Just like in all other US states, there are both federal and state laws that govern all things in New York. Construction accidents and the consequent lawsuits are no exception to this bicameral legislature, so it’s common for affected residents to have multiple legal questions about the topic. We will try to briefly answer a few of the most common and frequent of those questions next.
In accordance with Section 200 of the New York Labor Laws, the responsibility to provide a safe workplace lies with two parties primarily:
1. The Property Owner
2. The Contractor
Therefore, on failing to provide the adequate safety equipment or environment, one of the two, or both, parties will be held liable for the accident. It would also count as a violation of the construction safety law, meaning that additional charges for failure to comply will be brought upon the responsible party/parties as well.
One of the unique aspects of NY Labor Safety Laws is the New York Scaffolding Law. It is a Section (240) of the New York Labor Laws, which specifically concerns accidents that are related to working on/injured by elevation equipment or elevated surfaces such as:
Additionally, there is also a clear clause in Section 240 about the necessity of providing all vulnerable construction workers with PPE against falling objects. The Section allows a strict lawsuit to be brought against the liable party, when someone is injured or killed by such an accident, on account of safety measures violation by the contractor and/or property owner. For the injured/grieving party to bring forth a case based on the New York Scaffolding Law, legal consultation from a construction accidents law firm like Oresky will be necessary.
Unless the situation is exceptional, or related to the above, suing your employer for any workplace related injury may not be possible or viable. This is because New York Workers’ Compensation Insurance will protect your employer against such lawsuits in most situations. You will also automatically receive compensation after being injured at the site because of their insurance. However, the employer would be open to direct lawsuits if they were not carrying the appropriate Worker’s Compensation Policy at the time of the accident.
Unfortunately, beyond covering all medical expenses related to the injuries suffered by the affected worker, the New York Workers’ Compensation Benefits do not amount to much. One can still expect the policy to pay roughly 2/3rd of their average weekly payments, as was paid by the employer before the accident.
There might be a chance for additional compensation, but as already mentioned, consultation with an experienced construction accident attorney would be necessary to discern the chances of this happening.