Manhattan Scaffold Accident

Because of the number of high-rise buildings in Manhattan scaffolding is a fact of life. While scaffolding is necessary to maintain the facade of such buildings, scaffolding presents a potential hazard for both pedestrians and construction workers. Construction workers operate heavy machinery high above the ground, with zero room for error. One simple mistake can have disastrous consequences resulting in a scaffolding accident. While safety should always be the number one priority at a job site, unfortunately this is not always the case. With many workers each performing so many different activities, it can sometimes look like organized chaos. Time pressures to complete projects create the temptation to cut corners, even with safety practices. The injuries sustained from a scaffolding accident can be anything from a broken bone to something much more serious such as a spinal injury. Falls from these accidents can result in quadriplegia, or even death. If you have been injured in a scaffold accident it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Manhattan Scaffold Accident Lawyer who will explain the process for pursuing compensation for your losses.

Common causes for scaffolding accidents

Generally scaffolding accidents occur because a worker slips or trips and falls on scaffolding, defective scaffolding parts, or someone being hit by a falling item. These three factors can cause serious injury or a fatal injury.

A construction worker who falls from a defective scaffold can suffer from paralysis due to a serious spinal cord injury, or a traumatic brain injury from hitting their head on the ground. If the scaffold had proper barriers or if the construction worker had proper safety equipment such as tethering straps, the accident may have been avoided. Despite the overwhelming evidence of how complying with safety procedures can save lives and prevent injury, many companies and supervisors do not think it is necessary. As a result scaffolding accidents and other types of construction accidents occur.

Construction workers can be injured when the scaffold fails or its parts are defective. Some parts of scaffolds that may fail or break include:

  • Scaffold ties
  • Side supports or brackets
  • Base plates and mud sills
  • Toe boards
  • Platform flooring
  • Guard railing or other barrier
  • Fastening pins

When these parts fail, serious injury can occur. These injuries are devastating for the worker and for their family.

A construction site is inherently dangerous. It is not unusual for there to be falling debris. When debris falls on someone who is working on scaffolding, the victim may fall and suffer serious injuries.

Scaffolding safety requirements

With the safety of construction workers in mind, New York Labor Law Section 240 was created. This is referred to as the “scaffold law.” This law places absolute liability on commercial property owners and general contractors if a worker is injured in a scaffolding accident. Under this law, commercial property owners and contractors who perform construction work or physical alterations to a property are under a duty to exercise care so that workers are protected from gravity related incidents. This includes falls from scaffolding, but can also include things falling on them. If a worker is injured and did not have the proper protection, the commercial property owner and the general contractor are liable.

Pursuing a claim

Even with safety measures in place, a scaffolding accident can still happen. Construction site accidents are serious, life changing and sometimes even fatal. Often when a worker becomes injured, they are advised by their employer to file a worker's compensation claim. However, there are some instances in which a victim would be entitled to compensation outside of a worker's compensation award. For example, if it can be proven that third party negligence contributed to your accident, you may be able to pursue an action against other third parties such as the property owner, general contractor, or equipment manufacturer. The compensation that you may be entitled to receive includes:

  • Medical Bills: Construction accidents can cause devastating injuries the cost of which can well exceed insurance limits.
  • Loss of Income: Because a serious injury may result in an extended recovery time during which you are unable to work, the party responsible may be ordered to pay you for the income you lost.
  • Pain and Suffering: Victims may be able to file a claim for pain and suffering caused by their injury, as well as for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Wrongful Death: If a family member was killed in a scaffolding accident, the decedent's personal representative may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim on behave of family members.
Manhattan Scaffold Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident, it is important to have experienced representation. Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates to discuss the details of your case. Our staff has years of experience in representing victims of scaffolding accidents as well as other types of construction accidents. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those injured in accidents in the following locations:

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1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)