction accidents involving passersby seem difficult for the opposing team to argue, you may be surprised by the legal wrangling insurance companies and their attorneys will engage in when large amounts of money are involved. They may, for example, try to convince the court that you had a pre-existing condition that accounts for some of your present symptoms or that you were not following clear warning signs or directions at the time of the accident. They may even focus on the fact that you had two cocktails during lunch prior to the incident.
Nevertheless, when you have accomplished attorneys like Levin & Malkin on your side, you should spend your time healing, not worrying. We have the foresight to prepare for whatever they throw our way and the legal skills and determination to give you the best possible chance of winning maximum damages.