Scaffold Accident Lawyers - Construction Accident & Injury Attorneys
Every day in New York City, those who work in the construction industry face an incredible risk of injury on the job site. Because of the size of many of our buildings and the constraints of the area they are constructed, much of this work is done at dangerous heights, often demanding an array of scaffolding. If these scaffolds are not secured, well maintained, or properly constructed, workers can fall from great heights, leading to severe injuries and devastating fatalities.
If you have been injured in a scaffold accident in New York City, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries under New York’s scaffold laws. But scaffold accident and construction accident injury claims can be complicated to navigate. You deserve an experienced construction accident lawyer in your corner. At KL Sanchez Law Office, our experienced New York City scaffolding accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve after a serious scaffold accident in New York.
To schedule a consultation, call us today at (646) 701-7990.
What Our Clients Say
ABOGADOS QUE HABLAN ESPAÑOL! Llámanos ahora (646) 701-7990
What Are Your Rights if You Have Suffered An Injury in a NY Scaffolding Accident?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 60 percent of all workplace accidents are caused by falls, 25 percent of which are preventable scaffold accidents.
While workers’ compensation can limit those who have suffered injuries on a job site from filing a lawsuit against an employer, New York labor laws require that construction workers are properly protected from injury on a job due to a lack of scaffold safety. The failure of a contractor or property owner to abide by these laws allows an injured worker to hold the at-fault party responsible. These responsible parties can include:
- The property owner
- The contractor
- Other workers on the site
- Equipment manufacturers
- Equipment rental companies
When people in control of job sites do not comply with state laws, workers have the right to sue them for compensation for their injuries. With the assistance of the skilled scaffold accident attorneys at KL Sanchez Law Office, you can have peace of mind knowing that a skilled lawyer is in your corner to ensure that your rights are being protected.
If you need legal assistance regarding a construction accident, worker compensation, workplace malpractice, or any other personal injury, you may contact us any time of the day at (646) 701-7990.
What is the New York Scaffold Law?
Scaffolding is often required in the building, repairing, maintaining, or demolishing of buildings. In New York, we have specific laws that ensure workers’ rights on construction sites. These laws require that all scaffolding and other materials be safe, in good working order, and appropriate for the specific job at hand. Often called “the scaffold law,” New York Labor Law § 240 protects those who are injured on job sites due to safety issues. This law states that:
All contractors, owners, and agents in the construction, maintenance, or repair of a building must furnish safe equipment for the necessary performance of the job. This includes providing safe scaffolding, ladders, hoists, ropes, braces, and other devices required for the safety and protection of the worker.
Any outdoor scaffold over twenty feet in height is required to have a suitable safety rail at least thirty-four inches in height that extends around the outside of the structure. A scaffold must be secured or fastened to prevent swaying away from the building or structure.
Scaffolding must bear four times the maximum weight of materials that will be placed on it.
New York’s scaffolding law makes contractors and property owners accountable for the safety of those who work on their projects. If the scaffolding or other equipment used on a job site is unsafe or lacking, an employer or building owner may be held financially responsible for any injuries or fatalities that occur as a result.
If you've been in an accident call us right away (646) 701-7990
What is Considered Scaffolding By OSHA?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines scaffolding as a type of temporary elevated platform used for work. OSHA refers to three types of scaffolding:
- Scaffolds that are supported by load-bearing members such as frames, legs, poles, outriggers, and other types of bracing
- Scaffolds that are suspended by ropes or other overhead bindings.
- Some types of equipment lift workers up in order to do elevated work.
- All these types of scaffolds are used on various job sites in and around New York City.
Many construction workers in New York put their safety and lives on the line each day, particularly those working at heights. Falls are the top danger from scaffolding accidents and the leading cause of death in construction accidents in New York. When scaffolding frames are poorly constructed, not properly maintained, or cannot support the intended load, workers are at risk for serious falls, physical trauma, and fatalities.
If you have been injured in a scaffold accident on a job site, you should get the guidance of an experienced NYC scaffold accident lawyer.
At KL Sanchez Law Office, we can help. Call us now at (646) 701-7990.
