Cartoon characters often walk down the street and get hit by a falling object to great comic effect. However, in the real world, this accident is anything but funny. When an object falls from the sky, it can seriously injure whomever it strikes. If a falling object hits you or a loved one, you have the right to hold the appropriate parties accountable for your injuries.
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Statistics surrounding falling object accidents
Many people underestimate how often these accidents happen. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, falling objects have caused 50,000 recordable injuries. Even more frightening, these are just the statistics collected from reported accidents. Who knows how many people were struck by falling objects and, for whatever reason, chose not to report the injury?
Falling objects are common on construction sites and similar work environments, though they can happen anywhere. Moreover, people passing by construction can get hit by a falling object and suffer serious injuries.
Different types of falling objects
On construction sites, two types of objects are in danger of falling and striking innocent bystanders. The first type is the dynamic dropped object. This object falls due to a strong enough force caused by another event. If a tool falls from a higher floor because a construction worker kicked it, that tool will be a dynamic dropped object.
The second type of object is a static dropped object. This object falls from a higher location due to construction issues and vibration. If a hammer falls off a ledge from the vibration of the floor, the hammer is a static dropped object. Unlike dynamic dropped objects, there does not need to be an external force to cause a static dropped object to fall.
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How falling objects strike workers
You may think that an accident where an object falls from a building and hits someone might not be preventable. In reality, these accidents usually are. These accidents often happen because construction companies and other construction workers do not take the proper precautions when performing their duties.
Construction companies must follow specific safety protocols when constructing and designing properties. When people ignore these protocols, it can risk the safety of many construction workers.
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Injuries from falling object accidents
Head and neck injuries are the most common injuries from accidents involving falling objects. The weight of the object and the speed at which the object falls can cause a person to suffer from traumatic brain injuries. The object strikes the spine and causes paralysis. Some unfortunate victims die immediately after falling objects strike them.
The duty of care present in a falling object accident
Several parties can be liable for your injuries when a falling object has struck you or a loved one. Construction companies and construction workers owe you a specific duty of care. In personal injury law, the duty of care is a required legal duty that one party has towards another party.
Construction companies owe you a duty to provide a reasonably safe area to enter and exit. The construction company must provide a safe working environment for you and your coworkers if you are a construction worker.
Liable parties in a falling object accident
When construction companies fail to prevent objects from falling and hitting you, you can sue the construction company for any injuries you sustained. You can also sue the construction worker who caused the object to fall if you can prove their negligence. However, the construction company must implement safety protocols. You can also hold the property owner liable if they fail to maintain the premises and keep you reasonably safe.
Construction accident claims stemming from falling object accidents
You are responsible for filing a personal injury claim to sue for your damages. Construction accident claims are formal complaints that victims can file to begin a lawsuit. Every construction accident claim must beat a statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations restricts your time to pursue legal action against the person responsible for your accident. If you file your injury claim past the statute of limitations, the defendant can seek to dismiss your case. A judge will only consider accepting your injury claim under strict exceptions if you have missed the statute of limitations.
Workers’ compensation claims from falling object accidents
If a falling object strikes you at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recuperate your damages. Workers’ compensation is insurance that rewards workers with financial benefits in exchange for their right to sue. However, when insurers deny an injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim, they can file a claim with the courts to have the decision reversed.
If a construction company denies you the compensation benefits you deserve, contact a construction accident lawyer to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit to obtain the benefits you deserve.
How premises liability law comes into play
If you are not a construction worker but were visiting a construction site at the time of your accident, you can file a premises liability lawsuit against the construction company. A premises liability lawsuit is a lawsuit that holds negligent property owners accountable for their failure to maintain a safe property.
Before beginning construction work, construction companies and property owners are responsible for abiding by the building codes and safety procedures. If your lawyer can prove that these parties failed to follow these codes or procedures, they can be liable for your injuries.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a falling object accident
If a falling object killed your loved one, you can seek compensation. A wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit that holds another party liable when their negligent actions lead to the death of a plaintiff.
