Sometimes, achieving success in your construction injury case may be very complex. It may involve large amounts and multiple varieties of proof, from eyewitness statements to documentation to expert opinions. Other times, the path to success can be very straightforward and may not involve that much evidence at all. Whether your situation is complex or straightforward, be sure you are prepared to succeed. Be sure you have a skilled New York City construction attorney on your side.
How direct is the path to success sometimes? The case of W.C. is an example. W.C. was a laborer working on the renovation of a Catholic school in Queens. W.C.’s duties required him to stand on a scaffold. While the laborer was doing his job one day, the scaffold’s platform collapsed, leaving W.C. to fall through the scaffold’s frame and all the way to the ground. The fall caused the laborer to suffer significant injuries.
W.C. filed a lawsuit against the parish that owned the school. His lawsuit included multiple claims for compensation under various sections of New York’s Labor Law. One of the sections was Section 240(1), which protects workers engaged in construction activities from elevation-related risks of harm. That includes things like objects falling and striking the worker, and also includes things like a worker falling due to a collapsed scaffold.
Of course, in a civil lawsuit for injury damages, there are different ways to win. One of the most effective and efficient forms of success in a construction injury case like W.C.’s is a favorable ruling on a motion for summary judgment. When that happens, you don’t have to go to trial to prove that the party (or parties) you sued was liable; the court has already decided that. You only have to prove, in your trial, exactly how extensive your damages were and how much compensation you should receive.
The laborer had proof that he was engaged in a type of activity covered by the law and that he was hurt when the scaffold upon which he was standing collapsed for no apparent reason. That was all he needed. When you’re hurt in a fall from a scaffold and your evidence indicates that the scaffold failed for no readily apparent reason, those things by themselves are enough to establish what the law calls a “prima facie showing” that your injury was the result of your scaffold having failed to provide you with proper protection from fall-related harm.
Once you’ve given the court this “prima facie showing,” then the law requires the person or entity you sued (in this case, the property owner) to provide the court with some sort of factual issue that would be appropriate for trial. When the property owner does not provide the court with some sort of proof or, as was the case in W.C.’s lawsuit, the defendant’s proof is inadequate, then your “prima facie showing” is enough to entitle you to a summary judgment in your favor.
The path to success in your construction injury case may be short or longer but regardless, as the old Chinese proverb says, a “journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Be sure one of your first steps after you’ve been hurt at your construction job is to contact the knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates for the legal representation you need. Our team has many years of helping injured construction workers to achieve the outcomes they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.