Scaffold Accidents in New York City

New York laws make the owner and general contractor responsible for providing a safe construction site, so whether you were injured on-the-job or while passing by a worksite, you have legal rights and options to consider.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) frequently cites New York construction companies for violations of scaffolding requirements and construction. Outside of construction workers, this same equipment can also present a threat to pedestrians and other non-workers.

If you were seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a scaffold accident, it’s critical to speak with an experienced New York scaffold accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Overview of Federal Statutes and New York Scaffold Law

Considering the potential for serious scaffold accidents, lawmakers and government agencies have established regulations to protect workers and the general public. OSHA is the key federal agency tasked with enacting a set of detailed, comprehensive rules regarding scaffolding equipment.

Some of the most important OSHA scaffold regulations cover:

  • Assembly, installation, operation, and disassembly of scaffolding
  • Size, load support, and construction material to reduce the risk of scaffolding collapse
  • Training of employees in how to recognize scaffold fall hazards and procedures to minimize such incidents
  • Precautions for scaffolding fall protection and safeguards against falling objects
  • Many more regulations that require full compliance by New York employers

The OSHA regulations apply to all U.S. states, so there are multiple protections in place for New York employees. Still, there are some additional details regarding scaffolding under New York Labor Law 240, which can hold certain parties liable for scaffolding injury incidents.

A Deeper Look at New York Labor Law 240

New York’s Labor Law 240, the Scaffold Law, plays a crucial role in protecting construction workers, especially those working at heights. This law is directed at contractors in building construction, renovation, and demolition work. It imposes strict liability on site owners and contractors, ensuring they are held responsible for any gravity-related injuries that occur due to inadequate safety measures. Key points include:

  • Strict Liability: The law places full responsibility on owners and contractors to ensure all safety equipment, such as scaffolds and ladders, is secure and meets safety standards. This is irrespective of the worker’s actions at the time of the accident.
  • Safety Measures: It mandates rigorous safety precautions, including proper installation of scaffolding and the availability of necessary safety gear like harnesses and guardrails.
  • Legal Protection: Injured workers can pursue claims for damages that go beyond workers’ compensation, potentially covering full medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Application: It applies to all contractors and owners involved in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, or cleaning of buildings, with the exception of owners of one- and two-family dwellings who do not control the work.

Finding a New York construction injury lawyer who understands how and why Labor Law 240 applies to your case is critical.

Types and Causes of Scaffolding Incidents in NYC

Types and Causes of Scaffolding Incidents in NYC

Despite OSHA scaffold regulations and New York scaffold law, accidents still happen on worksites with alarming frequency. Issues with scaffolding are ranked third on the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards list for 2018.

Plus, incidents can occur even when an employer or contractor fully complies with relevant rules.

Various other causes and factors may contribute to a NYC scaffold accident, regardless of whether there was a violation of safety laws. As a result, multiple parties may be accountable for your injuries, either as a worker or a bystander. Experienced New York scaffold accident lawyers can decipher the complex liability issues under such circumstances.

Common Injuries from Scaffold Accidents in NYC

Many factors affect the severity and nature of injuries victims suffer in a fall from a scaffold, such as the height of the scaffolding collapse, the type of surface below, striking objects during descent, and others. However, some of the most frequently occurring injuries in such a fall include:

Though falls are among the most frequent accidents on scaffolding, other incidents can cause bodily harm to a worker or other victims such as scaffolding and other objects falling from scaffolding resulting in injury. Some of these units are equipped with electricity for lifting, lowering, supplying power to tools, lighting, and other purposes. Scaffolding electric shock can result from defects or malfunctions, leading to burns, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, cardiac arrest, seizures, and fatal injuries.

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Compensation after a Scaffolding Accident in NYC

If you were hurt in a New York workplace scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to seek benefits under the state worker’s comp system. Most New York employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance to protect employees who suffer injuries on the job.

Our knowledgeable New York scaffolding accident lawyers can assist with eligibility rules and the claims process, which can be very complicated.

Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation Laws:

In a successful claim, you may recover:

  • Medical benefits to cover the costs of treatment for your scaffold injuries, now and in the future
  • Wage replacement for the time you miss work
  • Death benefits, if you’re a family member who lost a loved one in a scaffolding death

Third-Party Liability in Scaffolding Accidents

Third-Party Liability in Scaffolding Accidents

If negligence or reckless behavior caused the scaffolding accident in question, then you may have the right to pursue compensation. Depending on who was negligent and caused the accident, you may be able to file a claim against:

  • General contractor
  • Contractors, subcontractors, and vendors
  • Tenants of the building under construction
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Equipment, tool, and supply distributors
  • Property owners
  • Engineers
  • Architects

Through a third-party liability claim, you can pursue compensation for your:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Physical Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Reduced Earning Capacity
  • Reduced Quality of Life

Fatal New York City Scaffolding Accidents

If your parent, spouse, or child was killed in a scaffolding accident, you should contact Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. right away. You may be entitled to additional workers’ comp benefits. Surviving spouses and minor children may receive weekly cash benefits and funeral expenses. More importantly, our NYC scaffolding attorneys will analyze the accident to determine if someone else is responsible for their death. If a third party was negligent or reckless and caused the fatal accident, then we can pursue a New York wrongful death claim. We will strive to obtain you compensation for your economic losses, the loss of your relative’s love, and their companionship.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who Is Liable for New York Scaffold Accidents?

Many different parties, or even multiple parties, may be liable for scaffold accidents, including:

  • Scaffold manufacturers
  • Scaffold sellers
  • The company that set up the scaffold
  • An equipment rental company
  • A maintenance company
  • A construction company
  • Your employer

2. What If Something Falls from a Scaffold and Hits Me?

If you are a pedestrian or in a car and something falls from a scaffold, causing you injuries, you deserve compensation. We will investigate the situation and determine who should be held accountable and help you obtain the damages you deserve.

3. How Much Is My Scaffold Accident Claim Worth?

You can recover compensation for property damages, medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary losses as well as noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. HKD can evaluate your claim and help you get what you deserve.

4. How can workers protect themselves from injuries on scaffolds?

To protect against injuries on scaffolds, workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, non-slip boots, and harnesses when required.

Ensuring that all scaffolding is assembled and inspected by qualified personnel helps prevent structural failures. Additionally, adhering to load limits and proper material storage on scaffolds minimizes the risk of accidents. Regular safety training and awareness of environmental conditions are also key to maintaining safety on scaffolds.

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Contact Our New York City Scaffold Accident Lawyers

Whether you were working or merely passing by a construction site, if you were injured or lost a loved one in a scaffolding accident, you are likely in pain and unsure about how to deal with the situation. A New York scaffolding accident lawyer from Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. will answer your questions and guide you through the process of obtaining fair compensation. We have decades of experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims in situations a lot like yours. Don’t take your rights for granted. Let us review your circumstances, determine who may be liable, and fight for everything you are entitled to under the law.

Call us at 212-490-5700, or contact us online to request a free consultation. There are no up-front costs, and you owe us nothing unless you recover compensation.

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