Construction workers in New York City and throughout the surrounding region perform all sorts of repairs that may put them at risk of harm. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident related to repairs, you may be able to seek compensation for your harm in addition to benefits through the workers’ compensation system. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we are dedicated to providing personalized and compassionate representation to our clients. With over 30 years of experience, the Queens and Bronx construction accident lawyers at our firm understand how to navigate these types of claims.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that installation, maintenance, and repair occupations accounted for 406 deaths nationwide in 2014 and 392 deaths in 2015. While many construction repair jobs are risky, elevator installers and repairers are among the construction workers with the highest injury rate. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, there were a total of 110 deaths involving elevator installation and repairs between 1992 and 2009. However, construction workers are injured in a wide range of other activities on job sites as well, including:
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Workers hurt on the job in accidents related to repairs may first think about workers’ compensation benefits, which are almost always available. While these benefits are helpful, they are just part of the options that workers may be able to explore. The New York Labor Law gives special protections to workers who are injured in construction accidents and related trades performing certain building repairs. When a worker is injured due to violations of New York Labor Law Section 200, 240, or 241, they are entitled to recover damages related to their pain and suffering, medical treatment, lost wages, and other forms of harm.
These laws are designed to hold certain property owners and contractors accountable for any harm that they cause by failing to provide a safe working environment for workers. Section 240 specifically protects people who perform repairs of a building at high elevations, such as on scaffolds, ladders, or other tall structures. These workers are entitled to certain safety measures as well as protective equipment. If an elevation-related repair injury results because safety measures or protective equipment were not provided or were not adequate, the property owner and contractor may be held liable. For example, a construction worker might be making repairs to the windows on the 6th floor of an office building. If their employer has provided them with an old safety harness, which fails when needed, they might fall. In such a situation, they would be able to recover damages for their injuries against responsible third parties (parties other than their employer).
It is important to note that Section 240 of the New York Labor Law imposes absolute liability, which means that an injured worker’s damages cannot be reduced by any careless actions that contributed to the accident. Thus, in the situation above, the construction worker would be able to recover the full scope of damages for his or her injuries even if they contributed to the fall. This is not the case for every law under which a construction accident claim may be brought, and our attorneys can help explain which laws may apply to you.