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Generally, there are a small handful of statutes that an injured construction worker can use as part of their effort to obtain compensation for injuries suffered at the job site. Two commons ones are Sections 240(1) and 241(6) of the Labor Law. The first of those two deals with injuries that were in some way “gravity related.” (In other words, something fell on the worker or the worker fell from a height.) Section 241(6) involves circumstances where you are injured because someone did something (or failed to something) that amounted to a violation of New York’s safety regulations. These and other potential claims that an injured construction worker may be entitled to assert often require an in-depth understanding of the law. A skilled New York City construction injury attorney can help you to determine what the best way to proceed is.

As an example of how these types of construction injury lawsuits can proceed, there’s the case of G.Z. G.Z. was injured working on a residential driveway removal and replacement project. He worked for the subcontractor on the project and his injuries were allegedly the result of his supervisor striking him with a crawler-mounted excavator that the supervisor was driving.

The facts of G.Z.’s case made it clear that nothing fell on him from a height and he did not fall from a height himself, so he did not assert a Section 240(1) claim. He did, however, pursue a Section 241(6) claim. The worker asserted that his accident occurred because of a violation of 12 NYCRR 23-4.2(k). That regulation says that workers “shall not be suffered or permitted to work in any area where they may be struck or endangered by any excavation equipment or by any material being dislodged by or falling from such equipment.”

When you’re injured at a construction job, there may be various ways for you to seek damages, depending on the facts of your case. One option that may exist for you is a lawsuit asserting that you have a claim for damages under Labor Law Section 241(6). A claim under that law potentially arises when a violation of the state’s safety regulations has taken place. If you have been hurt because of debris left on the floor, equipment improperly stored, or some other safety problem, the law may allow you to recover compensation for the injuries you suffered. To pursue your rights, contact an experienced New York City construction injury attorney about your case.An example of this type of safety problem (and its leading to an accident) was the case of M.L. M.L. was a carpenter who was framing a bathroom on the 12th floor of a Manhattan hotel. While working, the carpenter stepped back off the ladder he was using and, in the process, landed in a hole in the floor, becoming wedged. The carpenter managed to avoid falling but became twisted, injuring his knee in the process.

M.L.’s lawsuit for compensation for his knee injury relied upon this statute (Section 241(6)) and the safety issues at his work area. One particular New York regulation, Section 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(2), says that floors, platforms, and similar areas where work takes place must “be kept free of dirt and debris.” In the carpenter’s case, he noticed that the room in which he was working “was a little bit of a mess.” Specifically, he alleged that there was sheetrock, pipes, and other debris on the floor. What the carpenter didn’t remember, however, was whether or not the debris actually covered the hole (as opposed to being merely near the hole).

So did the carpenter’s inability to provide evidence that the debris covered the hole that caused his injury mean that he was unable to win his injury case and recover compensation? The courts clearly said the answer was, “No.” The law allows the jury in your case to make certain inferences based upon the proof that you provided to them if that proof is sufficiently extensive. In M.L.’s case, the appeals court ruled that, when the carpenter’s extensive deposition testimony was taken as a whole piece of evidence, it was adequate to allow for the inference that the debris either covered the hole or else was so close to the hole that it prevented M.L. from seeing the hole. Either way, the debris, as alleged, created a “hazardous condition,” which meant that the carpenter was entitled to go forward with his case against the building owner.

Scaffold work can be very dangerous. There are many events that can occur that can cause a worker on a scaffold to fall and suffer serious harm. Due to that very substantial risk of harm, New York law has some very broad protections for these sorts of workers. Section 240(1) of the Labor Law, sometimes nicknamed the “Scaffold Law,” gives injured workers the right to seek compensation from site owners and general contractors if they are injured as a result of “elevation-related” risks. That can include something falling on you, or you falling from a height (like falling from a scaffold). If you are hurt while performing work that required the use of a scaffold, be sure you retain a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney, who will be familiar with all the unique aspects of this area of the law.

An example of how the Scaffold Law can work was the case of J. J. was a construction worker working in Queens County when he was hurt. J. was part of a team doing demolition work and his work required him to stand on a scaffold. As some point, while performing his duties, J. fell off that scaffold and suffered significant injuries.

When that type of injury happens, the law allows you to sue the construction site owner or the general contractor on the job. Both have a duty to ensure the safety of worker at risk of “elevation-related” dangers by providing those workers with proper protection, and that duty cannot be delegated to other people or entities.

