Construction job sites typically produce a lot of waste and debris that the company that oversees the project is responsible for properly disposing. But when reasonable measures are not taken to deal with debris on a construction site, it can cause the site to become cluttered and create hazardous conditions for workers and the general public.
If you or someone close to you has been injured by debris on a construction site, it is very important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to begin investigating your claim. Construction companies have every incentive to clean up waste and debris on a jobsite and get rid of evidence, especially if they know that there has been an injury. This is why we recommend getting an attorney involved right away.
Accidents Caused by Debris on a Construction Site
Debris and waste on a construction site puts workers and nearby pedestrians and motorists at serious risk. Examples of hazards posed by construction site debris include:
- Unsecured plywood, shingles, and other loose objects that can fall from a high elevation or get blown around by the wind.
- Failure to have adequate scaffolding to catch falling materials and debris.
- Debris that is flammable, volatile, and capable of igniting.
- Nails and other sharp objects that end up on the ground and get onto sidewalks and roadways.
- Tools and equipment that can fall from high places.
Unsecured debris can cause a number of different types of accidents:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: Falls are the leading cause of accidents on a construction site, and many of them have been because of waste and debris. Workers and pedestrians nearby can easily trip over debris that should not be there, or they could slip and fall on waste and materials that have slippery surfaces.
- Getting Struck by Debris or Waste: Struck by/struck against events cause a lot of construction site accidents. Materials and debris that fall and get blown around can strike a worker or person walking near the site, sometimes causing serious injuries.
- Cuts and Lacerations: If someone on or nearby a construction site trips over or get struck by nails or debris with sharp edges, they can end up getting cut open. Wounds like this must be treated right away to avoid infections and other more serious conditions.
- Fires and Explosions: Flammable debris and waste can ignite and cause fires and explosions, often resulting in severe injuries to those nearby.
- Debris that Strikes a Nearby Vehicle: When unsecured debris gets blown out onto the street or into parking lots, it could fly through a vehicle’s windshield, causing damage to the car and requiring a driver to swerve to avoid danger if they are operating the vehicle at the time it is struck.
Pursuing a Construction Site Injury Claim in West Virginia
For persons who are injured by waste and debris from a construction site, the appropriate legal avenue for recovering compensation will depend largely on who the injury victim is and other specific circumstances of the case.
For pedestrians and motorists who are not part of the construction crew and get injured by debris from the job site, they should be able to file a personal injury claim for damages against the responsible party. In most cases, the party responsible would be whoever is in charge of the construction project, although there could be other parties at fault as well.
For injured construction workers, things can get more complicated. If your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, then you should be able to file a claim for benefits. But workers’ comp only pays benefits for direct monetary losses such as reasonable and necessary medical bills and a percentage of lost earnings. They provide no compensation for intangible losses such as pain-and-suffering and psychological distress.
In some cases, however, an injury caused by debris on a construction site could be the fault of someone other than your employer. On a typical construction project, there are a number of third-party subcontractors involved, and if any of them are responsible for your injury, then you may be able to sue them directly. As we talked about earlier, it is very important to get an experienced attorney involved in your case as soon as possible, so they can go to work immediately and preserve crucial facts and pieces of evidence to help substantiate your claim.
Contact a Seasoned West Virginia Construction Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one got hurt because of debris from a construction site in West Virginia, Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. is ready to go to work for you. To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979.