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If you’ve been hurt while working at a construction job, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The group of people or entities whom you can properly sue for that compensation may depend on the specific facts of your case. While the law allows you to seek compensation from the owner of the property and the general contractor on the job, the law may also allow you to pursue others if you can prove that the other person or entity legally qualified as an “agent” of the owner or the contractor. Talk to a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney to learn more about your rights and your options.construction accident

An example of this issue of an “agent” was the New York City case of F.S. F.S.’ construction injury unfortunately occurred as far too many do; he fell from a scaffold. F.S. was working on a job at what was to be a mixed-use hotel and condo building. The building was owned by multiple companies. When you are injured at your construction job, especially if it is a larger job, the chances are high that there are numerous entities involved. Giving yourself the best chance of getting a full and fair recovery, then, means identifying all of the entities that are potentially liable to you and including them in your lawsuit. It also means identifying the ones that are not liable under the law and making sure that you don’t include them in your legal action.

At F.S.’ worksite, one firm served as the construction manager, and that company hired a different entity to serve as the safety consultant on the project. The safety consultant was one of the entities that the worker named in his Scaffold Law action. The safety consultant tried to get the court to dismiss it from the case, but it was not successful. The law allows injured construction workers to go after three groups of people under the Labor Law. One is the owners of the site. Another is the general contractor. A third is any entity that is an “agent” of either of the first two.

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rear end accidentRear-end accidents are a somewhat unique type of auto accident case in that the law creates certain legal presumptions about which driver was to blame for a rear-end accident. These presumptions can be very helpful if you are the injured driver of the vehicle that was rear-ended. In some situations, you may be entitled to a judgment holding the other driver liable without even having to undergo a trial on the issue of liability. An experienced New York accident injury attorney can help guide you through the legal processes of obtaining compensation for your rear-end accident damages.

To understand how these cases work, here’s a recent case that offers a real-life illustration. N.H. was a driver injured in a crash in Westchester County. In her case, N.H. testified that she had approached a red traffic signal and stopped. Five seconds later, another driver rear-ended her.

If you are injured because someone crashes into you from behind, that fact is potentially very helpful. New York law says that merely offering proof that you were rear-ended while stopped or stopping “establishes a prima facie case of negligence on the part of the” rear driver.

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hardhatMany people might think that the laws that potentially provide for compensation for construction site injuries only apply to people employed as construction workers. These laws, however, can apply to an array of different individuals. Many of them are construction workers, but not all are. If you have been injured at a construction site, even if you’re not a construction worker, it is worth your while to explore your options. Talk to a knowledgeable New York construction injury attorney to learn more about your potential case.

An example of this was the case of D., who was the owner of property on Long Island that included a single-family home. One June day in 2014, D. was at the property to inspect the work being performed by the construction firm he had retained to do some excavation work on the property (that was necessary prior to adding a room onto the home). D., while walking around the property, slipped and fell, suffering significant injuries.

D. sued the excavation company. His lawsuit alleged that his slip-and-fall was the result of oil that had leaked from a faulty hydraulic line of a backhoe that the excavating company had brought on the property.

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pedestrian with bicycleThere are several different important thresholds in your personal injury case. One of these is when your opponent asks the court to award summary judgment in its favor. If you lose, then your case is over and you receive zero compensation. If you win, then you can continue proceeding with your case, giving you the opportunity to secure a favorable verdict or, alternately, a fair settlement. Clearing this threshold means, in part, understanding what is required for a summary judgment and knowing how to argue persuasively to the court that your opportunity is not entitled to that judgment. For the legal advice and strategies your case needs, make sure you contact a skilled New York injury attorney about your accident.

For an example, there’s the case of M., a bicyclist who was walking alongside her bike on a street that was beneath an overpass. A vehicle driven by J. hit M., running over her foot. M. suffered a broken foot and sued J. for her damages. In his defense, J. argued that the “Sole proximate cause” was M.’s negligence. That, he asserted, meant that he was entitled to summary judgment in his favor and the case against him should be thrown out. The trial judge agreed with J. and issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of the driver, thereby ending the bicyclist’s case.