April 26, 2018 marked an important milestone date. That date, as reported by the New York Daily News, was the 10th anniversary of the first Memorial Mass for Deceased Construction Workers in New York City. Two days later, on April 28, the 2018 “Hardhat Mass” was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The annual event serves many useful purposes. It gives survivors the chance to mourn those lost to construction accidents. It also, though, provides a platform to shine a light on the extent of the problem of construction safety in New York City. The number of hardhats and roses laid out each year at the mass is a reminder that more is needed to ensure the safety of construction workers. If you have been injured in a construction accident, or if a loved one has been injured or killed, it is important to take action swiftly. To learn more about your legal rights and options, talk to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney right away.

At the annual hardhat mass, chairs are staged in the cathedral’s upper sanctuary. In those chairs, one engraved hardhat and one rose is left for each of the construction workers who have died in the city in the previous year. At the 2018 mass, 19 such hardhats and roses were placed in chairs. Since the tradition began, a total of 166 such memorials have been laid out.

As Fr. Brian Jordan, who presided over the mass and authored the article for the Daily News, correctly pointed out, “Construction workers have one of the highest death and injury rates in the private sector throughout the entire United States. Yet the safety crisis they face rarely gets much attention.”

There are many types of construction jobs that can be very dangerous. In fact, most construction jobs carry with them varying degrees of risk of personal harm. Certainly, the job of elevator mechanic is no exception to that. Whether you were working as an elevator mechanic or in some other construction job, you may be entitled to compensation if you were hurt at work. To learn more about how you may be able to go about seeking that compensation, talk to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney about your accident.

Miguel was an elevator mechanic who was hurt on the job. At the time of the accident, he was working on a commercial building project in Brooklyn. His duties involved entering a concrete crawl space underneath the freight elevator motor room. While doing his job, Miguel tripped while moving toward the space’s entrance/exit hatch. This caused the mechanic’s arm to become caught inside a pulley system that was part of the elevator. Since Miguel’s assistant had begun to operate the elevator, the trip caused Miguel’s arm to become caught in the pulley’s cable and inflicted substantial harm on Miguel.

The mechanic decided to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for his injuries. New York law has multiple different options for injured workers seeking compensation for the damages they’ve suffered on the job. One method is using a statute nicknamed the “Scaffold Law,” which is Section 240(1) of the Labor Law. That statute says that you may be entitled to bring a lawsuit and receive compensation if you were injured as a result of inadequate safety protections to shield you from “elevation-related risks.” These can relate to things falling on you or you falling off equipment, like scaffolds or ladders.

When you are injured at your construction job, you may be concerned that you may not be permitted to use the legal system to seek compensation. Perhaps the job you were doing when you got hurt was not an actual construction task. Even if that is true, it is possible that the law will allow you to seek and obtain compensation, as some recent case rulings have shown. If you’ve been hurt at your construction job, regardless of the exact circumstances, reach out to a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney who can help you assess your options.

One example of a worker who sued recently and succeeded was Miguel, an employee of a tree company. Miguel was hurt in 2012 in a workplace accident. During Hurricane Sandy, a tree had fallen onto some wires situated over a railroad line. Miguel’s job required him to use a power saw to cut the tree into pieces. While Miguel was cutting the tree trunk, the tension on the wires suddenly released, and that release threw the tree into the air. The tree broke in two and fell back to the ground, with one piece crashing into Miguel’s leg.

Miguel sued for his injuries. His lawsuit alleged that the railroad had violated Section 241(6) of the New York Labor Law. That statute provides that construction site owners and general contractors have a legal obligation “to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety” to all workers working in areas in which “construction, excavation or demolition work is being performed.”

The law in New York provides some very clear and strong protections for construction workers who are hurt on the job. The owner of the property where the work is taking place, as well as the general contractor on the project, has a responsibility under the law to provide workers on the site with a safe place to do their jobs. This includes providing them with the equipment and safety devices needed to do the work in a way that won’t result in injuries. In New York, you are entitled to that protection and entitled to sue when you are hurt because you didn’t receive that protection, regardless of your immigration status. If you’ve been hurt at your construction job, you should contact a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney right away.

