Who is liable for construction related injuries?

It is no surprise that there are particularly high risks associated with construction work. Construction workers subject themselves to hazardous conditions and potential injuries. What happens when a person is injured on a construction site? Who is responsible?


Employees who suffer injuries on construction sites can file workers’ compensation claims.  However, workers’ compensation benefits may not be enough. Negligence laws exist to allow injured workers to sue third-party contractors and owners if dangerous conditions led to the employee’s injury. If you receive both workers’ compensation benefits and recover through a third-party claim, you will have to reimburse the workers’ compensation carrier out of your third party recovery. 


Negligence laws are not the only deciding factor in terms of construction accident liability. New York has its own labor law that addresses construction work. Labor Law 240 states that construction workers have a safety entitlement. Workers who are performing necessary work at high elevations must be able to trust that safety devices and provisions are readily available. If a third party ignores safety regulations, then the third party is liable. 


In other cases, Labor Law 241 may play a role in a liability decision. Labor Law 241 provides strict liability. This means that if a contractor or third party violates safety codes, then the injured worker does not have to prove fault. The violation is enough.


NOTICE: This information is solely for educational purposes. It is not legal advice.


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