If 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.
Daniel’s case eventually went before the Appellate Division, which issued a ruling largely in his favor. It ruled that he could sue the roofing subcontractor, even though that entity had no authority to control Daniel’s work. The key to an injured worker’s ability to pursue compensation isn’t whether another subcontractor controlled his work; it’s whether that entity had “the authority to control the activity bringing about the injury.” Since the injured worker had proof that the roofing subcontractor controlled the use of the tire rim, Daniel was able to include that company in his lawsuit.
Not only was Daniel entitled to seek compensation, but also he was entitled to summary judgment, which meant that he was entitled to a ruling holding the defendants liable without having to go through a full trial. The trial judge had ruled that a case like Daniel’s required an expert witness’ testimony. The appeals court stated that it did not. When an injured worker is injured in the way that Daniel was, it creates a potential claim of what’s called “absolute liability” within the law. In other words, Daniel only needed to show that the rim fell and hit him. He did not need to show negligence, which might have required an expert to opine about “whether and how the tire rim should have been secured.”
For informative and helpful advice, along with strong and effective advocacy, rely upon the knowledgeable Queens construction injury attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman. Our firm has been helping injured workers for 40 years. To put our knowledge and skill 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:
How a Failure to Repair or Replace Equipment May Help You Succeed in Your New York Construction Injury Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 9, 2018
New York Construction Worker Wins Summary Judgment for Injuries Suffered as a Result of Falling Transformer, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 18, 2017