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Leandros Vrionedes > Resources > What if a Construction Accident Victim Is Considered Partly at Fault?

What if a Construction Accident Victim Is Considered Partly at Fault?

paramedic transporting a victim of a car accident on a stretcher, ambulance in the background. Medical personel on an car crash scene, transporting a traffic accident victim on a stretcherAlthough construction activity slowed in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has picked back up, and so have construction accidents. The latest data show that construction fatalities have already reached pre-pandemic levels and are climbing year by year. When a construction accident happens, one of the questions that may arise concerns what happens if the victim was partly at fault for their injuries. The answer to this question depends on the type of accident and the legal basis for the accident victim’s claim. The help of a skilled and knowledgeable construction accident attorney is essential to navigating this complex area. Contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., for help from an experienced NYC personal injury lawyer after a construction accident in New York City.

Comparative Negligence in New York Construction Accidents

New York follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which allows for the apportionment of fault among parties involved in an accident. Under this rule, if an accident victim is found to be partially responsible for their injuries, their compensation will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. For example, if an injury victim is awarded $100,000 in damages but is found to be 30% at fault for the accident, their compensation would be reduced to $70,000.

This system ensures that even if an accident victim has contributed to their injuries, they can still receive compensation for the portion of their damages that were caused by another party’s negligence. However, the victim’s contributory negligence does not bar them from recovery; it simply reduces the amount they can receive based on their level of responsibility.

New York Labor Law section 200 imposes a general duty on construction site owners and developers to protect the health and safety of employees. That duty includes providing adequate lighting and operation of machinery and equipment in such a way as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all workers.

Section 200 is known as a general negligence section and goes hand in hand with the common law of negligence adopted in New York. Therefore, even if a property owner were found negligent and at fault under this law, a worker’s own negligence could be used against them to lessen their recovery. Having an attorney on your side who can effectively rebut comparative negligence claims is crucial to a full and successful recovery.

Absolute Liability Under New York’s Scaffold Law

While comparative negligence allows for the apportionment of fault, New York Labor Law 240(1), aka the Scaffold Law, provides an exception when it comes to gravity-related accidents, such as falls from heights or injuries from falling objects. This law imposes absolute liability on owners, contractors, and their agents for failing to provide proper safety equipment and ensure the safety of workers working at heights.

Under the Scaffold Law, if a worker is injured in a gravity-related accident due to a violation of the statute, the property owner or contractor can be held absolutely liable for the worker’s injuries, regardless of the worker’s own negligence. This means that even if the worker was partly at fault, they can still recover full compensation for their injuries.

Navigating the Legal Landscape After a Construction Accident in New York

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident in New York, it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable construction accident lawyer on your side who understands how these legal principles may affect your case. Navigating the complexities of comparative negligence and the intricacies of the Scaffold Law requires the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney.

At Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C., we are well-versed in the nuances of New York construction accident law. Our legal team will thoroughly investigate your case, determine all liable parties, and fight to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 212-889-9362 for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate the legal process with confidence.

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