Common Causes of Scaffold Accidents in New York
Falling from a scaffold is one of the most common accidents on construction sites in New York. These can be due to many things, including:
- Improper construction of the scaffolding itself
- Slips or trips on scaffolding; including slips and fall
- Improper materials or dimensions
- Loose guardrails
- Lack of toe boards
- Loose scaffold footing
- Defective safety apparatus
- Lack of safety apparatus
- Insufficient personal supporting devices
- Inadequate fall protection
- Overloading or exceeding capacity
- Lack of proper scaffolding inspection
- Objects that fall from scaffolding
- Scaffolding collapse
- Lack of supervision and maintenance
Unfortunately, some large construction companies put profit over safety and overlook proper safety criteria or maintenance of machinery and tools. This is in violation of OSHA standards and can lead to serious accidents and fatalities.
If you have been injured in a scaffold accident, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable under New York’s scaffolding law. If you are a family member of a loved one who has been killed in a construction accident, you may be entitled to a wrongful death claim.
At KL Sanchez Law Office, our team of experienced New York scaffold accident attorneys understand the law and can represent your rights to compensation.
We are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 646-701-7990
Common Injuries Caused By Scaffolding Accidents in New York City Construction Sites
When a scaffolding structure is not safe, properly erected, or properly maintained, it can lead to catastrophic accidents with long-term consequences. These accidents can lead to serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones and compound fractures — These can leave workers unable to earn a living and can often lead to chronic pain and injuries that forever impact the victim’s life.
- Spinal cord injuries — Unfortunately, even a shortfall can result in serious spinal cord injuries or paralysis requiring lifelong medical intervention.
- Amputation — Falling from great heights often results in serious injuries that can require the amputation of a limb, leaving the victim with a disability.
- Neck and back injuries — A fall from any height can impact discs, joints, and muscles in the back and neck regions, often leading to lifelong impairment.
- Traumatic brain injuries — From concussions to other serious brain injuries, a fall can leave a victim with injuries from vision loss to long-term catastrophic brain damage.
- Fatality — Unfortunately, many falls from great heights end in fatality, leaving a family to not only grieve, but suffer the financial consequences of their loved one’s death.
A worker who is injured in one of these devastating accidents may be able to be compensated for their injuries in the way of medical costs, doctor visits, physical therapy, wage loss, and other financial compensation. Surviving family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. But because these types of injury claims can be complex, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced NYC scaffold accident lawyer to skillfully represent you and guide you through the process to get the best results possible. At KL Sanchez Law Office, our top-rated personal injury lawyers can assist you in your case to fight for a settlement.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident involving a metal scaffold, ladder, or any other construction materials and suffered an injury, call us for a free consultation at (646) 701-7990.
Legal Protection After a Scaffolding Accident
New York Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, protects workers by requiring employers, contractors and site owners to prevent gravity-related injuries by providing the proper safety equipment and training. This means that the Scaffold Law goes beyond scaffolding and covers all fall protection equipment, such as body harnesses, guardrails, vertical and horizontal lifeline systems, hoists and slings. The law may also cover workers who have been injured by a falling object or ladder fall – any injury which was caused by gravity, and a lack of adequate safety equipment or proper training.
In order to make a case under the Scaffold Law following a personal injury, two factors must be present. First, there must have been some type of safety violation. In regards to a scaffold accident, this could mean that a body harness was not provided, or that toeboards were not installed and a worker below was injured by a falling object. If the scaffolding collapsed, the company which erected the scaffolding may be responsible.
Next, it must be established that there is a causal relationship between the safety violation and the accident that occurred. This is why it’s important to file an accident report with your employer to record the facts of the accident. Employers, contractors and other potential defendants may attempt to use the “sole proximate cause” defense, wherein they will try to show that adequate safety measures were provided, and that the worker is solely responsible for the injury they suffered due to their own neglect. Co-workers and other witnesses may also be able to provide valuable accounts of how an accident occurred.
Scaffolding Accident Attorney Explains: Inspection Of Scaffolds
For all types and types of scaffolds, the following guidelines are required:
- The project manager, the engineer, or another responsible person appointed by the job superintendent should inspect all scaffold structures at least every day.
- Without approval, no changes should be made to a scaffold.
- All debris should be removed from the scaffold daily. You should never leave tools on a scaffold for longer than necessary.
- It is not a good idea to keep excess materials on a scaffold.
