A piece of plywood that had fallen from scaffolding struck and killed a woman in Queens on Thursday morning. The victim, who was 67 years old and a resident of Westbury, was walking on Main Street near 41st Road (in Flushing) at approximately 9:45 a.m. She was struck by a piece of plywood that had been blown loose by the wind from a scaffolding; wind gusts were forecasted to reach up to 50 mph, winds strong enough to blow any unsecured objects.
The victim was taken to New York-Presbyterian Queens, where she was to be treated for the critical injuries that she sustained. Although she was rushed into surgery, she succumbed to her injuries. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
City Councilman Peter Koo released the following statement regarding the incident:
“Such a horrific tragedy should never happen to anyone who is simply walking down the sidewalk, and it is a clear example of why building owners and city agencies need to ensure building facades are safe, especially during periods of high winds. Currently, a Stop Work Order exists on the property due to several outstanding violations, and I have called for the city to shut down the building until there is a greater understanding of this building’s safety and scaffolding is in place.”
According to the latest reports, the sidewalk near where the incident occurred is taped off, and crews were securing any dangerous debris on the building that could blow loose because of the wind.
Unfortunately, construction site accidents are common. Innocent people can be involved in these accidents even if they never enter construction sites; even walking near them can be dangerous. In most cases, the hazards that ultimately contribute to these accidents could have been identified or addressed earlier – completely preventing the incident.
Depending on the details surrounding construction site incidents, victims and their families might have grounds to pursue claims. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of filing a claim for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible.
At Downtown L.A. Law Group, our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims – always representing and fighting for the rights of victims and their families. If you would like to discuss your claim with the experts at our firm, do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience. Our lawyers are ready to handle your claim and help you recover the compensation that you deserve.
Understanding Liability in Construction Site Accidents
Who is liable for construction site accidents? In many instances, constructions sites and the areas immediately surrounding sites are accessible to the public. For example, pedestrians often have to walk under or near building construction sites – especially in major cities. So, who is responsible for making sure that sites are safe?
Typically, general contractors – those in charge of construction sites – owe the public a duty of care. The have a duty to act reasonably to keep the public safe. This can be translated into the duty to warn the public of hazardous conditions. Because of this, it is common to see construction sites warning signs everywhere; it is also common for entire sites to be fenced in. Even if sites are not open to the public, they must ensure that they are reasonably safe – just in case.
As described in the incident above, the drywall was blown off scaffolding by strong winds. Strong winds are a known hazard in construction; therefore, general contractors have the duty to respond reasonably in hazardous situation to prevent any incidents. Some examples of ways that general contractors could address the danger associated high winds and potential hazards that could be blown away include the following:
- Tying down or securing material (and any loose debris) at the construction site
- Storing all loose tools, extra fuses, or oil cans, for example, in a toolbox
- Securing scaffolding, netting, and sidewalk sheds
- Suspending crane operations as well as securing crane equipment in high winds
- Suspending hoist operations as well as securing exterior hoists in high winds
- Securing construction fences
When general contractors fail to ensure that construction sites are safe, they are breaching their duty of care to the public. They are creating dangerous conditions that could cause incidents and severely harm innocent parties. Specific to the incident discussed above, if the drywall had been properly secured, it would have never been blown away by the wind, and it would have never struck the woman who unfortunately died.
If an innocent party suffers harm as a direct result of a breached duty of care (i.e. failure to keep a construction site safe), the general contractor could be held liable for all harm suffered.
To learn more about liability for construction site accidents, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our experts at your earliest convenience. Our lawyers are ready to provide you with all the information that you need.
You Can File a Claim and Recover Compensation
Whether you suffered injuries, or a member of your family lost his or her life in a construction accident, legal recourse might be an option. Specifically, you might have grounds to file an injury claim or even a wrongful death claim. Depending on the details surrounding the incident and your claim (and whether your claim reaches a successful outcome), you could have grounds to recover monetary compensation for all the harm suffered.
Based on the details surrounding your claim, you could be eligible to receive compensation for at least some of the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral/burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the type and amount of compensation that you could potentially receive, it is essential that you seek legal assistance – only an experienced attorney should provide you with such important information.
When you allow the experts at our firm to handle your claim, you can trust that their will always be someone aggressively fighting for your right to recover the highest amount of compensation available for your claim. For more information, do not hesitate to contact the experts at our law firm at your earliest convenience.
Filing a Claim within the Statute of Limitations
There is no doubt that you have the right to pursue a claim if you or a member of your family suffered any sort of harm associated with a construction site incident. However, you could lose your right to sue if you fail to take any action within an appropriate length of time.
All claims are subject to a statute of limitations – which determine the specific length of time that claimants have to file their claims. If they fail to file their claims on time, they will lose their right to file and their right to recover any compensation.
The applicable statute of limitations is established by each state and is relevant to the specific action being pursued. For example, if the victim’s family (in the incident described above) decided to pursue a claim, they would be subject to the statute of limitations established by New York. Further, their wrongful death claim would be subject to a two-year deadline. If the incident had only resulted in injuries (i.e. the victim had survived), they could pursue a personal injury claim subject to a three-year deadline.
The statute of limitations varies state by state. In California, for example, both injury and wrongful death claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations.
To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the statute of limitations that applies to your claim and of the exact length of time that you have to file your claim, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with then experts at our firm at your earliest convenience.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
If you or a member of your family suffered harm in a construction accident, you should seek legal assistance immediately to explore the possibility of pursuing a claim. You can trust the construction accident attorneys at Downtown L.A. Law Group. At our firm, our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims – always fighting for the rights of victims and their families. When you allow the experts at our firm to handle your claim, you can trust that our experts will handle your claim to the best of their ability and ensure that you recover the compensation that you are owed.
At our firm, we are dedicated to providing effective legal assistance to all parties who need it. Therefore, we offer free legal services; our free legal services include both free consultations and free second opinions. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our lawyers will be available to answer all questions as well as to address all concerns; our lawyers will be available to provide you with all the information necessary to begin or continue your claim against the party or entity liable for the harm suffered. If you would like to benefit from our free legal services and discuss your claim with our experts, do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately.
At Downtown L.A. Law Group, our firm offers a Zero-Fee guarantee. Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients never have to worry about paying any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. Our law firm is also based on contingency; therefore, our clients will not be required to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome. For more information, do not hesitate to contact our law firm today.