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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

When Does New York Labor Law Allow Me to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?

Construction accidents in New York are preventable, yet they continue to occur because of negligence on worksites and the failure of construction site owners, employers, and general contractors to take necessary precautions to protect workers. In April 2021 alone, the most recent month for which NYC Buildings provides data, there were 34 separate incident reports concerning construction-related accidents. Construction workers should never have to worry about sustaining serious injuries on the job because the worksite is not safe. However, such injuries do happen.

Many injured construction workers and their families know that they can be eligible to seek compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Yet construction workers can also be eligible to sue their employers for negligence in a wide variety of construction-related injuries under New York Labor Law. You may be wondering when New York Labor Law allows injured construction workers to file lawsuits in order to seek compensation. The following information clarifies how the law works and when injured workers might be eligible for filing a claim.

General Negligence on Construction Sites

Section 200 of New York Labor Law is a general law that applies broadly to negligence on most construction sites. The law specifically states that it requires all construction sites to “be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” The law further clarifies that “all machinery, equipment, and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.”

Accordingly, under this law, construction workers may be eligible to file a lawsuit for most construction site injuries that result from negligence or the failure “to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health, and safety” of the construction workers.

Scaffolding Negligence and Falls From Heights

If you sustained injuries while working on a construction site that resulted from a fall from heights due to negligent surrounding scaffolding or similar equipment, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit under Section 240 of New York Labor Law. This section is commonly known as the “scaffolding law,” and it allows injured construction workers to sue when a fall from heights resulted from an employer’s negligence.

Demolition and Excavation Work Injuries

When a construction worker suffers a serious injury while working on demolition or excavation at a construction site, that injured worker may be able to file a lawsuit under Section 241 of New York Labor Law. This specific law provides construction workers with protections concerning demolition, excavation, and safety equipment.

Contact Our New York Construction Accident Attorneys

Construction accidents happen much more often than they should in New York, and the negligence of an employer or general contractor is frequently to blame. Whether an employer makes an honest mistake and forgets to provide proper training equipment or avoids certain safety protocols as a cost-saving measure, New York Labor Law may allow construction workers who suffer injuries as a result of that negligence to file lawsuits. Our experienced New York construction accident lawyers can provide you with more information. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC to learn more about how we can help.


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