Scaffolding provides a structure on which workers may stand when they are performing construction work one or more stories up on a building. A worker can put supplies next to them while they are working so that they do not need to go up and down when changing tools or materials. In most cases, scaffolds are safer than ladders. In some cases, however, scaffolding accidents occur when the scaffold collapses or a worker missteps and falls. The result can be catastrophic injuries or a wrongful death. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, our New York City scaffolding accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages in these situations.Taking Legal Action After a Scaffolding Accident
In some cases, such as when a visitor is injured due to a collapsing scaffold or another maintenance problem with a scaffold, it may be possible to recover damages from the responsible party by establishing negligence. Under common law and the relevant statute, you can recover damages on the basis of negligence if you can show duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Many scaffolding accidents on construction sites involve falls. There are two laws that allow New York workers to litigate against parties responsible for falls in addition to collecting workers' compensation benefits. Section 240 of the New York Labor Law is called the Scaffold Law, and it requires owners and contractors to provide safety equipment and take steps to protect workers against the danger of gravity-related injuries. If a subcontractor for which you work does not protect you under the terms of this law, you can hold the owner or general contractor liable with the assistance of a scaffolding accident attorney in New York City. The owner or general contractor can then seek indemnification from your employer.
Under the Scaffold Law, workers on a scaffold are supposed to be given hoists, braces, pulleys, blocks, ropes, and strong scaffolding. If a worker gets hurt in a gravity-related fall or accident because the worker has not been provided with safety equipment, the owner or contractor can be held liable. It does not matter whether the owner actually controlled or supervised the work being done on the scaffold. It also does not matter whether the worker was partially to blame, although the worker cannot recover damages if they were fully to blame. There are exemptions to this law for certain residential homeowners, however.
If you are injured not in a gravity-related scaffolding accident but in another way, you may have other recourse. Under Labor Law section 241(6), contractors and owners that are building, demolishing, or excavating buildings are supposed to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the people working there. Like the Scaffold Law, this law allows a New York City scaffolding accident attorney to help you sue for pain and suffering and other damages that are not covered by workers' compensation benefits.
OSHA may come out after a scaffolding accident to determine whether the appropriate OSHA safety guidelines were followed and whether it was a failure to follow OSHA guidelines that caused the accident. OSHA guidelines provide for certain materials to be used on scaffolding and require that workers be trained. Among other things, OSHA suggests that workers be trained on which safety equipment to use while working on scaffolding, as well as on how to build and take apart scaffolding. OSHA findings may be used as part of a lawsuit for damages after a scaffolding accident in order to show that the defendant did not take the appropriate steps leading up to the accident.
If you are hurt in a scaffolding accident for which you can hold another party liable, you can recover compensatory damages. These may include emergency medical care, hospital bills, medical mileage, wage loss, lost earning capacity, household services, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. When a worker dies in a scaffolding accident on the job, their family may be able to recover wrongful death damages, depending on the circumstances.Retain a Knowledgeable Scaffolding Accident Lawyer in New York City
If you are hurt in a scaffolding accident in New York City, you should consult an experienced litigator. Newman, Anzalone & Newman has provided effective legal representation to construction accident victims since 1978. We represent people in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or complete our online form.