The New York State Legislature has enacted several laws designed to protect the health and welfare of construction workers by enacting legislation to protect their right to recover compensation for construction site accidents. Some of the most important of these protections are in Sections 220, 240, and 241 of the State’s Labor Laws.
These laws, however, are not self-enforcing. Instead, they form the foundation of an injured construction worker’s opportunity to file a lawsuit for damages beyond what they might recover through a workers’ compensation claim.
To recover those damages, you will need to retain the assistance of an experienced NYC Construction Accident Lawyer. If you have been seriously hurt by negligence at a construction site, we will be pleased to evaluate the merits of your potential claim.
Workers’ compensation gives injured construction workers the right to collect a portion of the wages and reimbursement for their medical costs for on-the-job injuries without proving employer negligence. However, in exchange, the injured worker generally can only recover workers’ comp benefits.
The special New York labor laws create an exception that enables them to file a construction accident lawsuit for specific incidents and injuries. The preferences created by these laws can lead to the recovery of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages that might not otherwise be available.
New York Labor Law Section 200 imposes a statutory duty on construction site owners and general contractors to manage site operations and prioritize construction worker safety. This law also incorporates building code sections and standards for sanitation and health, ingress and egress to the site, and fire and radiation suppression. Furthermore, this law’s protections extend to construction workers and site visitors.
In practice, NYS Labor Law 200 requires the parties in charge of a construction site to consider worker safety ahead of scheduling issues, financing, and other matters that might incentivize managers to cut corners and overlook safety risks.
New York is the only state with a law specifically addressing the safety of scaffolding and construction operations on and around scaffolds. New York Labor Law Section 240 imposes strict standards for the types of scaffolding that must be used at defined elevations. It enables an injured worker or their family to take action if the worker is injured in a fall from a scaffold or is struck by an object dropped from an elevation.
This law further requires contractors to train construction workers in safety standards to be followed when the worker is on or around a scaffold. Additionally, it eliminates certain defenses that a contractor might use to limit or excuse liability for a construction site scaffold accident.
One of the more common causes of a construction site injury is entrapment in an enclosed space or a collapsed excavation site. As a result, the State Legislature enacted New York Labor Law Section 241, which sets standards for planking and support structures that can prevent these injuries. Sub-section 6 specifically imposes negligence liability on construction site owners and contractors whose violation of the statute causes an accident.
Our NYC construction accident lawyers atRheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman routinely rely on NYS Labor Laws 200, 240, and 241 to file lawsuits that enable an injured construction worker to recover a significantly larger damages award than they might get from a workers’ compensation claim. We believe that by holding construction site owners and contractors responsible for violating these laws, construction site safety will improve for workers and visitors.
Please contact us for a free consultation if you have questions about how these and other laws can help you recover full compensation for the losses and injuries you sustained in a construction site accident.