New York construction workers are commonly put in hazardous situations where there's an increased risk of injury, especially where scaffolding and other dangers are present. 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.
New York law makes 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.
Let us review your circumstances and provide guidance on how you can recover what you need and deserve after a scaffolding accident in New York. Contact our firm at 212-240-9465 for a free, no-obligation in-office consultation. There are no up-front fees, and you owe nothing until we secure compensation for you.
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 Section 240 which is directed at contractors in building construction, renovation, and demolition work. The statute requires proper installation of scaffolding and related equipment on job sites to prevent scaffolding failures. Under Labor Law Section 240, the general contractor and owner are absolutely liable when a worker falls from a scaffold.
How New York Scaffold Accidents Happen
Despite OSHA scaffold regulations and New York scaffold law, accidents still happen on worksites with alarming frequency. Additionally, incidents can occur even when an employer or contractor fully complies with relevant rules.
Some of the most common causes of scaffold accidents include:
- Workers falling due to improper equipment or lack of guard rails
- Environmental conditions, such as rain, ice, snow and sleet;
- Things falling from above
- Failure to inspect or maintain scaffolding safety rails, base plates, decking, risers, safety pins, and other equipment
- Defective parts
- Improper loading, overloading, or balancing materials
- Scaffolding collapsing, shifting, or tipping over
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, numerous 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:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries, skull fracture, concussions, and other head injuries
- Neck and back injuries including spinal injuries;
- Knee and shoulder injuries
- Bone fractures, especially in the extremities
- Bruises, cuts, and abrasions
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 falling objects. Some of these units are equipped with electricity for lifting, lowering, supplying power to tools, lighting, and other purposes. Scaffolding shock can result from defects or malfunctions, leading to burns, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, cardiac arrest, seizures, and fatal injuries.
Types of New York Construction Accidents
- Scaffolding accidents
- Injuries due to dangerous jobsite conditions
- Burns due to fires and explosions
- Injuries sustained from falling objects
- Accidents caused by cranes
- Forklift accidents
- Dump truck accidents
- Bronx Construction accidents
- Brooklyn Construction accidents
- Manhattan construction accidents
Compensation after a Scaffolding Accident in NYC
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
- Subcontractors and vendors
- Tenants of the building under construction
- Equipment manufacturers
- Equipment, tool, and supply distributors
- Property owners
Through a third-party liability claim, you can pursue compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Lost wages
Frequently Asked Questions
- 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
- What If Something Falls from a Scaffold and Hits Me?
If you are a pedestrian or in a car and something falls from scaffolding 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.
- 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 non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. We can evaluate your claim and help you get what you deserve.
If you've been hurt as the result of a construction site related accident, contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC at 212-240-9465 and get the wheels of justice spinning for you!
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