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The “Scaffold Law:” New York Labor Law 240

An experienced construction accident attorney who knows your rights

It’s the nature of working construction in New York City: job sites tend to get vertical. Gravity is among the most dangerous potential hazards for construction workers, and general contractors and site managers have a responsibility to protect workers from both falls and falling objects. In the State of New York, the specific law that addresses gravity-related injuries is Labor Law Section 240.

If you were injured in a fall or hurt by falling objects on a construction site, you may have legal recourse under Labor Law 240. An experienced construction accident attorney at Keogh Crispi, P.C. can fight for your legal rights.

What is Labor Law 240?

Labor Law 240 mandates protections for construction workers who are required to work at height. The statute requires construction site owners and general contractors, except owners of one- and two-family homes, to provide the appropriate tools and gear to protect workers from both falls and falling objects.

Some examples of construction accidents covered by Labor Law 240 include:

  • Falls on construction sites: workers at height must be provided with the appropriate safety equipment for the height at which they are working, such as harnesses, and that equipment must be up to code and meet established safety standards.
  • Falling objects: the property owner and general contractor are responsible for making sure all materials are properly secured and safely hoisted, and can be held liable if a worker is injured by a falling object.
  • Dangerous premises at height: floorboards have to be properly secured, railings have to be provided, and stairways and decks must be maintained. The owner and general contractor are responsible for proper maintenance and site checks.
  • Collapses: when a building collapses, workers may fall or be hit by falling objects. The property owner and general contractor must ensure the site is structurally sound to prevent a collapse.

Labor Law 240 establishes absolute, non-delegable liability for property owners and general contractors in these types of accidents. In other words, if your claim falls under Labor Law 240, you can hold the property owner and/or general contractor responsible whether or not they directly supervised or controlled the work – they cannot delegate this responsibility to a subcontractor.

How can an attorney help with a Labor Law 240 claim?

To recover under Labor Law 240, you need to prove that the property owner or general contractor failed to meet the safety requirements laid out in the law. These are factually intensive matters that require significant investigation to demonstrate which elements of the statute were violated. We know how to investigate, identify who was legally responsible for securing the construction site, and demonstrate that a violation of Labor Law 240 caused your injury.

As in any injury claim, we also put in the work to prove the full extent of your damages and advocate for the full amount of monetary compensation you deserve. Falls often cause severe and permanent injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, that can require extensive medical care. You may not be able to work for some time. You may even need to change careers or be permanently disabled due to the injury. The injury may have affected your relationships or your ability to take care of your loved ones. We know how to create a detailed accounting of all those costs and fight for the full compensation you deserve.

We are always prepared to go to trial, and we are successful in settling cases out of court because the insurance companies know to make fair offers when they see that we are ready to take your case before a judge and jury. Throughout the process, we’ll deal with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure you are prepared for every hearing, deposition, and if necessary, trial. We put in the work to build strong cases for our clients and put you in the best position to succeed.

Take immediate action to protect your rights after a fall.

Again, claims under Labor Law 240 can be factually intensive, and that means the clock is ticking. In general, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit for a bodily injury in New York, but to actually win a case, it’s best to involve an attorney as soon as possible. We need to start our investigation before evidence disappears and witnesses forget what they saw. The sooner we can start creating a winning legal strategy, the better.

If you were injured in a gravity-related accident on a construction site anywhere in New York, we want to hear your story and advise you of your legal options. It costs nothing to talk to us, and we work on a contingency fee, meaning you don’t have to pay us a cent unless and until we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced New York construction accident attorney.

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