Who Is Liable for Injuries in a New York Construction Accident?
Summer is a popular season for construction to take place in New York, since the weather is warmer with less precipitation. Construction workers face unique dangers when on the job. High-rise buildings are common structures in New York City, and workers who are constructing them can suffer serious injuries in the event an accident occurs. Some of these injuries can result in lasting physical effects and may require someone to find a new field of work. A construction accident can happen for many reasons, including due to operator error, faulty equipment, or another party’s negligence.
Types of Construction Accident Injuries
Some of the most common causes of injuries on construction sites include falling, defective equipment, workplace hazards, or improper safety precautions. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), types of construction injuries can include:
- Burns (first, second, third degree)
- Eye injury (vision impairment or blindness)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck, shoulder, or back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including damage that can result in paralysis
- Illnesses caused by exposure to toxic chemicals
New York Labor Laws
Normally, when a worker is injured, he or she is covered by his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance benefits. However, construction sites are typically occupied by various contractors at any given time. In some cases, a third party can be the cause of an injury to a contractor who is working on the site.
Labor Law 240 of New York states that construction workers who directly contribute to the erection or repair of a structure or building are entitled to specific safety devices and protocols when work is performed at high elevations (using scaffolding or ladders). If the workers do not receive such safety measures, and they are injured in an accident, it may be possible to recover damages against a third party. Under laws regarding negligence, an injured worker can sue a third-party contractor for dangerous conditions if the following can be proven:
- The third party caused the worker’s injury.
- The third party had control over and knew or should have known conditions or equipment were dangerous.
Any compensation received may be in addition to workers’ comp benefits through an employer, depending on the details of the case and the severity of the injury. However, a construction worker’s “comparative negligence” may play a role in these types of claims. If a worker receives compensation by making a third-party claim, he or she will have to reimburse any workers’ compensation received previously. If the third party can prove the worker was solely responsible for the accident, then the third party is not liable.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer
Even if construction workers take the necessary safety precautions, accidents can still happen. A mishap on a job site can cause a significant injury, resulting in lost wages, extensive rehabilitation, and costly medical bills. If you were hurt while working at your construction job, determining who is liable for your injury is important. A Brooklyn, NY construction accident attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding your accident to make sure you receive compensation for your damages. Call our office at 718-514-9516 today to schedule a consultation.