The laws governing construction accidents in New York are unique. In fact, unlike many other states, the laws here are overwhelmingly favorable to the safety of the construction worker – especially when it comes to accidents involving falls. In New York, if a construction worker falls from a ladder or scaffold, the owner of the site, as well as any of the owner’s general contractors, or agents, are 100% responsible for the accident, even if they were not there when it happened, and even if the worker’s own negligence was one of the causes of the fall. There are of course exceptions for 1-2 family home owners, as well as an exception if the fall is only caused by the worker’s own negligence (which is rather difficult to prove). Even as an attorney who represents the injured, I have to admit that on the surface this seems a little one-sided. But let’s take a quick, closer examination of what I believe to be behind this – the “why”.
As a personal injury lawyer, one of the first questions I get from a new client is, “How long is this going to take?” The only honest answer that I, or any other lawyer, can give is, “I don’t know.” And the reason for that is a little complicated, but in this brief writing I will try to simplify it.
Every case is unique. No two accidents are exactly the same, and no two injuries are exactly alike. Some cases have only a small amount of available insurance coverage, and others have way more than needed. Some cases require a lawsuit, or even a trial, while others can be resolved by just sending a claim letter and medical records. Some insurance companies or individual claim representatives like to settle early, but others like to defend to the end. Fair and reasonable compensation for one client may be very different for another. I think you see where I am going with this – the moral of the story is: Just because your cousin’s friend’s case settled in six months, does not mean that your similar case won’t take four years.
As a Personal Injury Attorney I get calls every day from potential clients injured in slip/trip and fall accidents. Many calls come around holiday times (when you have a lot of guests), and/or when there is snow or ice on the ground. To help limit the liability on your property, read these quick and easy tips:
Look Around – You need to actually take the time to walk around inside and outside your home, and look for anything that seems dangerous, or could constitute a “tripping hazard”. Under NY law, even a small defective condition could nevertheless be a tripping hazard that requires repair. Look for loose or broken steps and handrails, broken or cracked walkways, any change in elevation in a walking area (anywhere a toe could get snagged), areas that constantly drip or leak (and could freeze when the sun goes down), and for objects, even toys, which obstruct common paths.