Anyone who has lived in New York long enough knows that construction is a constant part of daily life. So, too, are construction accidents. Many of these tragic events involve problems with scaffolding, the temporary structures erected outside of buildings to help workers do their jobs. Although the use of scaffolding naturally presents some risk, workers should not be unnecessarily put in danger when doing their jobs.
If you were injured because of a scaffolding accident, you may have to deal with significant medical bills, lost time from work, and perhaps even an end to your construction career. You shouldn’t have to pay for these and other losses if someone else was responsible for your accident. Let the dedicated New York personal injury attorneys of Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. go to work for you today.
The Different Types Of Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffolding accidents can happen in a number of different ways, harming both workers and non-workers who are in the vicinity. These are some of the most common types of scaffolding accidents:
- Falls from the scaffolding
- Slips and falls on the scaffolding
- Objects falling from the scaffolding
- Collapse of the scaffolding
- Failure of the scaffolding poles, planks, and supports
- Scaffolding being set up too close to power lines and other hazards
Workers and other individuals could suffer serious and perhaps irreversible injuries as a result of a scaffolding accident. Some examples include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Tears to the meniscus, ligaments or tendons
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Bone fractures
Why Does A Scaffolding Accident Happen?
Although there’s an inherent risk to working in and being around scaffolding, there are laws designed to ensure these structures are relatively safe. Therefore, when a scaffolding accident happens, it is almost always due to negligence.
Section 240 of the New York Labor Law is known as the Scaffolding or Scaffold Law. This law requires that scaffolding be constructed, placed, and operated properly. The scaffolding must be in safe working condition and placed so as to provide adequate safety and protection to the workers on it.. It must be set up to prevent swaying and must be able to support four times the weight of people using it and equipment placed on it. It should be erected and maintained to provide protection against workers, tools or equipment falling from it.
Other aspects of the New York Labor Law provide general protections to workers. As one example, Section 200 requires that construction sites be “constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.”
Non-workers are also protected by negligence laws that require property owners, construction companies, contractors, and government entities involved with scaffolding work to conduct their operations safely. Because of the high risk of someone being injured by, for example, a falling object, these entities must take reasonable steps to avoid accidents. If a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorist is injured because of something involving the scaffolding, the victim can hold the at-fault party liable.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For A Scaffolding Accident?
Construction workers may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim to help pay for medical bills and some of their wages lost due to the accident. In most cases however, the personal injuries, pain, suffering and disability cast upon the construction worker is far more life changing and detrimental than bills. This is where the Labor Law is of the utmost importance. It provides parties who may be held liable, depending on the circumstances. There are also several parties who may be liable for the damages of non-workers who get injured in scaffolding accidents.
Both sets of victims may be able to hold the following accountable:
- General contractors
- Private property owners
- Land developers
- Equipment manufacturers
- Companies that install, maintain, or repair scaffolding
- Governmental units
How Can An Attorney Help You?
Whether you are a construction worker or someone else who was injured in a scaffolding accident, our first concern is to make sure you get the medical attention you need. Failure to see a doctor could not only be hazardous to your health, but it could also jeopardize your legal claim to compensation. Any delay in seeking treatment gives the responsible party an excuse as to why your injuries worsened. So see your doctor while we handle the legal matters. Our firm is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we make hospital and home visits.
As part of our representation, we will get to work immediately to investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident. This includes site inspections,witness interviews, obtaining photographs and videos, securing reports of police and other agencies that investigated your accident. During litigation, we use discovery methods and other tools to obtain work orders, internal company records and communications, inspection reports, surveillance footage of the accident scene, and much more. We will also identify all parties who may be responsible for your losses and name them as defendants in your case.
Suffering a scaffolding accident is a traumatic experience. Your focus should be on recovering from your injuries, not dealing with the stress of a legal claim. Our firm will handle all communications with the at-fault parties, their lawyers, and the insurance companies. We will aggressively represent your interests and demand fair compensation for your injuries.
We want the responsible party to cover any future losses you may experience, such as continued and permanent injuries, pain, suffering and disability, as well as medical bills, lost earnings, or lost earning capacity. To that end, we call upon expert witnesses who can reasonably project the damages you will incur later. For example, a medical expert witness can explain what medical treatments you may need in the future, as well as your future physical limitations and employability caused by your injuries
Contact Our New York Scaffolding Accident Attorney
Our firm believes that being your advocate is more than just showing up to court and trying to settle a case. We take a proactive approach to representing clients, we return phone calls, and we keep you updated on the status of your claim. Your matter will be handled by a partner of the firm – not a paralegal – and we will fight for you from the start of your lawsuit to its conclusion.
Are you ready to get started on your scaffolding accident case? Contact Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. today.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their scaffolding accident claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.