Our New York scaffolding accident lawyers are here to provide the legal support needed for anyone who has suffered an accident of this kind.
Scaffolds are equipment widely used in the construction industry. People use them for cleaning, repairing, and working on buildings. Because they are used regularly, scaffolding accidents are common in New York, and both construction workers and pedestrians can get injured.
Injured workers in a scaffolding accident can claim payment for medical expenses, medication, loss of income, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other benefits resulting from the incident they experienced.
At Gorayeb & Associates, we have over 35 years of experience defending construction workers. If you or someone you know got injured while on a scaffold, please call us at 212-267-9222 for a free consultation.
Scaffold Accidents in Construction
Workers in the construction industry face numerous dangers in their workplace, and being on scaffolds is one of them. This is because injuries from scaffold accidents commonly occur due to:
- Falls from the scaffold
- Being struck by scaffolds
- Getting caught in the scaffold or between scaffolds
You can prevent most scaffold accidents by taking the appropriate safety measures. Nevertheless, accidents occur when individuals act negligently or recklessly.
- Lack of fall protection, fall prevention systems, or inadequate or missing guardrails.
- Scaffolds that cannot bear the load.
- Incomplete platforms.
- Scaffolds without proper safety locks.
- Untrained workers regarding risks and safety procedures.
- Lack of regular inspections.
- Platforms filled with debris.
- Narrow platforms or walkways.
- Lack of counterweights or inadequate counterweight materials.
- Scaffolds covered in snow, ice, or other slippery materials.
What Laws Are Protecting Construction Workers in New York?
New York has laws in place designed to protect individuals working on scaffolds. Known as the Scaffold Law, New York State Labor Law Section 240 contains regulations governing tasks on scaffolds, such as construction, demolition, repair, painting, cleaning, or maintenance of a building or its structure.
This law also outlines safety measures that workers and third parties must follow when on scaffolds, including fall protection from elevated heights, the height of safety railings, the placement of openings, the weight-bearing capacity of scaffolds, and other protections for workers.
To meet the eligibility requirements of Labor Law Section 240, the injured construction worker must have engaged in one of the following activities:
- Building Construction
- Erecting, installing, or repairing scaffolds, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, or other similar equipment
- Alteration or repair
The following activities are examples of work types that are not covered:
- Changing light bulbs
- Salvage operations
- Routine maintenance, such as dusting lamps, etc.
- Installing curtains
If you suffer an injury due to a scaffold accident, it is highly recommended that you seek guidance from an experienced scaffolding accident attorney in New York, such as those at Gorayeb & Associates. Call 212-267-9222 to receive a free and confidential consultation.
Which workers are at risk of having an accident on a scaffold?
Certain construction workers are at a higher risk of experiencing scaffold accidents due to the nature of their tasks. Some of these workers include:
- Window cleaners
- Maintenance workers
These professions often involve working at elevated heights or close to scaffolds, making them more susceptible to scaffold-related accidents if proper safety measures are not followed.
What are the Types of Injuries that Construction Workers may Sustain in a Scaffold Accident?
When a construction worker has an accident on a scaffold, they are likely to suffer serious injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries
- Crush injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Limb dismemberment
- Shoulder and knee tears
Types of Scaffolds Involved in Construction Accidents
There is a wide variety of scaffolding types used in construction, and some of the most common ones include:
- Masonry scaffold
- Carpenters bracket scaffold
- Frame scaffold
- Mobile scaffold
- Cantilever scaffold
- Suspended scaffold
- Tube and coupler scaffold
- Interior scaffold
- Facade scaffold
- Wood scaffold
- Metal scaffold
- Fiberglass scaffold
Recommendations for Scaffold Use in the Workplace
Some of the safety measures recommended by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for the use of scaffolds at construction sites include:
- Safe design: The scaffold should support its weight and approximately four times the maximum intended load.
- Scaffold safety inspection: Regularly inspect guardrails and protective equipment.
- Safety equipment: Employers must provide workers with the appropriate safety equipment (helmets, harnesses, safety lines, independent lifeline anchorage, and a separate vertical lifeline).
- Professional training: Employers should provide comprehensive training to workers on the correct use of scaffolds.
What to Do in an Accident on a Scaffold?
If you were injured in a scaffold accident at your workplace and want to claim compensation for medical expenses and additional benefits, here are some recommended steps:
- Seek medical attention: It is crucial to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible to address injuries and assess your health status.
- Report the accident to your employer within 24 hours: You should notify your employer that you have been injured. Document how the accident occurred.
- Preserve evidence of the accident: Keep any clothing, tools, materials, or other items that could serve as evidence to establish how the accident happened.
- Take photos: Having photographic evidence of the accident is essential for determining liability.
- Avoid making statements to insurance companies or investigators until consulting with a NYC scaffold accident attorney, such as those at Gorayeb & Associates. Call 212-267-9222 to receive a free and confidential consultation.
How Long Does One Have to File a Scaffolding Accident Compensation Claim?
In New York, there is a time limit for filing a compensation claim, known as the statute of limitations, which is three years from the date of the injury. That's why contacting an experienced construction accident attorney is essential immediately after your accident.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction accident, call our scaffolding fall accident lawyers in NYC at Gorayeb & Associates at 212-267-9222 to receive a free consultation.
What Compensation can be Obtained from a Scaffolding Accident?
Compensation for a scaffold accident in New York can include:
- Medical expenses: This covers the cost of medical treatment, including current and future medical bills related to the injury.
- Lost wages: Workers can claim compensation for lost wages, typically calculated as two-thirds of their average weekly salary multiplied by the disability percentage based on the injury.
- Funeral expenses: Workers' compensation may cover funeral and burial costs in the unfortunate event of a fatal scaffold accident.
