Staten Island Scaffold Accident
A construction site is an inherently dangerous area due to the use of heavy machinery and other tools. Using a scaffold in a construction site further raises the risk for serious injury. Accidents do occur on construction sites on a regular basis. However, many of these accidents are preventable. Although OSHA has provided numerous regulations to ensure worker safety at the job site, many construction or maintenance companies do not place a priority on safety. In many cases, maintenance work and construction work is rushed. Supervisors cut safety procedures in an effort to save time and money. These actions can cause a serious construction accident such as a scaffold accident or a crane accident. Under New York's worker's compensation law, if you are injured in your workplace you may be entitled to worker's compensation benefits. Furthermore, depending on the facts of your case you may also be entitled to compensation over and above what is provided through worker's compensation. This compensation can include reimbursement for your medical bills, lost income from work and pain and suffering. 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 Staten Island Scaffold 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, and guard railing or other barrier. 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
While employees injured in construction site accidents are typically entitled to worker's compensation benefits and precluded from seeking additional compensation through a lawsuit, 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.
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 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.