In a year filled with construction accidents, another serious accident injured three people last Thursday. In this case however, it was regular people rather than construction workers who suffered the injuries. According to the Daily News, a pane of glass fell 17 stories from a Midtown building and struck three individuals on the street below. While the injuries reported were minor, all three could have grounds for a lawsuit.

Due to the fact that the individuals who suffered the injuries were not construction workers, the labor laws that apply in typical construction accident lawsuits in New York would not apply. When these types of injuries occur, standard New York City personal injury law applies. In order to have a meritorious claim, the three injured individuals would have to prove several elements:

  • The injured parties would have to prove that the construction company and/or building owners acted negligently. In personal injury law, negligence is typically defined as “An individual or entity’s failure to use reasonable care while performing an action that could potentially cause harm to others.” In other words, the injured individuals and their attorneys would have to be able to show that a departure from reasonable care was the reason the window pane fell from the building.
  • After establishing negligence, the injured parties would have to prove that it was directly responsible for their injuries. In other words, negligence in and of itself is not grounds for a lawsuit. To have a valid lawsuit that negligence must have been responsible for the subsequent injuries to the plaintiffs. While it’s impossible to say definitively without knowing more about the details surrounding the incident, it seems fairly apparent in this case that some form of negligence precipitated the falling window pane which caused the injuries.
  • The final element of a personal injury claim is damages. In order to have a valid personal injury case, the injured parties must be able to show that they suffered tangible monetary damages due to their injuries. Monetary damages include lost wages, medical bills uncovered by insurance, and pain and suffering. In this case it’s unclear without knowing more about the extent of the three injured individuals’ injuries whether they suffered any monetary loss due to being struck by the falling window pane.

Have you or someone you love suffered a serious injury? Do you believe it was the result of negligence? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.