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scaffold moonOnce you have been injured in a construction accident and have made the helpful and important decision to pursue your case in court, you’ll likely face a stiff defense by the other side. One way that defendants can avoid liability in construction accident cases is if they persuade the trial judge that you made mistakes and that your errors were the “sole proximate cause” of the injuries you suffered. Countering this type of defense is just one of many areas in which you need knowledgeable New York construction injury attorneys working for you.

An case from the Appellate Division, First Department originating in the Bronx offers an example of how this defense, and overcoming it, can happen. The plaintiff in the case, Franklin, was a construction worker injured by a plank that fell off a scaffold and struck him. In general, when you are a construction worker and you are hurt by a falling object, this may present a viable claim under Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law. That subsection creates potential recovery for injured workers through liability for project owners and general contractors when workers are harmed by gravity-related risks from which the owner or contractor did not provide adequate protection. Clearly, a plank falling off a scaffold and striking a worker would be something within the realm of a “gravity-related risk.”

There are situations, though, in which you can still lose your case and get no compensation in a gravity-related injury case. One of these circumstances is when you, as the worker, did something to cause your own injury. Generally, there are two of these situations. One is the “recalcitrant worker,” which is a scenario in which a worker knowingly refused to use the safety protections that were made available to him. There was no allegation in Franklin’s case that he refused to use proper safety equipment.

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rear-end accidentSummary judgment on the issue of liability can be an important time- and cost-saving tool for injured plaintiffs, allowing them to resolve the issue of liability and proceed to proving damages without having to have a full trial on the liability question. That can be a very helpful technique if you are involved in a rear-end accident. For one woman in Queens, her proof was enough to entitle her to summary judgment in her case in spite of a defense claim criticizing her driving. For advice on how to use summary judgment and other techniques in your auto accident case, talk to an experienced New York car accident attorney.

The case was one that could happen to anyone. Eudenija was driving in Queens when she was involved in an accident. Eudenija was allegedly stopped at the intersection of 157th Street and Northern Boulevard for a full three seconds when a vehicle came up from behind and rear-ended her. The accident caused her to suffer injuries, so Eudenija sued Pedro, the other driver, and Pedro’s employer, a sewer and drain service company.

The plaintiff asked the trial court to award summary judgment in her favor on the issue of the defendants’ liability. In this case, the trial court rejected the summary judgment request, but the Appellate Division reversed, concluding that the plaintiff had enough proof to establish that there was no valid factual dispute over the aspect of liability.

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pedestrian signalIn many varieties of civil litigation, including auto accident cases, discovering, accumulating, and presenting the strongest pieces of evidence in support of your case is vital and an important area where having experienced New York pedestrian accident attorneys helps. One example from earlier this year involved a pedestrian struck by a driver. The plaintiff’s case was bolstered substantially by a DVD containing footage of the intersection in question, including the events of the accident itself.

The pedestrian, Ollie, was walking along the streets of New Rochelle. At one point, she crossed the street, allegedly doing so inside the crosswalk and with the pedestrian traffic signal in her favor. Unfortunately for her, a driver, who allegedly never saw her, made a left turn that brought his vehicle into her path. He struck her, and she died from her injuries.

The administrator of Ollie’s estate, Veveline, sued the driver, alleging that he was negligent and liable for Ollie’s fatal injuries. The plaintiff presented to the trial court proof related to the pedestrian “walk” signal and Ollie’s positioning inside the crosswalk when the driver hit her. Based upon this proof, the plaintiff argued that there could be no legitimate dispute that Ollie had the right of way, that the driver improperly failed to yield the right of way, and that he was liable.

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Bucket TruckIn any type of legal case, including a construction accident action, the difference between success and failure may be carefully interpreting the relevant law and persuasively presenting that argument to the courts. This is why experienced New York injury counsel can be so important in your lawsuit. One recent example of this was the injury action pursued by two bridge painters who were hurt in a truck accident. They won their appeal after convincing the Appellate Division that the boom on their boom truck was sufficiently high to constitute a potential violation of the Industrial Code.

