Even a Small Height May be Enough to Be an ‘Elevation-Related’ Risk of Harm in Your New York Construction Accident Case

When you’re hurt while working at a construction job, you may have many concerns, like how you will pay your bills and how you will make ends meet if you can’t work. Fortunately, you may have multiple options for getting the compensation you need under New York law.

One possible way that injured construction workers can obtain compensation is through something called “Labor Law Section 241(6).” That statute may allow you to obtain a judgment and an award of damages if there were violations of certain New York safety regulations at your job site and those violations led to your accident and injuries. Another potential avenue is something called “Labor Law Section 240(1).” That section, however, only applies to injuries that resulted from a failure to provide you with sufficient safety protections against “elevation-related” risks of harm. When it comes to making the right legal choices to get the compensation you need, be sure to rely on the experience and knowledge of a skilled New York City construction attorney.

Sometimes, the options available to you may be more numerous than you, as a layperson, might otherwise have thought. W.T.’s case is an example. W.T. was a construction worker in Manhattan. One day, a crane’s bucket became tangled on shackles, then twisted from right to left, dropped a bit and then slammed into W.T. After the impact, the worker tripped over some rock ties and fell. The bucket was 1-2 feet off the ground when it struck W.T.

W.T. suffered substantial injuries in the accident and sought to pursue legal action. If you look at W.T.’s case, you might think that facts like his could not possibly allow the injured worker to pursue a Section 240(1) claim. After all, the elevation involved was only 1-2 feet, and that could not be significant enough, right? In fact, that is exactly what the defense argued. However, the court ruled against the defense and said that W.T. could continue to pursue a claim for damages under Section 240(1).

The reason is that, when it comes to elevation-related risks of harm at a construction job under Section 240(1), courts look at more than simply the height involved. The law does not have a black-and-white rule about the minimum elevation necessary. Instead, the law requires courts to take into the effect, in addition to the elevation, the weight of the object and the amount of force it was capable of generating. While it was true that the bucket was only 1-2 feet off the ground, it was also true that the bucket weighed around 6,000 pounds when filled with concrete, which it was at the time of the accident. That three-ton bucket was capable of generating a very large amount of force as it descended, so the court decided that even a fall of just 1-2 feet was possibly substantial enough to constitute a valid elevation-related risk of harm.

What all this should tell you is that, if you’re hurt working at your construction job, you need skilled legal counsel on your side. The law may contain some options and opportunities for you that you would not have expected. To find out more, consult the New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience helping injured workers seek the recovery they deserve.

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

More Blog Posts:

The Many Options that May Exist If You’ve Been Hurt at Work in New York, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 23 de Enero de 2019

Catholic Mass to Honor New York Construction Workers Killed on the Job Reminds All of the Importance of Workplace Safety, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 30 de Mayo de 2018