New Jersey’s landscape is often dotted with construction sites, signaling the state’s growth and development. However, amidst the flurry of activity, pedestrians and bystanders face an often-overlooked peril: the risk of being struck by falling debris or objects. This and other hazards pose significant dangers to the safety and well-being of individuals navigating the streets adjacent to construction sites and have personal injury implications. If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident in New Jersey, you may not know where to turn to start your recovery. Here is a short guide to construction accidents involving pedestrians and bystanders in New Jersey and how a personal injury attorney can help.
Common Causes of Pedestrian and Bystander Construction Injuries
Being an innocent bystander near a construction zone could mean severe injury and possible compensation if such damage is caused by another’s negligence. Some of the most common causes of injuries suffered at these sites include the following:
Falling objects pose a significant danger to bystanders at construction sites. Being hit by debris can cause the victim to suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and more. These injuries can be caused by falling scaffolding, tools, machinery, and building materials, as well as several other common hazards. Pedestrians walking or standing near construction sites, as well as other bystanders, are at risk. Sidewalks, roads, and public spaces adjacent to these areas often become inadvertent paths for falling debris, putting unsuspecting individuals in harm’s way.
Both workers and bystanders are at risk of slip-and-fall accidents when hazards are left on walking paths. They may trip over improperly stored materials or tools and fall, causing significant injury.
Some construction sites use hazardous materials, which must be handled properly according to local, state, and federal safety requirements. If a construction worker leaves hazardous materials exposed or fails to dispose of them properly, pedestrians and bystanders could suffer serious injuries due to exposure.
Pedestrian Accidents and Personal Injury Claims
Construction companies, site managers, contractors, and property owners bear a responsibility to maintain a safe environment. If they violate their duty and an innocent person is injured as a result, they are entitled to seek compensation under the legal theory of negligence. Recoverable damages include:
- Lost wages,
- Medical bills,
- Cost of future medical care,
- Loss of earning potential,
- Emotional distress,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
This is not an exhaustive list, and you may be entitled to additional damages depending on your circumstances. New Jersey also operates under a comparative negligence system, which considers the degree of fault of each involved party. If the injured individual is deemed partially responsible, their compensation may be adjusted accordingly. Talk to a personal injury attorney if you have questions about the compensation you deserve.
How Long Does a Victim Have to File a Claim?
Victims of construction site accidents must be aware of New Jersey’s statute of limitations, which dictates the timeframe within which legal action must be initiated. Failure to file a claim within this period may result in forfeiture of the right to seek compensation. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years. There may be some exceptions to this requirement that will pause or toll a statute of limitations, but be sure to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure your rights are protected.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Construction Accident?
Despite safety regulations and requirements, innocent bystanders can find themselves seriously injured as a result of a construction site accident. If you are injured in one of these accidents, here are some steps you can take to preserve your rights.
- Seek medical help. Your health and safety are most important, so be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident.
- Call the police. A police report is an important piece of evidence in personal injury claims, so get one if you can.
- Document the scene. If able, take pictures of the accident location and its surroundings and your injuries to make sure you can claim the full amount of damages you deserve.
- Get witness information. If there were witnesses to the accident, get their information or a statement describing what happened and when.
- Call a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you analyze your claim, gather additional evidence, and be your advocate throughout the entire process.
If you have been injured in a construction site accident in New Jersey, contact the personal injury team at Glugeth and Pierguidi to discuss your case.
Workers’ Compensation in New Jersey
If you happen to be an employee of the construction company, you may need to pursue a claim under the state’s workers’ compensation system. This system serves as a safety net for employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses. If an employee is injured on the job, they are entitled to certain benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance typically covers medical costs, lost wages, future rehabilitation costs, and compensation for disabilities caused by the accident. However, in New Jersey, workers’ compensation laws often prevent employees from filing personal injury suits against their employer. There are a few exceptions, however, such as in cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm or when a third party is deemed at fault. If you are not sure if your injury falls under workers’ compensation or can be filed as a negligence claim, talk to a New Jersey personal injury attorney.
Trust the Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C.
When it comes to recovering from construction accidents involving pedestrians and bystanders, you need a New Jersey personal injury team on your side. At Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., we bring decades of experience and a record of positive outcomes for our clients and can be your advocate throughout the process. We know that accidents can severely affect your life and will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for you. We are detail-oriented, aggressive, and fiercely loyal to our clients’ well-being, and we take pride in helping them through tough times. To set up a free consultation to talk about your case, call our office or fill out our online contact form to get started today.