New York Scaffold Accident Lawyer
New York City employs 373,800 construction workers, making it the largest construction employer metropolis in the nation. These thousands go to work on construction sites each day, hoping they will finish the day safely and enjoy all the benefits this industry offers. Unfortunately, the construction industry is rife with peril.
Despite the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction companies are not always on top of regulations. They cut corners to reduce costs and finish projects quicker.
Construction workers may arrive at work and face unsafe conditions, including improper types of scaffolding structures, fall protection, or missing safety equipment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates scaffold accidents cause 4,500 injuries and 60 deaths each year. These types of injury cases are frequently complex, with varying factual accounts and blame-shifting. If you sustain injuries in a scaffold accident, you need a skilled New York construction accident lawyer who knows how to apply the regulations and get down to the facts.
The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm represents victims of construction accidents, including those hurt on or by scaffold structures. Our New York scaffold accident lawyers have decades of experience handling complex construction accident claims throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the greater state of New York. Our family is here for your family when the unimaginable happens.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a scaffolding collapse call (212) 869-3500 or contact us online today for a free consultation from an experienced scaffolding accident lawyer at our law office.
How Our Experienced Scaffolding Accident Lawyers Can Protect Your Rights
Scaffolding injuries are often severe, and your focus needs to be on recovery. A successful personal injury claim depends on good story-telling, which includes an analysis of the accident cause, your injuries, responsible parties, and why you deserve maximum compensation.
Presenting an organized case is difficult if you do not have legal training, which compounds when you are also healing from a significant injury.
Our law firm works to make your recovery as seamless as possible. As you rest and recover, our skilled scaffolding accident lawyers are hard at work with the following:
- Holding employers, site owners, and general contractors responsible for failed scaffolding
- Negotiating with insurance companies and defending your interests when they attempt to take advantage of your vulnerability
- Defend you if other parties and insurance companies attempt to blame you for your injuries
- Consult with experts on wage loss, diminished earning capacity, long-term medical effects, and disability.
Our attorneys apply this approach to all construction accident cases, including scaffolding. The results speak for themselves as clients receive the financial compensation that makes their situation more manageable.
Common Types of Scaffolding Structures
A scaffold is a temporary work platform. It is familiar with construction: 65-percent of the construction industry works on scaffolds. You also see scaffolding used for building maintenance. Repair crews and window cleaners also use scaffolding.
Common types of scaffolding include:
- Modular or systemic: This scaffolding connects with vertical and horizontal bars to adjust the needed height and weight. It is the most widely-used type of scaffolding due to its simple construction and portability. Modular scaffolding is made from steel and handles hefty loads.
- Tubular: Tubular is an older type of scaffolding that uses metal tubes and clamps to create the scaffold. There are many opportunities for failure with tubular scaffolding. Omitting toe boards and rails is a common mistake. Also, many worksite supervisors fail to follow up with the proper setting and locking of the tubes and clamps.
- Rolling: Rolling scaffolds are less complicated and very portable. You see them with smaller construction jobs. But if a worker does not secure the wheel locks or caster brakes, injury is likely to occur.
- Pole: You will not see pole scaffolds in heavy construction. It is reserved for light trades like carpentry and painting. Single pole scaffolding has upright support on one side since it normally leans against a wall or other structure.
- Wood or bamboo: Steel scaffolding is most common in North America, but some firms use wood or bamboo. While it is a sustainable option, wood or bamboo scaffolding requires frequent inspections to ensure it is free of breaks and defects.
Scaffolding structures can be supported, meaning each platform may contain rigid load-bearing parts like poles, legs, frames, hoists, and outriggers. Suspended scaffolds hang from building roofs and use ropes and other non-rigid support. Scissor and vertical lifts are not technically scaffolds, but OSHA defines them as scaffolds in some situations.
Since scaffolding accidents happen often on construction sites, if you've been injured you may be eligible to pursue a workers’ compensation and/or a personal injury claim. If the liable party is your employer, workers’ compensation offers a base income, payment of your medical bills, and any vocational rehabilitation. But if workers’ compensation is not enough to cover your injuries or the liable party is not your employer, you can pursue a personal injury claim for your construction injury.
Dangerous Construction Sites Often Lead to Serious Injury
OSHA standards require construction workers to have proper safety equipment on scaffolds. Toeboards, guardrails, side brackets, base plates, mud stills, ties, and fastening pins make scaffolding less precarious. But if a construction company fails to maintain scaffold equipment, an accident becomes a when--not an if.
Most scaffolding accidents in New York City arise from these common causes:
- Improper construction and assembly
- Defective equipment
- Failure to use safety features
- Lack of fall prevention
- Failure to provide training, supervision, and maintenance
- Falling objects
- Scaffolding collapse
Even if you are somewhat at fault for your injuries, you can still collect a settlement. Any violation of OSHA standards would subject your employer or contractor to liability if that violation contributed to your injuries. Even if you feel the accident was your fault, it's important to consult with a personal injury lawyer for legal advice since your employer or site owner may still be liable.
Serious Injuries Caused by Scaffolding Accidents in NYC
A BLS study revealed that 72-percent of injured workers in scaffolding accidents reported the planking or other support failed, causing a fall. Some workers received injuries when falling objects or failing scaffolding landed on them. In other cases, the scaffold remains intact, but a slip-and-fall with no guardrails causes a worker to fall to the ground.
The following injuries are common in scaffolding accidents:
- Bone fractures
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue damage or sprains and strains
- Back and neck injuries
- Amputation and lost limbs
- Paralysis and/or serious spinal cord injury
- Wrongful death
Many of these injuries are life-changing, with workers finding they cannot return to their previous line of work. In wrongful death cases, loved ones face tremendous grief with funeral costs, last illness medical expenses, and lost income.
How Can New York’s Scaffolding Law Affect My Case?
New York takes scaffolding accident injuries seriously. Labor Law 240 requires employers, contractors, property owners, and agents to provide safe scaffolding at their work sites. These same parties are also responsible for safety features like guardrails, bolts, and fasteners. Finished scaffolding must bear at least four times the maximum weight it will hold.
Labor Law 240 allows our scaffolding accident attorneys to hold employers, site owners, contractors, and agents liable. Since safe scaffolding is a defined duty, they are strictly liable for any failures. That means they cannot blame you for any safety failures in scaffolds and those failures are automatically their fault.
This protection extends to anyone working in construction, demolition, repair, remodeling, or painting. If you are injured in a scaffolding accident, chances are New York Labor Law 240 covers you and make it easier to secure fair compensation.
Speak with an Experienced New York Scaffolding Attorney Today
If you face the real and frightening impacts of a New York scaffolding accident, or improper construction cleanup injury, know that the law is on your side. Our scaffold injury attorneys will find the responsible parties and demonstrate that they failed to provide safe scaffolds for your work.
The personal injury attorneys at the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm offer 40 years of experience helping construction and scaffolding accident victims in NYC when they face the unimaginable. Our compassionate representation secures substantial settlements and offers you and your loved ones justice and peace of mind.
If you've been hurt, contact us online or call (212) 869-3500 today to schedule a free case evaluation. We can help when the unimaginable happens.