M. appealed and she won. The ruling from the Appellate Division highlights just how high a hurdle it was that J. was trying to clear. To win, he had to have enough evidence to demonstrate to the court that there was not possible interpretation of the facts that would allow a reasonable jury (or judge in a non-jury trial) to concluded that J. was in any way negligent at all.

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cracked asphaltIf you are injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, there are several potential pitfalls that may ensnare your case on the way to an award of compensation. The property owner may argue that it did not know, and could not reasonably have known, about the hazard. Alternatively, the facts in your case may lead the defense to argue that the hazard that allegedly felled you was too trivial to allow for a judgment of liability and award of compensation. Overcoming these and other arguments requires a careful knowledge of the law and an in-depth understanding regarding the evidence needed in a premises liability case. To make sure you have a strong case, make sure you contact a skilled New York premises liability attorney about your accident.

Two different recent rulings highlight what it takes to overcome an argument about the size of the defect that harmed you. In the first case, Nancy was a customer headed inside a convenience store on Long Island. Nancy allegedly suffered substantial injuries when she tripped and fell on a defect in the store’s parking lot. The store asked the court to throw out the case, arguing that the parking lot defect was “trivial as a matter of law.”

New York law is very clear that property owners are not liable for injuries caused by trivial defects. The law does not, however, have a specific definition of what makes a defect trivial as opposed to non-trivial. The court in Nancy’s case explained that there “is no ‘minimal dimension test’ or per se rule that a defect must be of a certain minimum height or depth.” The law requires courts to look at all of the evidence. In other words, a relatively small defect might be non-trivial and allow for an award of compensation if it had certain other things that would potentially make it comparatively dangerous. This included things like “a jagged edge; a rough, irregular surface; the presence of other defects in the vicinity; poor lighting; or a location—such as a parking lot, premises entrance/exit, or heavily traveled walkway—where pedestrians are naturally distracted from looking down at their feet.”

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tools and suppliesThere are many ways that construction sites can be unsafe. Many times, when one thinks about construction site safety, one might think about safe scaffolding, proper fall protection, appropriate eyewear and head covering, or machinery and equipment that has been properly kept up and maintained. Sometimes, though, a workplace can be made unsafe simply by a failure to pick up debris and small supplies. When that happens, and you are injured as a result, you may have just as strong a case as if you fell from a defective scaffold. To learn more about your ability to recover compensation, talk to a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney right away.

A case from the Bronx provides an example of how this can work. Derek was working at a job that required him to install sheetrock in a stairwell. While working, Derek tripped over an extension cord and fell down the stairs. He suffered substantial injuries and sued.

The injured worker advanced his case using a particular statute, Section 240(1), which is sometimes called the “Scaffold Law.” This law, however, lets injured workers sue in a variety of situations, beyond just circumstances that involve scaffolds. Generally, if you are a worker required to work on an elevated surface that is your only means of access to your work space, and you suffer injuries in a fall, you have the potential to pursue a lawsuit under this statute.

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snow and iceAlthough it may be June, the inevitable fact is that the calendar will eventually turn to December and January, and, with it, New York will again be faced with snowy and icy weather. Along with those things will come dangerous icy sidewalks. When you are injured due to a snowy or icy sidewalk slip-and-fall, the issue of negligence may be straightforward. Someone was responsible for conducting snow and ice removal, someone allegedly did not perform the task properly, and, as a result, you slipped and fell and suffered harm. What may be more challenging, in some situations, is identifying the proper person or entity to sue. For advice and representation in undertaking all of these tasks, reach out to an experienced New York premises liability attorney about your case.

An example of all that goes into putting together a sidewalk slip-and-fall case was the lawsuit filed by Michelle, a Manhattan pedestrian. While walking along a sidewalk, Michelle slipped and fell on black ice near the corner of Second Avenue and 27th Street. The fall caused Michelle to suffer substantial injuries.

