N.Y. Construction Accident Law Part 4: Run Over By Operating Equipment

08/13/2013 // New York, NY, USA // jcreiterlaw // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)

A construction site is typically a hotbed of activity, with many types of workmen, working for different contractors, and different types of equipment, brought to the site to move products and people to the areas of the site that are under construction. By the sheer volume of workers, equipment and supplies, along with the high volume of noise generated from the activities that are needed to build structures, there exists a high risk of accident to workers and passers-by from being run over by the equipment and machinery.

It is a common type of construction accident in the hustle-bustle atmosphere of an active construction site that a worker is run over by a piece of operating equipment. The sheer weight of the equipment which ranges from trucks, cranes, lifts, fork lifts and concrete trucks, produce injuries that are serious and, many times, fatal.

The types of injuries seen are:

• severe internal injuries

• loss of limbs

• head and neck trauma

• full or partial paralysis

• permanent disfigurement

The safety regulations set forth in the N.Y. Industrial Code Art. 23 cover safety rules that are promulgated to minimize the risk of these types of tragic accidents. It is the degree to which the owners and contractors comply with the safety regulations that determines whether there will be a tragic accident, or a safe and secure worksite for both workers and passers-by.

Personal injury attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, who has an office located in the Empire State Building, and who has handled many construction accident cases, stated the following regarding the Labor Law of the State of New York, passed for the purpose of minimizing the risks of these very tragic accidents: “When a worker is run over by a piece of equipment that is used at construction sites in New York, the equipment is large and heavy, and leads to devastating injuries from which the victim of the accident, is often injured so seriously, that he/she either does not survive, or survives but with permanent disabling injuries which require a lifetime of care and financial help for both the victim and his family that is relying on his support.”

Mr. Reiter went on to explain the difference between this type of accident, and the accidents that result from a fall from a height, as follows: “Labor Law section 240(1) generally does not apply to an accident when someone is run over by a piece of equipment. The victim loses the protection of this strict liability statute. However, there is another very important section of the Labor Law, which is section 241(6), which requires owners and general contractors to comply with the many safety regulations as set forth in Art. 23 of the N.Y. Industrial Code. If the victim, through his construction accident attorney, proves that the safety regulations were not complied with, then the law grants liability against the owner and/or general contractor.”

Despite the constant battles in the New York State Legislature between the protectors of the worker and the proponents of business and profit, it should be the fervent hope of a civilized society that the Labor Laws of New York will continue to protect the workers, and withstand these assaults of the profit-based interests which would dismantle all of these very important protections if permitted to do so.

Source: The Law Firm of Jonathan C Reiter

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