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Construction accidents and Public Law 240

New York has its fair share of construction workers. On nearly an everyday basis, these men and women work hard to improve our cities and state. Sadly, many of these workers end up injured in workplace accidents. These injuries can sometimes be quite severe, leaving victims with a long road to recovery and the imposition of unexpected medical expenses and lost wages. Although workers' compensation benefits may be available to these individuals, these payments may not be enough to cover the full extent of damages suffered.

Therefore, New York has implemented several laws that impose liability on others when certain workplace accidents occur. Labor law 240, for example, which is often referred to as the scaffold law, allows injured workers to hold contractors, property managers, owners and other parties liable if they fail to supply the appropriate safeguards and ensure that employees are adequately using them.

There are many safety features that may be applicable on a worksite. Scaffolding that is above a certain height, for example, must have a suitable rail that is appropriately attached and rises to a certain height. This scaffolding must also be erected in a way that prevents it from swaying, and it must hold four times the maximum weight that is required for the job. Other safety features that may need to be addressed are ladders, ropes, pulleys, hoists, braces and slings.

A construction accident can turn an individual's life upside down. He or she can not only experience a significant amount of pain and suffering, but he or she may also find themselves on facing difficult financial times. This is why both a workers' compensation claim, as well as a third-party claim, should be considered, if deemed appropriate.

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