Construction is returning to New York, along with its risk of serious injury. Workers seeking compensation for construction injuries may use traditional and special laws to support their personal injury case.
Any injured worker may seek workers’ compensation in New York. But this may be insufficient to cover the serious injuries that occur in construction. Also, third parties such as other contractors, subcontractors or vendors may be at the construction site and liable for the worker’s injury.
Under standard negligence law, an injured worker may sue a third-party contractor for dangerous conditions. The worker must prove that these conditions caused their injury and the third-party had control of the cause of the accident or knew that it was dangerous. Any worker negligence, known as comparative negligence, may reduce or eliminate compensation in these and other negligence lawsuits.
New York’s labor law 240 requires equipping workers with special equipment if they are engaged in construction or repair of a building from a scaffold, ladder, or other elevated height. If these devices were not provided and a worker is injured, that worker may seek compensation against the third-party responsible for supervising the construction and providing safety devices. The worker must prove that the third-party knew or should have known about the safety violations.
The third-party is not liable if they can prove that the worker was solely responsible for the accident. This law does not cover minor repair work and routine maintenance.
Labor law 241 allows a strict liability claim if a worker suffers an injury because a contractor or other party violated certain safety codes. Workers do not have to prove that the defendant was negligent. Actions under this law are not restricted to height-related accidents.
A worker who recovers in any of these claims against a third-party must reimburse workers’ compensation for the portion of those benefits they received from a third party under certain circumstances. Time periods restrict the filing of a lawsuit.
If you are injured in these accidents, you should notify the contractor or property owner immediately. Seek medical care and obtain documents to support your claims. An attorney can help you seek the benefits that you are entitled to.