The plaintiffs, Darren and Balthazar, were two men employed on a project to renovate and re-paint a bridge connecting Queens and the Bronx. On the day of their accident, the men were taking down a scaffold and loading it up on a boom truck to be transported to the other side of the bridge.

That’s where things went wrong. Shortly after they began to take off, the truck’s boom hit an overhead road sign and gantry, which caused part of the truck to swing into the air. The sign and gantry fell onto the bridge. The accident threw Darren and Balthazar from the truck and onto the roadway, which caused them to suffer severe injuries.

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car accidentWhen you are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s fault, there may be several steps that are involved in seeking a proper recovery, which is why a knowledgeable New York car accident attorney may be important to your case. If the car that hit and injured you was owned by someone other than the driver operating the vehicle at the time of the accident, your case may present the opportunity to pursue recovery from more than one party. One recent example from Buffalo involved a man struck and injured by the driver of a leased vehicle.

Kenneth was driving in the Buffalo area when he was involved in an accident. After he suffered injuries in the accident, he launched a lawsuit. In any auto accident action, one key step is deciding whom to sue. Obviously, the first name generally involved is the driver who hit you. If the driver was “on the job” when the accident took place, that may present an opportunity to pursue a claim against the driver’s employer, who may be liable through the legal theory known as vicarious liability.

Depending on the facts of your case, there may be others who are potentially liable as well. One situation is if the vehicle is a leased one. In Kenneth’s case, the car that hit him was leased, and he sued, in addition to the other driver, the two entities that owned the leased vehicle.

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traffic lightThe legal technique known as a “motion for summary judgment” can be an important technique for an injured person suing for the recovery of his or her damages in a civil lawsuit. Summary judgment may allow the injured person to avoid the challenges of a full-length trial on liability and focus on proving the extent of damages. A knowledgeable New York car accident attorney can show you how a summary judgment may be able to help your case.

One case in which this arose recently was that of a woman injured in a crash at an intersection in Queens. Cathleen was attempting to make a left turn from the southbound lanes of one road to the eastbound lanes of the intersecting road. She had a green light. She allegedly checked the traffic in all directions and began making her turn. While in the intersection and in the process of completing the turn, Fernando, who was headed eastbound, allegedly ran the red light and hit Cathleen.

Cathleen was injured and sued for the damages she suffered. When you’ve been injured in a crash like this, there are likely multiple objectives you’d like to achieve. You want to obtain a judgment of liability, but you’d also like to receive that declaration of liability as swiftly and efficiently as possible. One way in which that can happen is by successfully making what’s called a motion for summary judgment. When the judge awards you summary judgment, that says that all of the essential facts are undisputed in the case and that, based upon the law of New York, there’s no way your opponent could win. Even if every issue and disputed item was resolved in favor of your opponent, the law would still necessarily declare your opponent liable.

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construction scaffoldYour construction accident case may involve many subtle elements and small details, both factual ones and legal ones. The high importance of very small details in some cases is but one reason among many why experienced New York construction injury attorneys can offer invaluable assistance to you. One recent case showed an example of this, when a worker succeeded in his appeal by persuading the Appellate Division that delays in providing the worker with a properly adjusted scaffold amounted to failing to make proper safety equipment “readily available” to the worker, as required by the law.

The centerpiece of the case was the repair and maintenance of a scaffold used by a construction worker named David. David was employed by a company subcontracted to complete work on a project in upstate New York. On the day of his accident, he was assigned a task that required the use of a scaffold. The scaffold provided to David, however, had several problems. It was missing planks, and it was too low to allow him to perform his tasks. Since another subcontractor owned the scaffold, and only employees of that company could adjust or modify the scaffold, David was at an impasse with his work.

