Who is Liable for Falling Objects?
Falling objects account for a significant number of injuries in the US, especially for workers on construction sites. In fact, “contact with objects or equipment” was the third leading cause of job-related death in 2021, and the fourth leading cause of non-work related injuries in 2020. Property owners have a responsibility to both their employees and the general public to keep conditions free of hazards, including the potential for falling objects. Read our article to learn more about these types of accidents and what to do if you or a loved one is injured.
What Are Some Examples of Falling Objects?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the term “falling objects” in conjunction with “struck by.” The word “falling” includes objects that swing, slip, or roll into someone; “struck” can be “struck with” “struck against,” or “caught in” an object or machinery.
Common sources of falling objects accidents include:
- Falling tools from window sills, shelves, ledges, or other surfaces
- Tools or supplies dropped by workers
- Moving equipment, such as forklifts, striking someone
- Collapsing materials, such as scaffolding
- Objects flying through the air
- Getting trapped between machinery or other equipment
- Poor signage or lack of signage indicating a hazardous area
Again, these circumstances do not only apply to on-site workers. Passersby can be just as at risk of injury, especially in the event of a collapse or falling tools and supplies.
What Types of Injuries Occur When Objects Fall?
As you might guess, injuries from falling objects accidents can be severe, or even fatal. If a person is struck on the head by a heavy tool, for example, he or she may suffer a concussion or other serious brain injury. Crush injuries are also common when someone becomes trapped between or under equipment. Other injuries sustained in falling objects accidents include:
- Catastrophic injury (including permanent disfigurement and amputation)
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Friction burns
- Puncture wounds
What To Do If You are Injured by a Falling Object
Falling objects injuries can be significant. Your first priority is your health and safety. Once you are receiving treatment for your accident, your next step should be to call an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she can help you identify the person or persons liable for your accident. Your lawyer will also help you file a premises liability claim and seek other compensation based on the extent of your injuries and emotional trauma. For example, your attorney will ensure you receive adequate reimbursement for economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death in Falling Objects Accidents
Survivors of a loved one that died as a result of negligence deserve compensation, too. This falls under the category of “wrongful death.” In Colorado, only a surviving spouse may file a wrongful death claim in the first year following the accident. He or she has the option to include children in the lawsuit by submitting a written request. After those 365 days, the victim’s children or any other designated beneficiaries may pursue a wrongful death case. (If there was no surviving spouse, children/designated beneficiaries can pursue legal action within the first year.)
In general, you have two years to file a wrongful death case in the state of Colorado. If the victim was killed as a result of a felony hit and run, however, you have up to four years to file.
Falling Objects Accident Attorney in Colorado
If you or someone you know was injured as a result of falling objects in Colorado, contact Dave Roth with the Roth Group. Dave is a highly experienced and compassionate attorney who works ceaselessly for his clients. Call or go online today to schedule your free consultation.