Are Workers Liable for Materials They Leave Behind?

By WRSH on October 22, 2017 - Comments off

site-1507007_1920With so much construction and remodeling going on in New York, there is a very real chance of running into materials or debris left behind by a construction crew after a project ends. When this happens, if you are injured or sustain property damage, then you may be able to hold the company liable for causing your damages.

Materials Commonly Left Behind

While most construction companies successfully gather up garbage and other materials from a worksite after a project, there is always a chance that something is left behind. Debris from demolition can create very real hazards, including obstacles that can cause you to trip and fall, and sharp objects like nails and scrap metal. Raw materials can also be left behind, including pieces of wood, metal, and plastic from either carpentry, electrical wiring, or plumbing.

How Damage Is Done

Tripping and falling over an obstacle, or stepping onto a nail or similar object, can cause serious injuries and require extensive medical treatment, even time in a hospital. Property damage can also occur if a site is not properly cleaned up. For example, if excess roofing is left on top of a building after construction, it might blow off during a storm and damage items when it hits the ground.

Is the Company Liable?

Liability is difficult to prove, which is why you should always have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side whenever you file a civil claim. To show that a company or foreman is liable for injuries or damages, you must prove that they acted in a negligent way. For example, if they made a thorough effort to clean up and somehow missed a small item, then they might not actually be negligent since they acted in a “reasonable” way.

To show that a crew acted negligently, you need to demonstrate that they did not make proper efforts to clean up after completion of work. Once you prove this, then you can demonstrate that the lack of proper action directly resulted in your injuries. This is not something you should try to do on your own. After a construction accident, call us at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, today at (212) 986-7353.

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