- Notices about the use of scaffolds should be clearly displayed and observed.
- Protect scaffold structures from any trucks or other vehicles that may come into direct contact with them.
- Before the scaffold can be used, it should be free from oil, ice, or other slippery substances.
Dismantlers and Assemblers Face a Higher Risk
Workers who assemble or remove scaffolds, as well as anyone who works near, on, or under scaffolding, are at risk of being hurt by falling objects, scaffolding collapse, or a fall. They are more at risk of being hurt in a fall, collapse, or other accident because they have to work on scaffolds before the construction is complete.
Employers can prevent most scaffolding injuries, regardless of whether the accident was caused by falls or structural flaws. They should implement safety procedures and make sure that all workers are properly trained in scaffolding safety.
A New York personal injury attorney may be able to help you get a settlement if you or someone close to you has been hurt or killed by a construction accident. For more information and assistance, call a New York Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as you can.
Common Trades at Risk of Scaffold Accident Injuries and Deaths
In New York, many trades and industries commonly employ the use of scaffolding. These include, but are not limited to:
- Masons and bricklayers
- Maintenance workers
- Window washers
While some of these occupations have their own inherent risks, the use of unsafe scaffolding and tools increases these risks exponentially. If you have been injured on a job site, getting the assistance of an experienced scaffold accident lawyer in New York is critical to ensure that your rights to financial compensation for your injuries are properly represented.
Other Jobs Covered by New York’s Scaffolding Laws
New York’s scaffold laws can also cover individuals who may not be traditional construction workers. New York scaffold laws can cover a broader range of occupations as long as they are “in furtherance” of a construction project where statute laws apply.
Consequently, those workers who are injured in falls or by falling debris doing road work, landscaping work, plumbing, or other jobs may be entitled to compensation for their physical trauma. It is critical to get the assistance of a skilled NYC scaffold accident lawyer to understand if you have legal rights to compensation for your injuries.
In 2019, there were 24 new cases of construction site fatalities, 6 of them due to equipment malpractice. The Law firm of KL Sanchez has provided clients with experienced injury attorneys for all types of injury cases, including but not limited to car accident cases, wrongful death cases, and worker’s compensation cases.
To schedule a free consultation with a top-rated personal injury lawyer, call us now at (646) 701-7990.
Statistics for Scaffolding Injuries in NY
Safety is not always a top priority in the construction industry. Accidents will happen to even the most skilled workers and those who work in the safest environments. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, scaffold injuries are most often caused by:
- Lack of fall protection can lead to falls at elevation.
- Instability or overloading can cause the collapse of the scaffold.
- Falling tools, debris, or work materials can cause injury.
Due to the proximity to overhead power lines and the scaffold, electrocution can occur.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics study, 72% of scaffold accident deaths can be attributed directly to these main causes:
- Defective equipment or incorrect assembly can result in scaffold support being discontinued.
- Debris and tools falling on workers below or on scaffolds
- Slipping and tripping on a scaffold, especially if there are no guardrails.
- Inadequate supervision and on-site training
OSHA administrative law requires employers to ensure that they have a safe and healthy workplace. Your employer cannot retaliate against employees who have filed OSHA claims for unsafe working conditions or have suffered an injury on the job.
Scaffold Accident Lawyer Keetick L. Sanchez Explains: Exceptions to Scaffold Laws In New York
While New York Labor Law § 240 is an important one, it has some important exceptions that must be considered. The law will not apply to:
- Owners of single-family or two-family dwellings who contract for work to be done through a contractor
- Any injuries that do not involve gravity, either by a worker who falls or a falling object or piece of equipment
- Work that is not done under the scope of “construction” or in furtherance of a construction project
- Willful injury of a worker
- Injury caused by a worker who does not follow safety instructions or precautions that, if followed, would be prevented the accident and resulting injury
How Our NYC Scaffolding Accident Lawyers Can Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
At KL Sanchez Law Office, our top-rated New York City construction accident attorneys have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of workers and getting fair compensation for their injuries. We fully investigate all accidents to determine if violations or infractions were the cause of the accident in order to hold those responsible accountable for fair and adequate compensation.
If you or a family member was injured or killed on a construction site in New York, call us at (646) 701-7990 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary consultation to understand your legal rights and options.