Suffolk County 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. New York law includes regulations in order to help keep construction workers safe. Under the scaffold law, construction companies and general contractors are liable for any worker injured due to a scaffold accident. It is the duty of the employer to ensure the safety of their employees in order to avoid a construction accident or scaffold accident. 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 workers’ compensation law, if you are injured in your workplace you may be entitled to workers’ 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. If you have been injured in a scaffold accident it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Suffolk County Scaffold Lawyer who will explain the process for pursuing compensation for your losses.

Common causes of 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.

Scaffold safety requirements

Under New York’s scaffold law, commercial property owners and general contractors are liable 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.

The general rules that property owners and contractors must follow in order to ensure that scaffolds are safe include:

  • All scaffold structures must be inspected each day by the project manager, project engineer, or other responsible person.
  • A scaffold cannot be altered without prior approval.
  • All debris should be removed from scaffolds each day.
  • No tools should be left on a scaffold overnight.
  • No excess materials should be stockpiled on a scaffold.
  • Notices regarding the use of scaffolds, when needed, should be conspicuously displayed and observed.
  • Scaffold platforms should be free of ice, snow, oil, and other slippery substances.
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, lost income, loss of future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. If a loved one was killed in a scaffold accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Suffolk County Scaffold 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)