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Falling Debris Injuries

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a caller who had a family member suffer an injury due to debris falling from a worksite scaffold above a city sidewalk. They wanted to know their legal options.

Falling debris can cause devastating injuries.

In Chicago, with many tall buildings, pedestrians (and even people inside cars) have been injured or killed by falling ice in spring and equipment or debris falling from a building, or work crews working from scaffolds and ladders.

Jobsite hardhats will protect workers from small falling objects. But, pedestrians don’t typically wear hardhats while strolling down the street.

Moreover, if a large object falls from a long distance, a hard hat will not provide protection.

Even an object the size of a hammer dropped from a 10-story high work platform will impact with devastating force if it strikes a pedestrian at street level.

Who is to blame when these incidents happen?

Property owners are required to follow safety codes when building and maintaining high-rise structures.

This includes making necessary repairs in a timely fashion.

Unfortunately, building owners don’t always do all they can to keep their tenants, visitors, and the public safe.

They may delay or ignore necessary repairs to save a little money.

Negligent building owners can be held legally responsible for their negligence.

If the building is under construction, construction companies (contractors and subcontractors alike) who are negligent can be held legally responsible for failing to provide for the public’s safety and those on the job site.

When a building is under construction, a site manager, subcontractor, architect, or engineer may also be liable in some circumstances. For example, suppose the site manager negligently failed to put up sufficient barricades or signs directing people away from a hazardous area. In that case, they may share legal fault for a falling debris injury.

Suppose you are a pedestrian or motorist who has suffered a falling debris injury. In that case, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit targeting a building owner or maintenance crew or others responsible for the injury.

Not every falling debris circumstance is the result of negligence or lack of care. Consulting a lawyer is a critical step to take whenever someone is injured due to falling debris.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.