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Construction Workers' Accidents and New York Law

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It is well-known that working construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Construction deaths represented approximately one-sixth of all workplace fatalities in 2011. Construction deaths are so frequent that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls the four most frequent causes of death at worksites the Fatal Four. These are falls, electrocutions, objects hitting workers, and workers caught between or in dangerous spaces. The Fatal Four cause more than 50 percent of all construction fatalities.

Workers injured and the families of those killed in New York construction accidents may be able to obtain compensation for their losses, damages and expenses. This is true even if the worker was proven to be partly at fault in the accident. The state uses what is called the pure comparative fault system, which means that injured workers are not prevented from receiving compensation even if they were found to be 99 percent at fault – they can still receive compensation for the one percent from the party found to be liable. New York is one of 13 states using the system of purse comparative fault.

Additionally, if it is found that the owner of the property under construction or the contractor broke any New York Labor Laws or the New York Industrial Code, it usually doesn’t really matter whether the injured party was at fault at all – the owner or contractor can still be found liable.

Although it is possible for workers injured in New York construction accidents to receive compensation, the law is complex. To determine precise eligibility for compensation, injured workers should consult an experienced attorney to learn about the legal options that apply to their specific situations.

Source: Huffington Post, “Construction Accident on Your Property: Legal Options,” Sep. 10, 2013.