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‘Flexible’ Definition of a Construction Site Allows a New York Worker to Pursue His Construction Injury Case

table sawWorking in the construction industry can be dangerous. If you are injured while you’re working at your construction job, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to achieve that successful result, though, you’ll need to prove that the place where you were hurt was part of the construction site. In some situations, New York may provide for a flexible definition of what constitutes a construction site. Obtaining a favorable result, then, may depend on whether or not you can persuade the court that the place where you got hurt qualified as a construction site. Clearing these and other hurdles can often be more achievable if you have the knowledge of an experienced New York construction accident attorney on your side.

An example of this “construction site” issue was an injury case involving Jan, a construction worker at a building on Broadway in Manhattan. While cutting a piece of plywood to be used as part of the renovation of an executive bathroom, Jan’s thumb came into contact with an unguarded table saw. Jan suffered a substantial injury to his thumb.

Jan sued both the building owner and the tenant whose bathroom he was working on renovating. When you’re injured in a manner like Jan, you may have various options available to you in order to recover the compensation you deserve. One avenue, which is the one that Jan pursued, is a law that requires building owners and general contractors to “provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to” construction workers at the site.

That law, however, requires that the injury take place at an actual construction site. This rule was the basis for the defense’s request for a summary judgment in its favor that, if granted, would have ended Jan’s case. The tenant whose space was being renovated was housed on the building’s 41st and 42nd floors. Jan was working on the 16th floor when he injured his thumb. As an injured construction worker, if you can prove that the location of your injury was a temporary staging area that was connected to the construction project, you can still pursue your case, even though your injury did not occur at the site of the actual project.

While the trial court ruled against Jan, the Appellate Division reversed that decision and allowed the worker to continue to pursue his case. The court explained that the range of places that can qualify as a construction area is a flexible one, “defined not only by the place but by the circumstances of the work to be done.” The statute that Jan used as the basis of his lawsuit covered “areas where materials or equipment are being readied for use,” in addition to the spaces where those materials and equipment were actually used.

In Jan’s case, he had enough evidence to raise a viable argument that he was injured in a place where materials were “being readied for use,” which would mean that it was a valid space covered by the law and the statutory safeguard of “reasonable and adequate protection and safety” for workers.

If you’ve been hurt as a construction worker, make sure you have everything you need to get the compensation to which you are entitled. The skilled Queens saw accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman have been helping construction workers hurt on the job for many years. To put our skill and experience to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Taking Legal Action When Your New York Construction Work Site Was Unsafe, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 5, 2018

Appellate Division Revives Bridge Painters’ New York Construction Injury Case Arising from Boom Truck Accident, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Oct. 5, 2017

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