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Labor Law 240



Table Of Contents

Construction accidents often lead to severe injuries or even death in some tragic cases. If you have been injured at a job site in New York City, it is important to promptly consult a knowledgeable Queens or Bronx construction accident attorney. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we have the knowledge and experience to carefully look into the circumstances of your accident and help you get the compensation that you are entitled to receive under the applicable laws. For example, New York Labor Law Section 240 is one of the main laws that protect the rights of injured workers in the construction industry. It may be a strong basis for a claim, depending on your situation.

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Establishing Liability and Recovering Compensation Under Labor Law Section 240

Section 240, known as the scaffold law, provides special legal protection to certain workers from special hazards related to height when engaged in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning, or pointing of a building or structure. Importantly, this statute covers both workers injured in falls from heights and workers injured by falling objects, such as materials or equipment, which should have been secured. Although it is called the scaffold law, it also covers other types of accidents that do not necessarily involve scaffolds, such as those involving a crane, hoist, lull, forklift, or ladder. For example, Section 240 may cover an accident in which a crane collapses, causing injuries to a worker.

When Section 240(1) applies, it requires property owners and contractors to provide workers with proper fall protection equipment. If the equipment is faulty or fails to work, the property owner or contractor may be entirely liable, irrespective of the worker’s own negligence and any share of fault for causing the accident. If liability is established under this law, the injured worker can receive accident-related compensation that goes above and beyond workers’ compensation benefits. Defendants found liable for a violation of Labor Law Section 240 may be required to pay for a worker’s medical bills, pain and suffering, lost union benefits, lost wages, and other damages, such as the loss of services of a spouse.

In order for Section 240 to apply to a certain situation, the following conditions must be met:

  • The injured victim must be a worker who was exposed to height-related hazards on the job, such as falling or being hit by a falling object;
  • The defendant must be one of the entities covered by Labor Law 240(1);
  • The defendant must have violated Labor Law 240(1); and
  • The violation must be the direct cause of the worker’s injuries.

In New York, as in other states, lawsuits must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. Injured workers typically have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit under Section 240 of the New York Labor Law. If a claim is not filed within that time frame, the injured worker generally will be barred from being able to seek compensation under this provision. Given these procedural rules and their impact on a claim, it is vital to contact an attorney as soon as you can after your accident so that you do not miss your opportunity to take legal action.