If you’re someone working on a construction job, the owner of the site and the general contractor on the project owe you certain obligations when it comes to ensuring your safety. If you’ve been injured working on your construction job, it may be a result of improper safety protections provided to you. If that’s the case, you may have a claim for damages under New York law. Even if you made some mistakes on the job that related to your accident, you may still have a claim. The defense in your case may try to pin the blame on you, but, unless your actions were the sole reason for your accident, your claim will survive. Experienced New York construction injury attorneys can help you make your case and defeat a defendant’s efforts to shift the blame to you.
One recent case like that involved a plaintiff, Krste, who was an asbestos removal worker on a construction project. While he was performing his asbestos-removal duties, the worker fell through a skylight. Anchor points for worker harnesses had not been completed, but the worker was not wearing a harness when he fell.
The worker launched a construction injury lawsuit against the building owner, alleging that the owner violated Section 240(1) by not providing him with proper fall protection and that, as a result of this statutory violation, the owner was liable to the worker for the harm he suffered in the fall.
When you, as an injured worker, seek to pursue damages for injuries you’ve suffered in a construction accident, the law says that a building owner and a general contractor have a duty “to provide safety devices necessary to protect workers from risks inherent in elevated work sites.” That duty is something that they are not legally allowed to delegate to others.
In order to defeat an injured worker’s claim, the defense has certain options. One tactic is to focus on the actions that you took leading up to your accident. The purpose of such an approach is to persuade the courts you were really to blame for your fall.
If that happens, it is important to contest such an argument diligently and intelligently. The law says that there are certain situations in which a worker’s conduct may be something that completely absolves a defendant of all liability, but that can only happen if the evidence shows that the worker was the sole cause of the accident. Even if a worker does something completely negligent, he can still recover for his construction accident injuries if there were other factors outside his actions that contributed to the incident.
That was the situation in Krste’s case. There was clear evidence that the plaintiff was not provided with proper fall protection and that the lack of fall protection was a factor in his fall and the injuries he suffered. Even though the plaintiff had not put on a harness, there was undisputed evidence that the anchor points for a harness hadn’t been finished. The failure to complete those anchor points was key to the worker’s case. Regardless of what the worker did, the lack of those anchor points was necessarily a factor in the plaintiff’s fall. With that failure serving as a factor, it was impossible for the worker’s actions to be the sole reason for his fall. The law says that a worker’s comparative negligence cannot be a defense to a construction injury lawsuit like this and does not reduce the owner or general contractor’s liability at all.
Whenever you’re injured in a construction accident, it is a stressful time. One way to help yourself is to retain skilled construction injury counsel to give yourself a strong chance of success in your injury lawsuit. The diligent New York City construction accident attorneys at the law offices of Jacob Oresky have been helping injured workers throughout the New York metro area, including in Westchester County and on Long Island, for many years. Call us to find out how we can help you.
For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call our office at 718-993-9999. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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