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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Five Things to Know About Construction Accidents and New York Labor Law

Five Things to Know About Construction Accidents and New York Labor Law

If you are injured in a construction accident in New York, you should know that you have particular protections under New York Labor Law that workers in other states do not have. Under New York Labor Law, injured construction workers can hold employers accountable for injuries caused by safety violations. The following are five things to know about construction accidents and New York Labor Law.

1. Construction Site Owners can be Liable for Injuries Caused by Safety Violations

Under Section 200, Section 240, and Section 241 of New York Labor Law, construction site owners, general contractors, and other parties employing construction workers can be held accountable for injuries that result from dangerous conditions and safety violations on construction sites. Construction site owners and general contractors need to choose methods and materials that focus on the safety of workers.

2. Section 240 and Section 241 are “Absolute” Liability Statutes

Sections 240 and 241 of New York Labor Law have been described by New York courts as “absolute” liability statutes. Courts generally have used the terms absolute liability and strict liability interchangeably with regard to these statutes, but here is what you need to know: in order to win a case, an injured worker must prove that the statute was violated, and that the violation caused the injury.

3. Construction Worker’s Comparative Fault Will Not Bar Recovery

New York’s comparative fault law does not bar a plaintiff from recovery as long as the plaintiff is not the sole cause of liability. In other words, even if a plaintiff files a claim against a construction site owner and the court says the plaintiff is partially to blame, the plaintiff can still recover damages.

4. You Must File a Claim Within the Time Period Set by the Statute of Limitations

Every type of civil lawsuit has a statute of limitations, which sets a “clock” or time period in which a plaintiff is eligible to file a lawsuit. With most construction accident claims under New York Labor Law, you must file a claim within three years from the date of the accident. If you do not file a claim within this three-year window, you claim can become time-barred under New York law.

5. New York Labor Law Claims do Not Preclude Workers’ Compensation Claims

In most cases across the U.S. where construction workers get hurt as a result of their employer’s negligence, filing a workers’ compensation claim is the sole remedy. In other words, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, and injured construction workers who file workers’ compensation claims do not file separate lawsuits against their employers. However, it is essential to know that this is not the case with construction accident claims under Sections 200, 240, and 241 of New York Labor Law. An injured construction worker can obtain workers’ compensation benefits and file a claim under New York Labor Law.

Contact a New York Construction Accident Attorney for Help

If you or someone you love sustained injuries at a construction site in New York, it is important to reach out to a construction accident lawyer in New York as soon as possible. The advocates at our firm can speak with you today about your rights under New York Labor Law and other applicable laws in New York State. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda to learn more about how we can assist with your construction accident case.


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