A New Ruling from New York’s Highest Court May Help Harmed Construction Workers Seeking Compensation for Their Injuries

In any construction injury case, there are several steps to getting you your best possible outcome. One of key “wins” you can obtain is to secure a summary judgment in your favor on the issue of liability. This can have the potential to save you a great deal in terms of time, money and stress. A recent ruling from the New York Court of Appeals is a very beneficial one for injured construction workers because it expands the range of situations in which an injured worker can obtain such a judgment. What you can take away from this new ruling is that, even if you may be negligent to some degree in the events leading up to your accident, you may still be able to achieve the success you need. Talk to a knowledgeable New York City construction accident attorney about your injury to find out more.

The worker in the case, C.R., was an employee of the city’s sanitation department. One wintry day, C.R. was one of three employees assigned the task of outfitting snow plows and chains on sanitation truck tires. As one of the other members of the group backed a truck into the garage to begin the outfitting process, the truck skidded, hit a parked car and sent that car into C.R., pinning him against a rack of tires.

The accident caused the man very serious injuries. He had to undergo spinal fusion surgery, steroid injections and substantial physical therapy. The accident also left him permanently disabled from working.

The injured man filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for his injuries. The basis of the injured worker’s claim was Section 240(1) of the Labor Law. Both the employee and the employer asked the court to grant them summary judgment on the issue of liability, which would have meant that the judge would have decided liability without a full trial on that question. The trial court concluded that C.R. could possibly be entitled to summary judgment in his favor because he did not prove that he was completely free of blame for the accident. Because C.R. may have been negligent and partly at fault for the accident, that meant there had to be a trial on the issue of liability, according to the trial judge.

The case went all the way to New York’s highest court, which made a ruling that is potentially very helpful to injured workers. The Court of Appeals said that simply because an injured worker who has filed his lawsuit under Section 240(1) of the Labor Law has not shown that he was completely free of any amount of negligence in the accident that harmed him, it does not automatically mean that the injured worker cannot still win his request for summary judgment on the employer’s negligence and liability.

This outcome was an important success, not only for C.R., but for all similarly injured workers, including construction workers. The ruling means that an injured construction worker can still get a summary judgment and avoid the expense and complication of proving liability at a trial, even if there is some evidence that he/she was, in some way, negligent.

If you have been hurt at your construction job, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience helping injured workers. We can take the facts of your accident and help you find the best path to pursue the results you need.

Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.

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