Construction Accidents

Using Proof of OSHA Violations to Strengthen Your New York Construction Accident Case

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    Successfully pursuing a construction injury case can involve multiple steps along the way. Your case may involve obtaining various pieces of evidence that may help in multiple aspects of a case, somewhat like the interlocking pieces of a puzzle. To make sure that you get what you deserve for your construction injury, you need to retain an experienced New York construction accident attorney who can help you identify what the law requires in order to achieve success and guide you through getting the proof you need.

    A case that originated in western New York offers an illustration of a worker who achieved a successful outcome in his construction accident case. David and Patrick were working on the construction of a masonry elevator shaft. Sadly for the men, their scaffold collapsed, and they fell 40 feet down the shaft.

    David was injured and filed a lawsuit. He sued under something commonly known as the “Scaffold Law.” That law says that you, as a worker, are entitled to proper safety protection from “gravity-related” risks. That includes both things falling on you and you falling.

    David won his case for several reasons that are worth knowing. For one thing, the fact that David was an independent contractor did not change David’s entitlement to a recovery. The law says that you are entitled to a safe working environment. This entitlement is true whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. Thus, you can sue and recover damages under the Scaffold Law even if you are an independent contractor because the duty to provide a safe working environment extends to protect both employees and independent contractors.

    Secondly, evidence of OSHA violations can go a long way toward demonstrating that you did not receive the sort of safe working environment that the law demands and that you are entitled to damages. In David’s case, the scaffold he was using had been moved shortly before the accident. After the move, the scaffold’s base plates (or an appropriate alternative to base plates) were not re-installed. Because of this, OSHA issued two citations. In those citations, the violations included the absence of the base plates and the absence of a “personal fall arrest system or guardrail system.”

    Finally, in many cases, the contractor or site owner may try to argue that you, as the injured worker, were actually 100% to blame for the accident, which would make them not liable. It will be important, at this point, that you’re prepared to defeat that argument. In David’s case, he had proof that the masonry subcontractor on the project had a contractual obligation to handle “the ‘enforcement of OSHA safety regulations.'” The issuance of the two OSHA violations was clear proof that the masonry subcontractor had not lived up to its contractual obligations. That, in turn, served as the proof that David needed in establishing that he could not be the sole cause of the accident. With that proof, David was entitled to a judgment in his favor.

    Whenever you are injured in a construction accident, you need to make sure that you are prepared to prevail. Your case deserves the professional skill and diligence of an experienced injury attorney. The New York City scaffolding 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. Our team prides itself on providing our clients with quality representation and personalized attention.

    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.

    More Blog Posts:

    Construction Workers Die on the Same Day in Separate Workplace Accidents in Manhattan

    Scaffolding Accidents, What You Need to Know

    How New York’s ‘Scaffold Law’ Can Help You Win Your Construction Accident Case, Even if You Were on the Ground

    Photo Credit: Wolk9, [CC0 License], via Pixabay

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