Duty of Care
A construction company redoing the facade of a building constructs a scaffolding to prevent falling materials from injuring the public. After they finish, however, shoddy work on the facade leads to a brick coming loose and causing serious injuries to a passerby. Should the construction company be liable for injuries caused after they’ve finished? The legal answer is yes.
Any time a person or organization acts in a way that can potentially harm others, he, she or it is required by law to take reasonable safety precautions. The legal term for this obligation is “duty of care.” Possibly the most significant aspect of duty of care is that it extends beyond the initial work. Even after they have left the site, a construction company can be held liable if their work is not stable enough to avoid injuring the public.
In some cases it can be difficult to prove that a company violated its duty of care. If the façade in our example is knocked loose by an earthquake, the company might not be held responsible if their work is up to code. If it is found they did not follow standards for earthquake safety, however, they can be held accountable for their failure to protect the public.
The standard for duty of care is highly dependent on the circumstances. Anyone in a position that can cause harm has a duty of care, but the specific requirements depend on their activity and its potential consequences. For that reason, the help of a lawyer is invaluable for such cases.
If you have been seriously injured because of an individual or organization’s failure to ensure the safety of the public, you may be entitled to damages. To discuss your case with a lawyer, contact the Champaign personal injury lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. today at (217) 328-2828.