Construction workers know of the dangers that they face on the job. They think of them virtually every time they climb an unstable ladder, stretch to reach something they’re working on because there’s a mobile platform or work without a net to catch objects (or themselves) should they tumble and fall.
There are risks that average pedestrians or motorists must face as they pass by a construction site. They, too, can suffer injuries if something falls on them.
No matter your role, you may benefit from learning more about New York’s fall construction laws and how they might protect you if you get hurt.
What New York laws apply to falls?
Generally, property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe at all times. New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules support this perspective when saying that anyone “in control of” the property is responsible for keeping their premises safe.
One fall-specific law on the books is the New York State Labor Law section 240(1). It spells out the absolute liability standard that applies to workers who suffer injuries if something falls on them.
Whether the injured construction worker must pursue a workers’ compensation or third-party claim depends on the nature of their employment and what caused the accident. A third-party claim may be an option, for example, if a product malfunctioned, crashing down on them. Additionally, any bystander may also be eligible to file a personal injury claim if they suffered injuries at no fault of their own.
Why you must know about statutes of limitation
All personal injury claims and lawsuits are subject to certain statutes of limitations. For example, Section 214 of the New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules gives injured parties up to three years to file suit in their case. You generally forfeit your right to sue after this time lapses.
Medical expenses can be costly. The extent of your injuries may not fully make themselves known until later on during your recovery. It’s best to start documenting your incident and the progression of your injuries now in case you have to file a lawsuit in the future.