New York Labor Law 240 provides various protections for construction workers and others doing tough physical work within the state. One element of this legislation regards workers who work up in the air or on scaffolds or ladders while building or repairing buildings.
However, despite the apparent simplicity of this language, other elements of the statute and its usual interpretation in New York courts make things a little more complex. First of all, there’s the question of what constitutes “erection or repair of a building” as defined in the legislation. Some types of minor construction work and routine maintenance are not covered, and other questions can also come into play, such as the relative height of operations.
There’s also the issue of who was at fault in an accident. Under the general provisions of Labor Law 240, workers can recover compensation from a third party if that third party was proven to be negligent or did not fulfill its responsibilities in providing workplace safety. Basically, workers are entitled to certain types of personal protection equipment, such as harnesses or other safeguards. The common example given would be a supervisory party that was supposed to provide these items and failed.
In some cases, lawyers will argue about whether a worker was solely responsible for his or her own injury. For example, in not following established safety protocols or not using personal protective equipment available at the site, a worker can be found to be responsible for omissions of safety. However, if there were any negligent conditions, such as excessively worn or damaged protective equipment, or if these were not clearly provided or were not provided at all, this could form the basis for specific kinds of personal injury lawsuits.
In cases where third party responsibility applies, lawyers will consider whether workers’ compensation insurance will pay out or whether the workers’ compensation fund needs to be reimbursed. Insurance companies are often involved in these kinds of cases where legal work can require communicating with several parties to resolve the issue.
Injury victims rely on professional injury lawyers to represent them after an accident. These legal professionals use knowledge of federal, state and local law, as well as case precedent to craft a plaintiff’s case against an employer or other party. They help their clients understand the legal process and a timeline for hearings another court events. They inform clients of their legal options and rights under the law.
Injured at work? New York City construction workers and others with questions about a work injury case can contact the legal offices of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our professional personal injury attorneys, as well as our New York slip and fall attorneys, can help advise injured workers and their families about how to get started with a case and what they can expect in New York courts. Let us keep you informed every step of the way, helping you to understand your legal rights and how to best pursue compensation for a New York work injury.