Scaffolds are temporary structures that are incredibly vital for aiding workers in constructing, maintaining, and repairing structures, bridges, and buildings. However, these scaffold structures are also responsible for some of the most devastating and deadly accidents in the construction industry.
At Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC, we understand that as a victim of a New York scaffolding accident, you are going through a lot. We know that you have many questions and concerns about not only your injuries but your future as well. That is why we are here to help you. We are ready to fight for the compensation and benefits you need following this horrific accident and go after the justice you deserve.
Scaffolding Accidents- How They Happen
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, almost 72% of workers injured in a scaffold accident attributed the incident to either support giving way, slipping, being struck by a falling object, or by planking. However, these dangerous accidents can also occur from:
- A worker falling from the scaffolding
- The scaffolding failing at the attachment points
- Improper scaffolding operating procedures
- Improper scaffolding construction
- Inadequate fall protection or workers not wearing any fall protection
Common New York Scaffolding Accident Injuries
Due to the height of these structures, scaffolding accidents can result in various injuries that range in severity and type. However, some of the most common New York scaffolding accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Head and Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Broken or Fractured Bones
- Deep Lacerations
- Internal Organ Injuries
- Lost Limbs
- Soft Tissue Injuries
Scaffolding Inspections- What is Required
Typically, a site with a scaffold needs to take specific actions to ensure the scaffold is in good working condition before using them. These actions include:
- Every scaffold structure needs to be inspected daily by an individual designated by the job superintendent
- No tools can be left on the scaffold overnight
- The scaffold needs to be cleared of any debris consistently
- Scaffold notices indicating how to use these platforms need to be conspicuously displayed and observed
- Excess materials should not be stockpiled on a scaffold
- No changes should be made to the scaffold without approval
- The scaffold working platforms need to be free of snow, ice, oil, and other slippery substances before they can be used
- Scaffolds need to be protected from vehicles that can come into contact with them
New York’s Scaffolding Laws
Even though New York’s labor laws recognize that there are inherent risks when working with a scaffolding structure. There are still specific regulations that indicate how a scaffolding structure needs to be put together and what restrictions apply to them. Under these laws, general contractors and property owners have to make sure that:
- Scaffolding structures that are used on constructions sites need to be put together properly
- Scaffolding structures need to be able to bear four times the maximum weight required
- Workers on these scaffolding structures need to be given the necessary safety equipment
In addition, this section also stipulates that if a general contractor or owner fails to provide safety equipment to their workers, and an individual is killed or significantly injured. Then the contractor or the owner can be held legally responsible for the scaffolding accident.
How To Recover Damages Following a New York Scaffolding Accident
If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, the primary ways to recover compensation for the harm endured include filing a personal injury claim, a workers’ compensation claim, or a wrongful death claim.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Generally, if you are a worker who has been hurt on the job, you can be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance allows an employee who is sick or injured from a work-related cause to collect benefits, including payment for medical bills and lost wages, as well as disability benefits and death benefits. However, in exchange for these benefits, the worker waives their right to sue their employer. These workers’ compensation claims can be rather complicated and tedious. That is why it is recommended that you work with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer who can help you understand these rights and go after maximum compensation.
Personal Injury Claims
If you file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries, you usually cannot sue your employer. However, this does not mean you cannot pursue a lawsuit against a negligent third party. Many times engineers or architects can also be responsible for your scaffolding incident, and you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them. In addition, in New York, general contractors and property owners can be strictly liable for your scaffolding accident injuries.
It is important to note that when a victim files a personal injury claim, they can seek compensation for not only lost wages and medical expenses. But unlike a workers’ compensation claim, they can also go after pain and suffering damages as well as a loss of enjoyment of life damages.
Wrongful Death Claims
If you lost a loved one due to a scaffolding accident, you may be able to recover compensation for lost financial support or funeral expenses from a wrongful death lawsuit or certain death benefits from the deceased’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Discussing this claim with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you determine precisely what compensation you may be entitled to.
Let The Law Firm of Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
Scaffolding accident claims are not only tedious and stressful, but they are also extremely detailed-oriented. To succeed in a scaffolding accident claim, victims need to know what legal actions they need to pursue, how much time they have to file these claims, and what they need to prove to collect compensation for their injuries. Fortunately, with the help of the law firm of Chaikin LaPenna, you do not have to go through this challenging ordeal on your own. Our lawyers can investigate the accident thoroughly, gather critical evidence needed to substantiate your claims, and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a scaffolding accident, do not wait any longer. Contact our offices today and let our lawyers go after the damages you deserve.
No Fees Until We Win.
Please call us at (212) 977-2020 or fill out the form below to get started.