Injured By Leftover Construction Materials: Who Is Liable?
Whether a team of contractors is hired to do work on a private residence or whether they are contracted to erect a large commercial building, one thing about each project will inevitably look the same: the tools and materials leftover at the job site at the end of each work day. Construction workers, unlike most other professionals, do not have an office to store their tools in at the end of the day. Moreover, construction workers’ tools are much larger than the average professional’s, so stowing them away in their vehicles or in a tool bag is often not an option. That said, while it is understandable that they leave their tools and miscellaneous materials lying at the job site at the end of each work day, doing so leaves them open to a slew of liability risks.
Materials and Tools Commonly Left Behind
Some construction companies and contractors are more careful than others and really do try to pick up straggler materials and tools in order to prevent construction accidents. However, even those companies miss a few objects here and there—and unfortunately, those objects are the most dangerous. For instance, nails and razor blades are commonly lost in the grass or dirt, and even after a thorough sweep, one or two get left behind. Whether the metal becomes rusted or not, it still poses a risk to anyone who should come into contact with it. Electrical wiring that is not outfitted properly or that wasn’t snipped before the completion of the job can electrocute a passerby. Old wood, plastic, or even plumbing also pose a threat to anyone who should come into contact with them.
Then there are the tools. A young child might pick up and misuse a forgotten hammer. A person could cut themselves when trying to move a saw left in their garage. An innocent bystander could be hit by or tripped by a piece of debris that should have been removed from the site months before.
Personal injury is not the only damage that can be done by forgotten materials, though. Property damage could result from excess roofing left to rot atop a building post construction. A large piece of sheet metal could fly from its resting place and go hurdling through a window. Construction materials are dangerous, and it is up to the company to make sure that they are removed from the job site and stored properly.
Is the Contracting Company Liable?
Unfortunately, even if you are certain that the contractor is liable for your injuries, proving that is another story. Liability is never easy to prove, which is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side. In order to prove that the company or foreman was liable for yours or your loved one’s injuries, you must prove that they acted negligently in some way. For example, if they made a thorough attempt to clean up the job site but missed a few nails, they likely will not be held liable. However, if they were careless and just left their dangerous tools lying out in the open in your garage and someone gets hurt, they will almost certainly be held liable. The key is to prove that any other person would have acted in acted in a different and more “reasonable” way.
If you are prepared to show that a construction crew acted negligently and that you were injured as a result, reach out to the construction accident lawyers at Spencer Morgan Law for immediate and aggressive legal assistance. Call our team today at 305-423-3800 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.