A scaffolding accident may sound rare, even though they aren’t and may be more dangerous than a car accident. That’s because scaffolding is frequently set up on tall buildings where a collapse or other mishap can lead to a construction worker falling and dealing with life-altering injury. Fortunately, the worker who falls off the scaffolding won’t have to take personal responsibility.
The blame may have to go on the construction company itself. That’s because they didn’t follow a particular New York law protecting workers who have to work on scaffolding.
New York has long had a law that says scaffolding has to be inspected for safety by construction contractors and building owners. The law gets specific on what kind of safety needs to be applied, particularly in providing a safety rail if the scaffolding goes up more than 20 feet. The scaffolding also has to be designed to maintain four times its maximum weight. When this fails, workers with injuries can retain the right to sue for compensation on their medical bills.
But what kind of scaffolding could cause these accidents, and what type of injuries can potentially happen?
The most potentially dangerous is suspended scaffolding (or swing stage scaffold) that can hang over a skyscraper under construction. A fall from there has a strong chance of death. Worse cases are a worker falling several dozen feet and breaking their neck or back where lifetime paralysis is likely.
Similar forms of scaffolding come in aerial lifts or birdcage scaffolding. This isn’t to say accidents can’t occur on platform scaffolding or mobile set-ups that are closer to the ground. Any lack of inspection on the ladders can cause a worker to easily fall and bring on traumatic brain injury, broken bones or internal bleeding.
After filing an injury claim, you and your lawyer should find exactly who was responsible for the scaffolding issue. Sometimes various people can be to blame. While a lack of safety inspection falls on the shoulders of the construction manager, it might also fall on the company who provided the equipment. There might be defects in the parts as well as negligence on the part of a crew hired to set it up. In other cases, it could have been a third party to blame for doing something to cause the accident rather than equipment failure.
Finding who’s to blame can potentially take some time if you aren’t sure. With the New York Labor Law on your side, though, compensation is almost assured.
Because recovery from these accidents is going to be considerable, you need a good lawyer to help you through the process of gaining compensation. Consider Frekhtman & Associates if you live in New York and need legal counsel after a scaffolding accident.
Contact us for a case review and we’ll show you how we’ve accrued over $30 million in settlement payouts.