Construction accident law is usually governed by the Labor Law of New York State. This is a very complex area of law. Here is some of the basic information which must be proven for a successful construction personal injury case:
- The work being performed was agreed to by contract. Generally, a written contract which details the work to be performed exists between the owner, general contractor, construction manager and sub-contractor. In addition, these contracts set forth who is responsible for purchasing insurance for injuries which occur on the job site.
- Who is responsible depends on how the accident occurred.The Scaffold Law, Section 240(1) of the New York State Labor Law makes the owners and general contractors responsible for construction accident injuries in certain cases. Section 240 provides:All contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings, who contract for but do not direct or control the work, in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed”.If you were involved in any of the activities set forth above, the owner of the property will be responsible for your construction accident injury. Your actions are not a factor in a 240(1) case. Injuries that occur on floors, stairways, shaftways or by lifting apparatus are covered by Section 241(1-5) of the New York State Labor Law. Your actions are not a factor in a section 241(1-5) violations.
These construction accidents are unique in that the owner and general contractor may be liable to an injured person even though the injured person’s own negligence was a significant or major cause of the accident. The reason for this is that the above-mentioned sections of the labor law make the owner and general contractor absolutely liable for violations of the law. This is done to protect persons working at these hazardous tasks. It should be noted that the Labor Law now requires a “grave injury” to impose absolute liability upon the owner and general contractor. You should consult an FOA personal injury attorney to learn whether a particular injury may constitute a “grave injury.”
If you are a construction accident victim and you believe you may have a construction accident case, submit your free “Do I Have a Case?” evaluation.