The construction industry is one of the most dangerous ones you can work in. This is particularly the case here in New York, where many of the projects that get underway are on multi-story dwellings or skyscrapers.
There are often so many projects to work on that property owners or construction companies’ leadership cut corners. They do not adequately train workers, they provide them with inadequate safety equipment or otherwise set them up to fail. It’s not uncommon for construction workers to get hurt in the mix.
Which laws having to do with falls exist in New York?
Property owners are responsible for taking steps necessary to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition in most jurisdictions. New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules outline how it’s specifically the responsibility of the entity or individual in control of the property to do this.
There are also laws on the books having to do with injuries construction workers may suffer as a result of objects falling. New York State Labor Law section 240(1) outlines how there is absolute liability if a worker suffers injuries by a hoisted object that falls on them.
What steps should an injured worker take if a fall injures them?
Workers can likely file a workers’ compensation claim depending on their employment status and the nature of their injuries. They may also be eligible to file a third-party claim.
In the case of a slip, trip or fall, there is a statute of limitations. Section 214 of the New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules gives injured individuals up to three years to file a lawsuit in their case. This same statute of limitations applies in most other personal injury or premises liability cases.
As for workers’ compensation claims, it’s best to report those to your employer as soon as they occur. Doing so will get the incident report process underway. Fortunately, you have a right to see a doctor of your choosing following a workplace incident in New York. They must be authorized by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board chairperson.
Navigating whom to report your incident to and whether to answer insurance company or employer questions may seem confusing. Understanding your rights to take leave and eligibility for compensation may also not seem straightforward. You’ll want to ask for guidance if you’re uncertain about anything during the claims process.