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 were seriously injured in a scaffold accident it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Suffolk County scaffold accident lawyer who will explain the process for pursuing compensation for your losses including medical expenses and lost wages.

Common causes of scaffolding accidents

In general accidents involving scaffolds take place because a worker slips or trips and falls on the scaffold platform, because the scaffolding was not properly erected, because of defective scaffolding parts, or because someone was hit by a falling item. These three factors can cause serious injury or a fatal injury.

A construction worker who falls off of a scaffold will undoubtedly suffer a catastrophic injury such as a injury to the brain, neck, back or spinal cord. In many cases such accidents could have been avoided if proper safety precautions were followed. For example, a falls can be avoided 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 vast evidence indicating that complying with safety procedures can save lives and prevent injury, many construction companies and supervisors cut corners. As a result scaffolding accidents and other types of construction accidents occur far too often.

In other cases construction workers can be injured when the scaffold fails or its parts are defective. Typically scaffold parts fail because they were not used properly or because of a manufacturing defect. Examples of parts of scaffolds that may fail or break include scaffold ties, side supports, brackets, base plates, mud sills, toe boards, platform flooring, and guard railing. When parts fail the scaffold structure could collapse causing workers to tumble to the ground and suffer serious injury.

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 owners of commercial property as well as general contractors are liable if an employee or other worker is injured in a scaffolding accident. This means that commercial property owners and contractors who use scaffold are under a duty to exercise care so that workers are protected from falling.

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

As a scaffold accident attorney in Suffolk County will explain, while employees injured in construction site accidents are typically entitled to worker’s compensation benefits and precluded from seeking additional compensation through a lawsuit, it is possible that the injured victim would be entitled to compensation outside of workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if there is evidence that a third party caused the accident or contributed to the accident you may be able to pursue a claim against that person. Examples of third parties who might be liable include property owners, general contractors, and equipment manufacturers. 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.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident it is important to have experienced representation. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates is experienced in handling cases involving medical misdiagnosis, failure to warn, improper treatment, as well as other types of medical malpractice claims. In addition, we also represent clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases stemming from auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other types of accidents. Contact an experienced scaffold accident attorney serving clients in Suffolk County at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) 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.

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