New York Scaffold Accident Attorney
Millions Recovered for Scaffolding Accident Victims
Were You Injured in a Scaffolding Accident?
Scaffolding is a common sight in New York City, but their risks cannot be overlooked. Scaffolds can cause devastating accidents that leave workers with life-altering injuries. These accidents usually involve falls from scaffolds, collapsing scaffolds, or being struck by falling objects while working on or near scaffolding.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a scaffold accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This can include benefits obtained through workers’ compensation insurance and / or monetary damages from a civil personal injury lawsuit.
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our award-winning New York City scaffold accident lawyers have recovered over half a billion dollars for victims of construction accidents. We know the laws intended to protect workers who use scaffolding and how to help victims pursue the compensation they deserve.
Request a FREE review of your case. Call or contact us online.
Scaffold Accidents on Construction Sites
Scaffolds are essential equipment for many professions and can be found on work sites ranging from small renovations to skyscrapers and mega projects. OSHA estimates scaffolds are used by over 2.3 million workers, including painters, window washers, carpenters, masons, electricians, and maintenance workers.
Unfortunately, OSHA also estimates that nearly 5,000 workers are injured each year in accidents involving scaffolds. This includes serious and fatal injuries resulting from:
- Falls from heights
- Scaffold or structure collapse
- Machinery and equipment accidents
- Falling objects and hoist accidents
- Unsecured or improperly assembled scaffolding
- Inadequately trained workers / lack of safety equipment
- Defective products
Given the risks posed by scaffolding, adhering to state laws, workplace safety regulations, and best practices for safe worksites is essential to protecting workers. A few important scaffolding safety tips for employers and workers include:
- Prepare for projects in advance to ensure scaffolds can be used safely.
- Properly train workers on safe use of scaffolding.
- Ensure scaffolding is properly secured using appropriate locking or bracing systems.
- Inspect scaffolds to ensure they are in safe working order and have appropriate safeguards including guardrails and toe boards.
- Perform regular maintenance on scaffolding to address excessive wear or potential hazards.
- Provide and use appropriate PPE for work performed on scaffolds.
New York Labor Law & Scaffolding Accidents
New York is the only state in the nation with a law that provides for absolute liability against site owners and contractors for workers injured in gravity-related accidents including falls from scaffolds and ladders, and those involving falling objects. New York Labor Law § 240, also known as the NY Scaffold Law, applies to scaffolds, hoists, ladders, and other safety equipment used for elevation-related work. It is significant because it:
- Requires owners, contractors, and their agents on construction sites to take measures to provide proper protection to workers who work from heights and with gravity-related risks.
- Assigns strict liability for damages arising from scaffold accidents to owners and contractors.
(ADD bullet point) Requires owners and contractors to ensure that scaffolds remain upright and do not collapse, that they have the proper safeguards such as guardrails, and that the workers use appropriate PPE, such as harnesses and lifelines where necessary.
New York’s Scaffold Law also has specific requirements for scaffolds more than 20 feet above the ground including:
- Safety rails at least 34 inches above the floor for scaffolds more than 20 feet above the ground.
- Proper fastening of the scaffolding to prevent it from swaying
Learn more about the history of New York’s Scaffold Law.
In addition to New York’s Scaffold law, employers, property owners, and others on worksites where scaffolding is used are required to comply with many other safety regulations. These include:
- OSHA regulations, including those that apply to work performed from heights, safety equipment, and the proper use of machinery.
- New York Labor Law § 200, requires contractors and owners to provide a safe working environment for workers. Owners and contractors have a general duty to ensure all equipment, machinery, and devices are properly placed, guarded, operated, and lighted safely.
- New York Labor Law § 241(6), which specifically applies to construction, demolition, and excavation. Under Labor Law 241(6), owners and contractors must take reasonable measures to provide appropriate safety equipment for their workers. Under this section, liability is based on violations of specific New York State Industrial Code Regulations.
Liability & Compensation for Scaffold Accidents
To establish liability under Labor Law 240, injured workers must prove two essential elements:
- A violation of Labor Law 240 occurred; and
- The violation was the proximate cause of injury.
In addition to the Scaffold Law, injured workers may also pursue civil claims based on other Labor Law violations, or against negligent defendants who failed to uphold the duty of care they owed to workers or other injured parties.
When successful, civil claims can provide workers with compensation that is otherwise not available solely through workers’ comp, such as pain and suffering and full economic damages like lost earnings and benefits, and spousal loss of consortium.
For example, you may be able to claim the following types of damages:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost earnings and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Additional out of pocket expenses
Pursuing civil lawsuits for a workplace accident does not prevent an injured worker from obtaining benefits through an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, workers’ who receive workers’ compensation benefits and have a personal injury lawsuit arising out of the same accident will be required to partially reimburse the workers’ compensation insurance carrier from the proceeds of their recovery from the lawsuit.
As a firm that handles numerous construction accident claims involving civil lawsuits and workers’ compensation, The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. can help you understand the relationship between workers’ comp and civil claims, and how to pursue the compensation you need after a workplace accident.
Proven Results: Millions Recovered for Scaffold Accident Victims
The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. has recovered numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for injured construction workers – including many workers who suffered injuries in falls from heights involving ladders and scaffolds.
Examples of our scaffold accident case results:
- $11.89 million verdict for a union worker who suffered a career-ending back injury after falling from a suspension scaffold.
- $10 million settlement for a laborer seriously injured in a seven-story fall when ropes supporting his suspension scaffold broke.
- $9.9 million settlement for a union laborer injured after falling from a rolling scaffold.
- $9.8 million verdict for two painters seriously injured in a scaffold collapse.
- $3.6 million settlement for a drywall worker who fell from scaffold.
- $3 million settlement for a laborer injured when he fell from a baker scaffold.
- $2.87 million jury verdict for a mason worker who fell from scaffold.
- $2.7 million verdict for a construction worker who fell from a suspension scaffold.
Retain Experienced Counsel for Your Scaffolding Injury Claim
The Perecman Firm P.L.L.C. is more experienced at handling construction and scaffolding accident lawsuits than the overwhelming majority of firms in New York. Our lawyers have successfully resolved more scaffold accidents in the last few years than most firms handle in their existence - something that makes us uniquely qualified to take on your case.
Our firm represents clients throughout all five boroughs. Tell us more about your New York City scaffolding accident during a FREE consultation.