Construction workers of all trades (e.g., ironworkers, carpenters, electricians, painters, masons, laborers, etc.) face grave danger of many kinds every single day they report to work. Some of the most common causes of serious injuries at commercial and residential work sites include:
• Defective or faulty ladders or scaffolds, and other falls from a height
• Electrical hazards, including electrocutions and arc flash explosions
• Falling Objects
• Dangerous or defective conditions at the work site resulting in trips or slips and falls
Not only are construction and demolition sites riddled with danger, but when injury strikes, it is often extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Common injuries include not only broken bones and torn ligaments, but also brain injury and even death. The losses from such injuries can be devastating, personally, professionally, and financially.
For these reasons, New York has a special law, called the New York State Labor Law, which allows injured construction workers to secure maximum compensation by bringing a lawsuit to recover for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of wages and benefits.
It is important to know that this legal claim is in addition to, not instead of, workers’ compensation. If you or a loved one were injured while on the job on a commercial or residential work site, you are not limited to just collecting workers’ compensation. Worker’s compensation may cover your medical expenses and part of your lost wages while you are out of work, but that usually does not cover anywhere near all your losses. For this reason, Sections 200, 240, and 241(6) of the Labor Law of the State of New York also allow people injured at construction sites to bring a separate lawsuit against the owner of the site, the general contractor, and sometimes others for your injury to recover for the full range of damage caused to you and your family by the injuries you sustained on the job.
What does the New York State Labor Law provide? Do I have a Claim?
Section 240 of the Labor Law requires owners, contractors and their agents to provide proper protection to workers engaged in erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of buildings or structures who are using (or should be using) ropes, irons, braces, pulleys, blocks, hangers, slings, ladders, stays, hoists, scaffolds and other devices. These are typically “gravity related” accidents involving workers falling from heights or objects falling on workers, but there can be other types of construction accidents which were caused by the force of gravity. If you were injured because of a gravity-related danger and some safety measure or device may have prevented the accident, you may have a claim under Section 240. If so, you can recover in full from the owner and general contractor even if they were not themselves negligent and even if the accident was partially, or even mostly, your own fault.
Labor Law Section 241(6) allows workers to sue general contractors, owners, and other contractors for violations of specific safety regulations in the New York State Industrial Code. This is the section we typically rely upon for non-gravity-related injuries that aren’t covered by Sec. 240. The Industrial Code has a whole range of very specific safety rules and regulations that apply to all aspects of construction and demolition. If you were injured because a safety rule was violated, you may have a claim under Section 241(6). If so, you can recover from the owner and general contractor even if they were not themselves negligent, and even if you are found to have been partially at fault. Unlike Labor Law Sec. 240, the defendants in a case based on Sec 241(6) are allowed to argue for a reduction in your recovery by claiming the accident was partially your fault, but we have a proven track record of success in defeating such allegations and putting the responsibility where it belongs – on the owners and GCs, not on the injured workers.
Labor Law Sec. 200 allows workers to sue owners, general contractors, and other contractors for their failure to provide reasonable and adequate protection to workers on the site.
These claims are mostly based on general principles of negligence, and we rely on this section mostly for claims that are not otherwise covered by Sections 240 and 241(6).
While not all construction accidents will allow injured workers to bring a lawsuit, it is very important that you consult immediately with a New York construction accident attorney with experience with construction accident cases to see if you have a claim and, if so, to pursue it aggressively and promptly.
Our Firm is Highly Experienced, Skilled, and Relentless in Pursuing Maximum Compensation in Construction Accident Claims
Our firm is highly experienced and uniquely skilled at handling all legal aspects of claims for those injured during any phase of a construction or demolition job. We have recovered millions of dollars for workers of various trades, including many individual multi-million dollar recoveries.
For example, the Firm recently recovered over $3 million for an electrician injured in an arc flash explosion on a Bronx construction site.
Our team of construction accident lawyers is led by founding partner, J. David MacCartney, Jr., who is one of the most highly experienced and skilled construction accident trial lawyers in New York. We have a proven track record of representing victims of construction accidents and obtaining maximum recovery from all those responsible.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident on a construction site, you deserve the benefit of the most aggressive representation possible.
Call us at 845-353-2000 for a free consultation.