Workers injured in a scaffold accident in New York also have the option to pursue additional benefits. Labor Law Section 240 allows injured workers to sue for damages resulting from a scaffold or ladder accident damages.
Like other personal injury claims, a worker may recover compensation through a third-party liability claim against a contractor or property owner. In such cases, the worker may seek compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages (if it's a family member, their family may be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, current and future lost wages, and more)
The attorney you choose should be well-versed in New York's Scaffold Law and workers' compensation law. Your financial recovery depends on your attorney's ability to pursue all avenues of fair compensation.
NYC construction injury attorneys from Gorayeb & Associates specialize in advocating for compensation for workers injured in scaffold accidents.
Call 212-267-9222 to receive your free and confidential consultation.
What Persons, Types of Businesses, or Entities May be Liable for a Scaffolding Accident?
Depending on how the scaffold accident occurs, potentially responsible third parties in a construction accident can include:
- Property owners
- General contractors
- Property managers
- Equipment manufacturers
- Government agencies
- Utility companies
These entities or individuals may bear varying degrees of responsibility for the accident, depending on their involvement, negligence, or roles in ensuring safety on the construction site. An experienced attorney can help assess liability and pursue claims against the appropriate parties.
Should I Accept the Settlement Offered by the Insurance Company?
It's important to know that a settlement is a final resolution for your case, and once you sign it, you waive all rights to collect any future compensation and cannot file a lawsuit again. Therefore, it's common for insurance companies to pressure you to sign as soon as possible, which may not be in your best interests. It's crucial that you do not rush and wait to see how your injury is healing and whether there will be any long-term disability. Your attorney should calculate all your expenses to cover your medical needs.
That's why waiting and consulting with your attorney before accepting any settlement is essential.
What Type of Evidence Should You Gather to Help with Your Compensation Case?
Collecting the right evidence to support your claim is crucial in construction accident cases. The use of expert witnesses can be essential in proving your claim. Therefore, it will be necessary to gather evidence about the on-site safety equipment when the accident occurred. This will help determine if there was a lack of proper safety equipment, such as harnesses and fall arrest systems, or failures in safety nets, scaffolds, and other safety devices.
The accident attorneys at Gorayeb & Associates have over 35 years of experience defending construction workers. Call us at 212-267-9222.
Why is It Important to Hire a Scaffolding Accident Lawyer?
An experienced scaffold accident attorney knows what to do in these cases. For example, they understand the importance of gathering crucial evidence to establish liability for the accident. Their job involves investigating what happened, which includes examining the site, speaking with witnesses, and obtaining information from various parties involved.
This way, the attorney will obtain the information necessary to prove the responsibilities for the accident and secure appropriate compensation for the client.
Why Hire Gorayeb & Associates for Your Compensation Case?
Let us work on your case while you focus on your recovery. Call us at 212-267-9222 to receive a free consultation. Our mission is to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The main cause of workers falling from scaffolds is their lack of training to identify, understand, and control risks. Their inexperience on the job leads them not to protect themselves to prevent accidents.
- The law specifies that scaffolds more than 20 feet above the ground must have a safety railing that rises at least 34 inches.
- The railing must be securely attached to the scaffold to prevent it from swinging.
- Safety railings must cover the entire length of the exterior and both ends of the scaffold.
- The scaffold must support four times its maximum weight.
If you are a pedestrian or in a vehicle and an object falls from a scaffold, causing you injury, you may be able to claim compensation. It's advisable to hire an attorney experienced in these types of accidents. They will investigate how the incident occurred, determine the responsible party, and file the compensation claim on your behalf.
The compensation value for injuries in a scaffold accident can only be accurately calculated by an attorney based on the injuries and damages incurred. Therefore, we recommend contacting Gorayeb & Associates. Call 212-267-9222 to receive your free and confidential consultation.
Our New York construction accident lawyers specializing in scaffolding at Gorayeb & Associates work on a contingency basis, so you don't have to pay their fees upfront. They only charge their fees if they win compensation for you. When they win, they collect a previously agreed-upon percentage of your compensation for your case. Additionally, your initial consultation is free and confidential, so you don't pay anything out of pocket.
- Cleaning debris or hazards that could cause accidents.
- Redirecting pedestrians from areas where objects may fall.
- Repairing loose bricks or masonry on a building.
- Providing safe work areas.
- Back braces
- Tubular scaffolds: Made of steel.
- Rolling scaffolds: Used for small construction projects.
- Systematic or modular scaffolds: Made of steel, consisting of horizontal and vertical bars that interlock systematically.
- Bamboo or wooden scaffolds
- Post scaffolds: Used for light construction activities, such as painting.
- Who was responsible for setting up the scaffolding?
- Who designed the scaffolding?
- Did an object fall from the scaffold onto a bystander?
- Were safety inspections performed when the scaffold was set up and before using the scaffold?
- Were you under the influence of alcohol or any substance while on the scaffold?
- Were adequate safety measures implemented?
- Were you provided with personal protective equipment, and did you use the proper equipment while on the scaffold?
- Are you experienced in the use of scaffolding?
Our scaffold accident attorneys in New York are here to help you. In 2006, the New York Supreme Court ruled that undocumented workers could file a compensation claim if they have not provided false documents to their employer.
For more than 35 years, our team of experienced New York scaffolding accident lawyers at Gorayeb & Associates has been dedicated to protecting the rights of construction workers. We understand the unique challenges and risks that workers face on construction sites. If you or a loved one has been involved in a scaffolding accident, you can rely on us to provide the legal guidance and support you need. Contact the best New York attorneys for scaffolding accidents today at 212-267-9222 to discuss your case and seek the compensation you deserve.