When you are injured at your construction job, it is possible that there may be multiple different ways to achieve a successful result and get the compensation you deserve. This is especially true if your injury was a result of a fall at work. To make sure that you are taking maximum legal advantage of the facts of your injury to put together a successful case, be sure you retain a knowledgeable New York construction injury attorney.
A recent example of a successful case was the one filed by Antonio, a construction worker at the World Trade Center. On June 6, 2013, his job responsibilities included helping two iron workers lift a 200-pound float from the building’s roof to its antenna. The floor in that area was a metal grating with several openings that were covered by pieces of plywood. At one point, Antonio took a step onto a plywood covering, felt it shift, and then fell through the opening exposed by the shifted plywood.
Injured in the fall, Antonio sued. There are various legal options available to you as an injured construction worker in New York in order to obtain fair compensation for your harm. If you’ve been hurt as a result of a fall, there is one statutory section in particular, Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law, that may be helpful to you. That law says that site owners and general contractors on a construction project have a legal obligation to ensure that all workers have the protections and safeguards needed to protect them from falling, or from things falling onto them.
The law permits very few legal defenses against a Section 240(1) claim. If you have the proof to show that your injury was a result of inadequate protection that led to a “gravity-related” injury (such as a fall), many defenses that might otherwise be available cannot be used against you in this type of case.
Antonio’s case was that the plywood covering over the opening in the grate was insufficient, and, as a result of this inadequate protection, he fell and suffered serious damage to his body. The defense tried to defeat the injured worker’s case by arguing that Antonio was to blame for his own harm. Antonio was wearing a lanyard, but it was not tied off when he fell. In spite of these facts, Antonio was still entitled to judgment in his favor. An injured construction worker is entitled to win his case even if he didn’t do everything he could to protect his own safety. In a previous case, the court ruled for an injured worker, even though he had a lanyard and was told to use it (but did not use it).
These facts did not matter because they were trumped by the worker’s proof of a defective scaffold that collapsed beneath him. Similarly, Antonio’s proof of an inadequate covering over the hole in the grate trumped the defense’s proof of the worker’s failure to use his fall protection. Both of these cases show that, in New York, what’s called “contributory negligence” is not a defense against a worker’s injury claim under Section 240(1) of the Labor Law.
Construction work can be very dangerous. If you have been injured at your construction job, make sure you get the compensation you deserve. The skilled New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates have been working diligently for many years to give our clients the effective representation and personalized attention they need and deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.
More blog posts:
New York City Building Employee Wins Injury Case Due to Defective Ladder, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 10 de Abril de 2018
What is a ‘De Facto General Contractor’ and What Can It Mean in Your New York Construction Injury Case?, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 9 de Abril de 2018