Michelle sued, asserting that negligent snow removal led to the formation of the dangerous black ice condition on the sidewalk. In Michelle’s situation, the exact location of her fall (near the corner of two streets) added an extra layer of possible complication. The building next to the sidewalk where Michelle got hurt was one with a mixture of business and residential tenants. The first-floor tenant was a major pharmacy. The pharmacy contended that the building owner was responsible for all snow and ice removal. If the pharmacy was right, the building owner would be the proper party for Michelle to sue. The owner, however, contended that it was only responsible for clearing 27th Street, while the pharmacy had the obligation to keep Second Avenue clear. If the owner was correct, the precise location of Michelle’s accident would be key to determining which entity was liable to her.

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White PlainsThe law of premises liability can apply in a variety of different situations. A premises liability case can arise from a shopper’s trip (or slip) and fall in a store. It can emerge from a tenant’s tripping or falling while on the property owned by the landlord. It can also potentially happen when a worker is injured on the job. Regardless of the origin, if you’ve been hurt while on property owned by someone else due to a hazardous condition on that property, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your case, contact a skilled New York premises liability attorney soon.

A example of the last of the three hypothetical injuries listed above happened to a Westchester County worker in the summer of 2013. Richard was working on a mechanical system at a large shopping mall in downtown White Plains. Richard’s job required him to get on the roof of the mall, which was accomplished via a small set of wooden stairs. As Richard was getting back down those stairs, one of the steps allegedly cracked and forced the worker to jump off the staircase to avoid falling. The result of the jump left Richard with substantial injuries, so he sued the mall owner for his damages.

Although Richard was a worker at the mall site, he pursued his lawsuit under the legal theory of premises liability. This allows various types of people whom the law calls “invitees” to recover compensation for hazards on a landowner’s property. Whether you are a worker at a shopping mall or a personal guest at a private home, you may be entitled to compensation if you were hurt because the property owner failed to keep up the property and allowed a hazardous condition to exist.

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hoistIn New York, in order to obtain compensation in a lawsuit filed under the Scaffold Law, your injury must have been gravity-related. Fortunately for injured workers, New York courts over the years have established a relatively broad definition of gravity-related. An object does not necessarily have to have fallen down or have swung upward in order for an accident to be gravity-related. The Court of Appeals has made it clear that, just because a worker and the object that injured him were on the same level, that does not automatically mean that the accident was not gravity-related. There are many different ways to succeed in a Scaffold Law case. To learn more about your options, talk to a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney.

An example of a viable case that lacked a substantial elevation differential was the injury suffered by a worker named Jeff. Jeff was part of a crew hoisting a 1,000-pound steel beam. Specifically, Jeff was responsible for supervising the crew that was doing the actual hoisting, which was controlled by a mechanical switch. Jeff was reviewing blueprints when a crew member hit the hoist button prematurely, which sent the beam swinging toward Jeff. It hit him and resulted in Jeff suffering a torn biceps tendon.

The injured worker sued to recover compensation for the harm he suffered in the accident. His case asserted that he was entitled to compensation because the defendants violated Section 240(1) of the Labor Law. That statute, sometimes known as the “Scaffold Law,” aims to protect construction workers from harm resulting from elevation-related risks of harm.

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roof workerIf you suffered an accident while working at your construction job, you may have many questions. Can I seek compensation for my harm? If I can, whom should I sue for damages? How long do I have to take action? These are all useful questions, and the answers to them can help choose a legal option that’s right for you. To find out the answers to these and more questions about your case, consult a skilled New York construction injury attorney.

An accident case from Broome County provides an example of a worker’s successful litigation. Daniel was an employee of a masonry subcontractor when he suffered his injuries. He was setting up a scaffold as part of a college dormitory renovation project when a truck tire rim fell from the dorm’s roof and hit Daniel in the head. The roofing subcontractor had placed the rim on the roof, supported by a safety warning barrier that notified rooftop workers they were near the edge of the roof.

The roof was several stories up, and the rim weighed 25-30 pounds, so the impact with Daniel’s head was substantial. Daniel filed a lawsuit alleging that the general contractor and the roofing subcontractor were liable for his injuries. He had two bases for his claim for compensation. One was Section 240(1) of the Labor Law, which allows injured workers to recover damages as a result of a “elevation-related risk” that caused the worker’s injuries. The other was Section 241(6), which allows workers to pursue compensation if a violation of the Industrial Code (which is a set of workplace safety rules established by the State of New York) took place and led to the accident.

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