Showing that a Contractor at Your Construction Site Was an ‘Agent’ and, as a Result, Possibly Liable for Your Accident Damages

In a construction project, there may be multiple different entities involved. These could include the property owner, the general contractor, multiple subcontractors and others. That means that, if you are injured while working at your construction job, there could be several possible people or entities that you could potentially sue to obtain compensation for your injuries. The key is understanding the law and the facts of the case, and using that understanding to identify the correct defendants in your case. For advice and representation on this and other essential decisions in your construction accident case, make certain you have a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney on your side.

In a recent case, a worker named Luis was working on a construction project doing asbestos removal at a high school when he was injured. Luis got hurt when the ladder upon which he was standing moved for no apparent reason, which caused him to fall to the ground.

There were lots of entities involved in the construction project at the school. There was Luis’s employer, which was the subcontractor on the project. A company from Farmingdale was the contractor on the overall project of replacing windows and doors in the school.

When you find yourself in a setting where you are hurt on a construction job and multiple entities are involved in the project, you have several important decisions to make when it comes to pursuing your legal rights. In addition to the property owner and the general contractor, your project may have one or more subcontractors or other entities that had various responsibilities at the site. New York law says that a property owner and general contractor have legal obligations to ensure the safety of all workers at the site when it comes to elevation-related risks, including workers using scaffolds and ladders.

While those entities bear those obligations and cannot delegate them to others, other individuals can also have legal responsibility (and liability to you) if they acted as the agent of the owner or general contractor. The New York courts have decided that an entity or person becomes an agent “when it has supervisory control and authority over the work being done.”

Depending on the facts of your case, the law may allow you to sue multiple entities and/or people. If that happens, you have to decide which ones represent proper people or entities to pursue. Making this choice most effectively often requires the skill of an experienced litigator.

In Luis’s case, his lawsuit proceeded against the window contractor. The Appellate Division concluded that Luis had a valid case against that contractor because its duties meant that it fit within New York law’s definition of an “agent.” The window contractor had the authority “to enforce safety standards and choose the subcontractor who did the asbestos work.” That was enough to make the window contractor an agent and make it a viable defendant for Luis to sue for the damages he suffered in his ladder fall.

If you have been hurt working at your construction job, talk to the skilled New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience helping injured workers by providing them with the effective and thoughtful representation that their cases need.

Contact us at 718-424-2222 to find out how we can help you.

More Blog Posts:

Proof of a Lack of Fall Protection Allows an Injured Demolition Man to Win His New York Construction Injury Case, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 9 de Julio de 2018

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


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