New York Labor Law 200
The State of New York recognizes that construction can be a dangerous line of work, having set labor laws in place to protect construction workers. One is Labor Law Section 200, which provides specific rules for construction safety and spells out who can be held liable when someone is injured on the worksite.
Have you or someone you love been injured in a construction site accident? If so, you must understand what protection the labor laws in NY provide. A personal injury lawyer can review your case and help determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation. This is a worthwhile step, as you may be entitled to recover money for damages in addition to workers’ compensation.
After a workplace accident, a trusted lawyer on your side can protect your legal rights. At Hill & Moin, we truly care about our clients. With our law firm on your side, it’s “like having a lawyer in the family,” as our clients have told us. We offer all potential clients a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (212) 668-6000 to schedule yours today.
How Does New York Labor Law 200 Protect Construction Workers?
Labor Law Section 200, often referred to as “Common Law Negligence,” is one of the foundations of construction safety in the State of New York. This code legally obligates general contractors, company owners, and other parties to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of a construction site. In other words, contractors and construction company owners must provide their employees with a safe place to work.
Section 200 covers various areas of construction, including:
- Property alterations
- Demolition work
Labor Law Section 200 requires that every construction site area be built, arranged, equipped, conducted, and operated in a manner that provides reasonable and adequate protection to the safety, health, and lives of everyone who works on the property or enters for another reason. It also stipulates that adequate lighting and safety guardrails are required to maintain a hazard-free job site.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries Under Labor Law 200?
When you sustain a severe injury as a result of a hazardous work condition in violation of Labor Law 200, you have the right to pursue damages under this code section. Property owners, construction company owners, or contractors could be held liable for injuries if they caused, knew of, or should have known of dangerous working conditions.
In order for a personal injury claim under Section 200 to be successful, your lawyer must be able to prove the following two factors.
Factor 1: Proving “Notice”
The concept of “Notice” is key when using Labor Law 200 as the basis of a construction accident lawsuit. “Actual Notice” is a legal phrase used to describe the moment the owner or contractor became personally aware of the hazardous condition. In legal terms, contractors or owners have “Constructive Notice” if they knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.
Before recovering compensation for an accident under Section 200, it must be proven that the general contractor or owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition but failed to remove it or otherwise make the construction site safe before the accident occurred.
For example, a construction worker may be injured by a faulty piece of machinery. If an employee had previously reported the equipment as defective but the employer failed to remove it or provide notice that it was faulty, then the employer could potentially be held liable for the worker’s injuries under Section 200.
Factor 2: Proving dangerous conditions caused injury
In order for your personal injury claim to be successful under Labor Law 200, you will also need to provide proof that your injuries were directly caused by unsafe work conditions that the owner or contractor had supervision over. In other words, it must be shown that the defendant controlled or directed the work the plaintiff was performing and had the authority to order that any unsafe work practices be stopped.
For example, suppose you were working on some scaffolding that was put together by workers the day before. The scaffolding collapses and you are left with a traumatic brain injury. You may be able to hold the owner and contractor liable under Labor Law 200 if you can prove that that party should have been supervising the installation of the scaffolding and had the authority to stop the job upon recognizing that the working conditions were unsafe.
Do You Have a Negligence Claim Under Labor Law 200?
Unfortunately, many construction accident victims are unaware of New York’s labor laws. They do not know that there are laws in NY that protect every worker – whether you are a union or non-union worker, documented, or undocumented. These laws protect you and enable you to file a claim against liable parties when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Types of construction accidents that may be covered under Section 200 include:
- Falling debris
- Being trapped between objects
- Falls from scaffolding, ladders, or other heights
- Dangerous chemical accidents
- Machinery accidents
- Failure to provide safety equipment
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Construction Site Accident?
It is important to keep in mind that establishing negligence under Labor Law 200 can be a complex and challenging process. To ensure a successful legal claim, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side who is experienced with construction accident claims involving New York’s labor laws.
Consider some of the following benefits of having a construction accident lawyer on your side when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Investigate your case
One of the most essential phases of preparing any construction accident claim is gathering evidence. Your personal injury lawyer will perform a thorough investigation of your accident and collect evidence to support your claim.
Evidence used to support labor law violation claims may include:
- Eyewitness statements from other workers or bystanders who saw what occurred
- Police reports
- Photos or video footage of the construction site
- Medical records
- Reports of prior labor law violations
The gathered evidence can be used to identify the cause of the accident and prove the damages it caused.
Determine the value of your claim
If you were injured on the job in New York, you are entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may also be eligible to recover additional damages. It is recommended to contact a lawyer before accepting a settlement for your injuries.
A personal injury attorney will be able to identify all liable parties and file a claim against them. He or she can determine which damages you qualify to recover as well as the estimated value of your claim.
Negotiate a settlement
The amount of money an accident victim recovers often comes down to how things go during the negotiation process. Fortunately, when you have a construction accident lawyer on your side, you will not have to negotiate on your own. Your legal representative can handle all communications and negotiations with the other parties and their insurance companies.
Take your case to trial
In some situations, a claim involving a labor law violation cannot be settled during the negotiation process. Your personal injury lawyer can then help you file a lawsuit and present your case before a judge or jury.
The thought of going to trial may make some accident victims feel overwhelmed and nervous. However, if you have our law firm on your side, you can be assured that we will be there with you through every step of the legal process. We can answer any questions you have and make sure that you know what to expect through each stage of the trial.
Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer to Learn About Your Legal Options
Labor Law 200 places the responsibility for construction workers’ safety on owners and contractors. The law requires them to inspect each job site and correct any unsafe work conditions before an accident occurs. If they fail to do so and someone is injured as a result, the owner, contractor, or another party could be responsible for damages.
If you were injured in a construction accident, we understand that you may feel overwhelmed – and rightly so. You may be coping with physical pain, the anxiety of being unsure when you will be able to return to work, and the uncertainty of how you can cover your financial expenses.
You can turn to us. The personal injury lawyers at Hill & Moin care about our clients and want to offer support following the accident. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free case consultation, to get answers to any questions you might have. We can also explain your legal rights and options.
Hill & Moin takes all construction accident cases on contingency, which means you do not pay any upfront costs or out-of-pocket fees for our services. We only get paid if and when you win.
Call (212) 668-6000 to schedule your initial free consultation today and to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.