Construction work in New York is dangerous work. There are many common ways in which a worker can be injured or killed. Sometimes, however, the danger that injures you at your construction job is particularly unusual or a “freak” accident. Does the fact that a danger was especially unexpected, and an accident was a freak one necessarily mean that you are less able to recover compensation for the harm you suffered? No, it doesn’t. Whether your accident was of a common variety or was a freak injury, you should contact a knowledgeable New York City construction accident attorney right away to get started assessing your legal options and best path forward.
As an example of a recent real-life “freak” accident, there is the tragic accident in Port Jefferson Station that Newsday reported claimed the life of a 22-year-old worker. A.O., the man killed in the accident, was a member of a construction crew that had staged cable guide wire along North Bicycle Path, intended to hoist that wire above the road and into place. Before the crew could hoist the wire, however, a pickup truck driver drove along the street and over the wire. The wire became entangled in the truck’s undercarriage, then became taut as the truck continued moving forward. The wire managed to entangle A.O. and his two co-workers, dragging all three along behind the truck.
According to the report, one man suffered minor injuries, another was reported to be in critical but stable condition immediately after the accident, and 22-year-old A.O. was dead.
Factors other than foreseeability control the outcome in many cases
So, how does your construction injury accident’s unusual or freak nature affect your case? The answer is that it may affect your ability to obtain compensation very little, or maybe even not at all. Take, for example, injury cases pursued under Section 240(1) of New York’s Labor Law. That law says that the general contractor on your job and the owner of the job site have a mandatory duty to provide you with all the proper equipment you need to protect you from injuries caused by falls or by object falling onto or into you.
Under that law, the freakishness or unusual nature of your accident may be completely irrelevant to your case. Say, for example, you were working atop a scaffold several stories off the ground. You were not given a safety harness or, if you were, you were not given a proper place to tie off your harness. A pigeon flies into your face and causes you to fall, and you land all the way on the ground below. Even if the pigeon’s involvement wasn’t foreseeable, you may have winning case anyway, based on the fact that you fell and that fall was due, in part, to the fact that you didn’t receive proper fall protection.
A similar concept is true for cases filed under another statute, Section 241(6). This statute covers accidents caused by violations of New York’s safety regulations. As another example, say you were injured when you tripped on some debris and fell. Regardless of whether the events preceding that fall were mundane or highly unusual, if the debris on the ground below constituted a tripping hazard in violation of the safety regulation that requires that “passageways shall be kept free from accumulations of dirt and debris and from any other obstructions or conditions which could cause tripping,” then you may have a potentially success case under this statute.
You shouldn’t let the oddity or freakish nature of your construction accident dissuade you from pursuing the damages award you need. The skilled New York City construction accident attorneys at Arcia & Associates are here to help you. Our attorneys have an extensive track record of aiding injured workers and their families by getting them the compensation they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 today so that we can get to work for you.