Hazards abound on construction sites, and several state laws give workers and passersby the right to seek legal relief for the injuries they suffer in construction accidents.

So, if you are a construction site injury victim, when and how can you request legal remedies for your losses? We review the answer to that question below.

And when you are ready to initiate your claim, Ferrante & Koenig are the award-winning attorneys who can maximize your recovery. 

Injuries Caused by Violations of New York’s Labor Law

State law requires contractors and property owners to take multiple precautions to protect construction workers and other individuals from harm. Under the New York Labor Law, the following types of victims can hold those who direct or oversee building projects liable for the following violations:

  • Scaffolding violations – under Section 240, individuals can take legal action against contractors or property owners who fail to erect or furnish safe scaffolding and related equipment.   
  • Flooring violations – under Section 241, individuals on construction sites can take legal action against contractors or property owners who fail to install flooring in the proper order or with the proper protections.
  • Protective barrier violations – under Section 241, individuals on construction sites can take action against contractors or property owners who fail to properly enclose or fence off lifts and other dangerous conditions. 
  • Asbestos violations –  under Section 241, individuals can take legal action against property owners that fail to perform asbestos testing or remediation before performing demolition work. 
  • Elevator shaftway, hatchway, and stairwell violations – under Section 241-A, construction workers in elevator shaftways, hatchways, or stairwells can take legal action if there aren’t proper protections present across openings above and below them;
  • Glass door marking violations – under Section 241-B, individuals can take legal action if transparent glass doors that they use in public and commercial buildings are not properly marked to warn them of the doors’ presence; and 
  • General safety violations – under Section 241, construction workers, site visitors, and passersby can take legal action against contractors or property owners that fail to take appropriate measures to protect them from hazards. 

Seeking relief under these laws can be challenging, so you should hire an attorney well-versed in construction site injury law. Anthony A. Ferrante has represented construction injury victims for years, and he can help you. 

Injuries Caused by Negligence 

In many cases, you also have the option to sue a contractor or property owner for its negligent management of a construction site. To prove that you have a right to damages in a construction site negligence case, you need to prove the following: 

  • A party responsible for the construction site owed you a duty of care, 
  • The responsible party breached the duty of care it owed you, 
  • The responsible party’s breach was the cause of an injury you suffered, and 
  • You incurred losses because of your injury. 

A responsible party’s breach of care can occur in many ways. The breach could be a failure to warn about a dangerous condition, a failure to shield others from dangers, or a failure to provide protection against hazards. 

In many cases, the compensation and legal relief you can recoup under a negligence case are available only to those who are not employees working on the construction site (more on that below). A knowledgeable attorney can determine whether initiating a negligence case is the best choice for you. 

Related: Steps to Take After Being Injured on a Job Site in New York

Workplace Injuries on Construction Sites

If you are an employee who works on a construction site, you generally cannot sue your employer for injuries that arise out of and in the course of your work. However, you can obtain wage replacement and employer-funded medical care through New York’s workers’ compensation system. 

What Does a Workers’ Compensation Claimant Have to Prove?

While there are fewer remedies you can recover in a workers’ compensation case versus a negligence case, workers’ compensation law does not require you to prove employer fault before you can recover. Even if you were at fault for your construction site work injury, you could still receive compensation and treatment. In general, all you have to prove is that you were an employee and you were injured while you were performing work duties at work. 

Do I Need an Attorney?

The threshold for establishing your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits is easier to clear, but navigating the system in a way that ensures you receive what you deserve is challenging. This is why having an experienced attorney to represent you in your workers’ compensation case is crucial. 

A workers’ compensation attorney can help make sure the following occurs: 

  • You receive wage replacement benefits based on the maximum wage rate applicable in your case; 
  • You receive the maximum amount of care possible from the best providers;
  • Your employer properly calculates the benefits you are due based on the amount of time you have missed from work and the level of your permanent impairment; and 
  • Your employer is barred from falsely claiming you were an independent contractor in an effort to deny you benefits. 

Only full-blown construction employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. And determining whether you are an employee or an independent contractor in the construction industry can be difficult. However, a skilled attorney and the presumptions under New York’s Construction Industry Fair Play Act can help you more easily obtain workers’ compensation benefits. 

Ferrante & Koenig Can Help Protect You

Whether you are a construction worker or someone passing through a construction site, you deserve to be protected from harm. And if responsible parties fail to shield you from injury, you deserve a good advocate.

We are top-rated construction site injury attorneys who can effectively champion your right to compensation and legal relief after an injury. In fact, we’ve won millions on behalf of injury victims. Whenever you need help, you can call us at 646-450-4110 or contact our office online

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