Several hours later, David was informed that the scaffold was ready. When he returned to the scaffold, though, it was still too short. Allegedly, two supervisors told David to wait for another adjustment, but a third supervisor firmly told the worker to do whatever he needed to do to get the work done. David climbed the scaffold, but, while doing his task, he stepped on a midrail and began to fall.

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gutterIf you are injured on the property of another party, whether it’s a trip-and-fall or a slip-and-fall accident, there may be multiple different ways to show that the property owners had “notice” of the hazard, which means that they knew or should have known about the problem. Proving this requires the element of notice (whether you’re demonstrating constructive notice or actual notice) and is about having the right amount and right kind of evidence to persuade the court that the owners are liable. Knowledgeable New York premises liability attorneys can help show you how and assist in making your case to the courts.

One case involving this concept of constructive notice was the matter of Dolores, a woman who was walking in the yard of a property owned by homeowners James and Lynda. At some point, she encountered a hole or ditch in the yard that was covered by grass. Dolores stepped in the hole, fell, and sustained injuries. Dolores sued for her injuries, asserting a premises liability case against the homeowners. Dolores’ lawsuit set out the parameters required for a premises liability case. Specifically, her case contended that the homeowners allowed water to run off from a gutter on the back of the house through the yard and toward a creek behind the property. Allowing this runoff, over time, created a ditch in the yard, and that ditch became a tripping hazard.

In a trip and fall case like this, there are certain ways that a defendant can win the case without ever even having to go to trial. In order to do that, however, the law puts the burden on the defendant to prove certain things, such as that the defendant didn’t create the problem and didn’t have actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition on the property.

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Brooklyn BrownstoneIn slip and fall cases, there can be a wide array of conditions that allow you to recover compensation for the harm you suffered in your fall. Even if the possessor of the property properly maintained the property, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily free from liability. With the help and advocacy of skilled New York premises liability attorneys, you can still win your case. In a recent example, a woman was allowed to proceed to trial in her premises liability case because she had evidence that the step she missed was something that was easily overlooked.

This case involved an innocent mistake, an unfortunate accident, and the injuries that resulted from that accident. Carmen went to Brooklyn to visit her niece, who lived at 333 Union Street. Carmen accidentally went to the door at 335 Union. Carmen hit the buzzer, but no one answered. She called her niece, and the niece came outside to meet Carmen. Carmen turned to leave the 335 Union property and, in the process, missed the step that went from the platform to the sidewalk. She fell and suffered injuries as a result.

Carmen sued for her injuries. The building owner asked the trial court to issue a summary judgment in its favor and end the plaintiff’s case. The defendant argued that its property complied with all relevant statutes, regulations, and codes. The defendant also asserted that the area was maintained in good and safe condition and that the plaintiff did not fall as a result of any flaw, defect, or hazard. The step was open and obvious and was not inherently dangerous, it argued.

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construction workerIn your construction injury case, it is important to work with knowledgeable New York construction accident attorneys. In certain types of cases, such as injuries occurring while working on a single- or dual-family home, it may be more difficult to recover compensation. Your skilled counsel may, however, be able to assist you and allow you to recover even if you were hurt while working on a single- or dual-family home, since the law does not bar recovery in all of these types of circumstances. The case of one New York City construction worker demonstrates how.

The plaintiff, Jan, was a construction worker working on a job in Kings County. Specifically, Jan was working on the demolition of a home owned by the defendant, Phillip. According to the worker, the homeowner had instructed the worker not to throw debris out a window, but instead to throw it out a balcony that had no railing. That balcony stood 14 feet off the ground. According to the worker, his clothes became entangled with a protruding doorstop, and this caused the worker’s balance to shift. In the end, not only did the door go off the balcony and onto the ground 14 feet below, but also so did the worker.

The injured worker sued for violations of several sections of New York’s Labor Law, including 240(1) and 241(6). The homeowner moved for summary judgment. The basis for the homeowner’s request to throw out the case was an exception carved into Sections 240 and 241 making homeowners not liable if their properties were single- or dual-family residences and if the homeowner did not direct or control the work being done on the home.

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