Many aspects of construction work can be dangerous. Among common duties of a construction worker is work that requires the use of a ladder. Whether it is because the ladder itself is defective, it is improperly secured, or some other reason, ladder-related tasks too often end in injury for the workers involved. If you are hurt while performing work that required the use of a ladder, you should act with all due speed to retain an experienced New York construction accident attorney to help you understand what your legal options are.
Two recent New York City cases serve as examples of how these accidents can occur and how injured workers can succeed in court. The first example is a case from Manhattan. The worker suffered injuries when the ladder upon which he was standing fell out from under him. In his construction injury lawsuit, the worker offered his testimony, which related to how he was on an unsecured ladder when it suddenly slipped from beneath him, causing the fall and the harm.
This testimony by the worker was, by itself, enough to prove what’s called a “prima facie” case of a violation of the law. Prima facie is a phrase from the Latin language meaning “first look.” In the law, it means that the proof offered was enough to support the claim asserted unless the other side can provide evidence to counter the injured worker’s case.
So this worker had enough evidence to place the obligation on the defendant to prove why his accident did not constitute a violation of the law. One of the more common ways that a defendant may try to avoid liability (and paying compensation) is by arguing that the worker was 100% to blame for the accident. This evidence must be strong and non-speculative or else it is insufficient and you, as the injured worker, would still be entitled to a judgment in your favor.
For example, if the defense has evidence that other safety devices were readily available but that the worker simply chose not to use them, that might be persuasive. (In this worker’s case, there was no proof of any such evidence.)
It is also important to note that the defense’s proof has to show that you, as the injured worker, were the sole cause of the accident, not just a cause of the accident. In another recent case, this one from the Bronx, the worker suffered injuries after a makeshift ladder that he was using allegedly slid out from under him. The defense offered evidence indicating that the worker “appeared to have missed” the last step on the ladder. The court in that case nevertheless awarded summary judgment to that worker because, as the opinion explained, the fact that the worker missed a step on the ladder did not refute the worker’s assertion that the ladder slid out from under him.
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) 651-4363 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