Westchester County Scaffold Accident
Approximately 2 million employees use scaffolds throughout the United States and these workers can suffer a serious injury if these scaffolds are not utilized properly. Although there are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules regarding scaffold use, many companies and employers fail to adhere to these guidelines. This contributes to more than 4,500 people suffering an injury due to a scaffold-related incident, such as falling from the scaffold and dropping a tool from the scaffold and it hitting another individual. The injuries sustained from a falling from a scaffold or any type of scaffold-related accident can be anything from a broken leg, broken arm, or other bone fracture, a brain injury, or a severe back injury. If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident or any other type of construction site accident it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Westchester County construction accident attorney who will explain the process for pursuing compensation for your losses.Common causes for scaffolding accidents
Like any other injury in a workplace such as a construction site, the primary cause is negligence. This typically means that someone at the construction site did not follow federal or local safety rules. Scaffolds are temporary structures that do not have walls or permanent floors. They must be assembled according to the regulations in order for them to sustain the weight of workers and equipment. Sadly, safety regulations are not always followed. In cases of scaffold-related accidents, the causes are typically:
- Improper guardrails and barriers
- Failure to use tethering straps
- Damaged platform flooring
When these parts fail while workers are on the scaffold or standing near it, is inevitable that someone will suffer a serious injury. Because workers on scaffolding are usually working a significant height, if a worker falls injuries include brain injuries, broken bones, back injuries, and neck injuries. In many cases the victim’s injuries are fatal.Pursuing a claim
Despite safety requirements, construction sites are inherently dangerous. Scaffold accidents, crane accidents, and other types of accidents happen on a regular basis at construction sites. Because of the heavy equipment, flying debris, heights, rough terrain, materials, and chemicals common to construction zones, when accidents do occur injuries are often serious. This means significant medical bills, inability to work and growing debt.
Victims of scaffold accidents do have options to help them and their family members through the difficult time. Depending on the specifics of the accident, the victim may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, receive workers’ compensation benefits, or apply for Social Security disability benefits.
- Workers’ compensation benefits. If you were at work when you were injured in the scaffold accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Under New York law with few exceptions employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance. Any accident that occurs in the course of employment is subject to workers’ compensation. This means that if you are injured while on the job you have the right to receive medical benefits and wage replacement.
- Personal injury claim. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation you may not be eligible to file a personal injury claim. However, even if the accident happened at work, if the negligent person was a third party such as an equipment manufacturer, you still may have the right to person damages from the negligent party. You can demand compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Social Security disability. If your injury is so severe that you will not be able to work for an extended period of time, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.
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 represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.