Determining Liability In Construction Accidents
When It Comes To The Equipment, Who Is Going To Be Potentially Liable? Are There More Product Liability Cases Or Is It Workers Compensation?
Our Westchester work place injury lawyers know that anyone injured on a worksite is entitled to workers compensation benefits. In addition, if the equipment was defectively manufactured or designed, then there may be a products liability case, but that is only if the equipment itself was recently purchased. More often the general contractor and landowners are responsible because where an unsafe condition is caused by wear and tear on the equipment if it is usually older equipment. The labor laws, require the construction site owner and the general contractor make sure that all the equipment is safe, that safe practices are followed and that is where the responsibility or liability lies. If there is a failure of the general contractor or a worksite owner to provide for the proper equipment and make sure that workers are using the proper equipment, or provide for the proper protection of workers, they are ultimately responsible for the injuries or fatalities that result. So, Westchester’s injured construction workers do not have to prove all the elements of a product’s liability case because that only applies to dangerous conditions at the time of sale of a product, where a piece of equipment is in an unsafe condition, that is usually a violation of New York’s labor laws and our White Plains construction accident lawyers have decades of experience in fighting these cases.
However, our White Plains attorneys have brought product liability cases for construction accidents, where materials are delivered to the site in an unsafe condition or which are not suitable for their intended use. These have often involved structural failures of building components, such as beams which fracture or pump jacks poles that fail because of knotted wood or wood that is below grade. In order for there to be liability of a warehouse or a material supply center, they would have to have some specific knowledge of a particular grade that was being ordered and the wood delivered or material delivered would have to be below grade.
On the construction site, if something is improperly used, then it ultimately is the responsibility of the general contractor, land owner, a construction manager or safety site inspector if they have one. That is who can be held liable directly for a labor law violation, and that is in addition to any workers compensation benefits.
Is Anyone Held Responsible In Case If A Trench Or A Building Collapses?
Our White Plains construction accident lawyers know that trenches do not collapse and buildings do not collapse unless there is some negligence somewhere. Often with a new construction, which is more structural components collapsing, our Westchester construction accident attorneys have seen cases where something, such as a beam or support is not properly positioned. It could be part of the ceiling a load support which is not properly constructed or shifts or fractures because it is overloaded. If the engineers did not properly assess the amount of support that was necessary to support an existing structural component, then there is definitely negligence or liability on behalf of the site owners.
In case of trenches, they are required to be shored and braced. If the trench or excavation is not adequately shoed and braced then they collapse or cave in, and the general contractor and land owner are responsible for any injuries or deaths that result. For example, in any trench or excavation, the regulations require either shores, struts or braces that are of adequate size to provide stiffness and are adequately braced to withstand any loads imposed on the sides of the trenches which are supposed to keep it from collapsing. Our Westchester construction accident attorneys have extensive experience with construction accidents and proudly represent injured construction workers from White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Ossining, Port Chester, Valhalla, Spring Valley, Harrison, Clarkstown, Rye, Mount Vernon, Peekskill and Pelham.
Find out how Liability Is Determined in Construction Accidents or call the Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (914) 574-8330 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.