Can You Sue if Injured by Falling Debris?
Hi. I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub.
Falling debris can cause devastating injuries.
In a city like 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.
Jobsite hardhats will protect a person from small falling objects on a jobsite. But, pedestrians don’t typically wear hardhats while strolling down the street.
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 with the goal of saving 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 safety of the public and those on the jobsite.
Where a building is under construction, a site manager, subcontractor, architect, or engineer may also be liable in some circumstances. For example, if the site manager negligently failed to put up sufficient barricades or signs directing people away from a hazardous area, they may share legal fault for a falling debris injury.
If you are a pedestrian or motorist who has suffered a falling debris injury, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit targeting a the building owner or maintenance crew or other responsible parties.
Not every falling debris circumstance is the result of negligence or lack of care, but consulting a lawyer is an important step to take whenever someone is injured as a result of falling debris.
If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.