Nassau County Scaffold Accident
In August 2016 a brick layer working at a construction site fell 50-60 feet from scaffolding. He suffered serious head and neck injuries. Working on scaffolds is exceptionally hazardous. Construction workers on scaffolds work on small platforms high above the ground. While there are strict safety rules, unfortunately for a variety of reasons safety standards are not always followed. For example, in some cases workers were never trained on the proper use of personal safety equipment such as fall protection harnesses. In other cases construction companies cut corners in an effort to get a job done on time. The injuries workers receive in scaffolding accidents can be anything from bone fractures to something much more serious such as an injury to the spinal cord or a brain injury. Sadly, in some cases victims do not survive scaffold accidents. If you are in need of a personal injury lawyer because you or someone you care about suffered a serious injury in a scaffolding accident it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Nassau County personal injury lawyer who will help make sure that the negligent party is held accountable.Common causes for scaffolding accidents
While many construction accidents occur because a worker slips or trips and falls, and fall protection measures were not in place, construction workers are also 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
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has detailed requirements regarding scaffold safety. For example section 1926.451(g)(3) requires guardrail systems and personal arrest systems to help protect workers from falls.
In addition to OSHA, New York State enacted regulations to help ensure worker safety. The "scaffold law" places absolute liability on commercial property owners and general contractors if a worker is hurt in a scaffolding accident. For example, 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 places such as those required by OSHA and state law, scaffolding accidents still happen. Construction site accidents are often serious, life-altering and sometimes fatal. While many construction scaffolding accidents are covered by workers' compensation, there are some instances in which a victim would be entitled to compensation outside of workers' compensation benefits. For example, if it can be shown that third party negligence contributed to your accident you may be able to pursue a personal injury case against other third parties such as the property owner, contractor, or construction equipment manufacturer. The compensation that you may be entitled to receive includes:
- Medical Bills: Medical bills for which you can demand payment include emergency room treatment, hospital stays, surgery, painkillers and other types of medication, MRIs, X-rays, lab work, rehabilitation, braces, crutches, and in-home care.
- Loss of Income: Because a serious injury may result in an extended of months and even years during which you are unable to work, the party responsible may be ordered to pay you for the income you lost including missed paychecks, lost commissions, missed bonuses and missed promotions.
- 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. Compensation for pain and suffering includes not only physical pain, but also psychological pain and suffering.
- 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 order to recover compensation.
Construction accidents can leave victims with catastrophic injuries that have a devastating effect on family finances. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney you can demand compensation from the person responsible for your injuries. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates is experienced in handling cases involving scaffold, crane, construction and workplace accidents including workers' compensation cases. Contact our staff at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.