New York courts are clear about undocumented workers’ rights to pursue their cases. One recent example was a case filed by a worker named Carlos, who was a construction worker on a project in Long Island. Carlos needed to do a job that was high up. The ground below was uneven. Carlos recognized, and stated, that a ladder would not work for the task. Even though there were aerial lifts and scaffolding available, Carlos’s supervisor told him to use a ladder anyway. The ladder that Carlos used was not secured to anything. Eventually, Carlos fell from the ladder and suffered serious injuries to his back and his dominant hand and wrist.

Carlos sued. Carlos’ case was a strong one based upon the unsecured ladder. He gave his testimony as part of the trial. The owner of the site, which was one of the companies that Carlos sued, argued that the court should reject all of the proof Carlos gave in his testimony and should instead rule in its favor. The sole basis for this argument by the property owner was the fact that Carlos was an undocumented immigrant, that he did not pay taxes, and that he had used a co-worker’s name to obtain health insurance after the ladder accident.

New York has certain laws that protect construction workers. These laws do more, though, than just protect the men and women working with heavy equipment. As long as you are engaged in certain activities, you may be able to use these laws to your advantage in your injury case too, even if you are not a “hard hat” worker. An experienced New York construction accident attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed with your case and pursue the compensation you deserve.

The case of Juan from Manhattan was an example of how this can work for you as an injured worker. Juan was a porter who worked at a co-operative building in the Upper East Side in June 2013. One day, the building supervisor asked Juan to paint the hot water pipes in the building’s basement. The job required a ladder because the pipes were 10-11 feet off the ground. Juan grabbed an aluminum A-frame ladder. The ladder was missing the stabilizer bar on the left side and one of its rubber feet. These flaws caused the ladder to move front to back and side to side.

Juan used the imperfect ladder because, by the time he went to the shop room to start the painting work, all of the other ladders were already in use. Juan told the supervisor that the last remaining ladder was a broken one, but the supervisor told him “it’s fine.” Juan ascended the ladder holding a paint roller. The ladder shifted, and the porter fell to the ground, suffering injuries.

When you are injured at your construction job, there are many things upon which you probably are focused. Your legal rights and all of the legal technicalities that are involved in filing, pursuing, and winning a court case for an award of damages may not be at the top of your list. That is why you should reach out to an experienced New York construction accident attorney, who can help you ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation that the law says you deserve.

Many times, these cases can involve a detailed knowledge of the technicalities embedded within the law. Take, for example, the case of David, a construction employee working on a project in Brooklyn in the summer of 2015. One day, a 10-foot long, 50-pound pipe that was oily and unsecured slipped free and, as a result, fell from the 31st floor, past the 30th floor (where it was supposed to go), and down to the 29th floor, where it hit David in the head. According to the worker, the accident caused her significant harm. He suffered injuries to his brain, his back, and his shoulders. David’s brain injuries included “permanent damage to the anterior left temporal lobe, short term memory loss, difficulty in expressing speech, difficulties with walking and coordination, and difficulties following directions.”

Based on all of that damage, the worker sued to recover compensation. One of David’s most successful bases for compensation was his claim that the defendants violated Section 240(1) of New York’s Labor Law. That law says that site owners and general contractors on construction projects have a legal obligation to ensure that all workers have proper safety protection to safeguard them from “gravity-related” risks of harm. This can include something falling on a worker or a worker himself falling from a height. Certainly, a 50-pound pipe falling from a height would fall into the category of “gravity-related” risks.

When you are injured at your construction job and need to file a lawsuit in order to obtain the compensation that the law allows you to receive, it helps to accumulate as many pieces of evidence as possible that back up your own assertions about what happened before and during your accident. Another important litigation tactic you may need to use to give yourself a stronger case is keeping out harmful evidence that the law says is not allowed to be admitted as part of your case. For advocacy in these evidentiary battles within your case, you should make sure you have a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney representing you.

One recent construction injury case involved Atley, a construction worker who was working on Christmas Eve in 2012 when he suffered a serious accident. The worker was wearing a safety harness when he had his accident, but his harness was not tied off to anything. According to Atley, his accident took place because, while he was working on a scaffold, he tripped on a block and fell backward, tumbling off the scaffold and landing on the ground.

To back his allegations regarding how the accident happened, Atley had, in addition to his own testimony that he fell off the scaffold because he tripped on a block, his workers’ compensation claim, which stated that he slipped and fell off the scaffold. These pieces of proof, when put together, were enough to demonstrate to the court that Atley had not received the proper safety protections to safeguard him against falling off the scaffold and suffering injuries, which is a violation of New York’s Labor Law.