Unlike other personal injury lawsuits, a wrongful death lawsuit allows the victim’s survivors to hold the negligent party responsible for their loved one’s injuries. It is the only lawsuit where one person can file a lawsuit on another person’s behalf.
What is my injury claim worth?
Every personal injury claim is different, resulting in different values of worth. In general, certain factors increase the worth of your injury claim. One of the factors is your ability to prove the other party’s negligence. If evidence can prove the other party’s reckless actions toward you, your claim will increase in value.
Another factor that can increase the worth of your claim is the severity of your injuries. When your injuries are serious, and there is little chance that you will recover from them, the worth of your claim will increase.
Damages you can claim in a falling object accident
Another factor that can influence the worth of your claim is the type of damages that you are trying to acquire in your lawsuit. Whether you file a workers’ compensation or premises liability lawsuit, you can sue for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Medical expenses may be the bulk of your damages. Medical expenses can easily create a financial burden for you if your injuries are severe or even moderate.
The nature of your injuries can also affect the time you take away from work. The recovery process for your injuries may require you to take so much time off from work that it significantly reduces the amount of money you have coming into your household.
Refuting the insurance company’s claims
Because serious injuries can stem from an accident caused by a falling object, insurance companies know your claim can recover significant compensation. As a result, insurance companies will search for evidence to deny your claim.
Even though insurance companies aim to pay out as few claims as possible, they are even more diligent about denying claims where the victims have endured catastrophic injuries. Just like your lawyer, insurance companies understand that you deserve higher forms of compensation for your injuries. However, unlike your lawyer, insurance companies will make several arguments to disprove your claim.
How a personal injury lawyer can help
Being seriously injured by a falling object can be traumatizing. If you receive a denial of your claim for your compensation, it can re-victimize you all over again. You deserve fair compensation for suffering severe injuries in a preventable accident. Despite what construction companies and their insurance companies try to argue, being struck by a falling object is a preventable accident. Fortunately, you can seek the counsel of a lawyer to help you fight for your just compensation.
Assist with filing your claim
When you reach out to a lawyer at the beginning of your lawsuit, your lawyer can file a claim on your behalf. This task can help you avoid many future problems related to your case. Allowing your lawyer to file your claim for you will prevent you from filing past the statute of limitations.
Your lawyer can also act as your legal liaison if your injuries substantially limit your mobility. It can be reassuring to know that another person is handling your legal affairs while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Evaluating the damages in your claim
Your lawyer can also provide a more detailed estimate of your claim. An experienced lawyer knows how to calculate your damages, from medical expenses to pain and suffering. Many claimants don’t understand how to calculate pain and suffering. A lawyer can assist you and apply an actual number to your damages.
Seeking higher settlements
A lawyer can negotiate a larger settlement agreement for you. One of the most deceptive tactics that insurance companies practice is offering low settlement offers to claimants for future legal action on your behalf. That means you will receive all the compensation for your injuries once you accept the settlement offer. You will also forfeit your ability to sue the other party.
When the insurance company offers you a settlement offer, never accept that offer, no matter the amount. Instead, speak with your attorney and ask their legal opinion about the settlement offer. More often than not, your lawyer will also advise you not to take the settlement.
The compensation your lawyer can help you recuperate will be greater than the insurance company’s recommended settlement. You can also keep your option of seeking additional compensation in the future.
Building a great case for you
There is also a possibility that your lawsuit can progress to a trial. When the insurance company is being difficult and refuses to come to a compromise with you, you need a lawyer who is ready and willing to take your lawsuit to trial. Taking your case to trial will show the insurance companies that you will not be intimidated into meeting their demands.
Depending on the nature of your case, taking your lawsuit to trial can lead to additional forms of compensation. Your lawyer can build the best case for you and prepare you as efficiently as possible for your trial.
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When a falling object strikes you, it can leave lifelong injuries that you will have to cover financially, emotionally, and physically. While there may be a slim chance of recovery, your compensation should reflect the monumental change your injuries will cause you to experience.
You only have a short time to file a claim when injured by a falling object, which makes consulting a lawyer quickly even more critical. If you miss the deadline to file, you might lose out on the opportunity to recover compensation.