New York’s “Scaffold Law,” found at Section 240(1) of the Labor Law, provides absolute liability for property owners and general contractors for injuries sustained in accidents that involve an elevation differential – that is, injuries where a worker falls from an elevated height or is struck by a falling object.
Unfortunately, injuries caused by an elevation differential are not uncommon. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 4,383 workers were killed on the job in 2012 alone. Falls and related incidents accounted for 544 (12%) of the workplace deaths in the country last year. An overwhelming number of these fatalities were in the construction industry, where 755 people (16%) were killed by on-the-job accidents.
New York’s “Scaffold Law” makes general contractors and building owners responsible for a worker’s safety and for accidents caused by unsafe equipment and procedures, even when the owner or general contractor is not present on the job site or otherwise involved in the day-to-day work. All owners and their general contractors are required to take care during construction projects to keep workers safe from on-the-job falls and height related accidents. This means that they must provide a safe and secure worksite and provide the worker with necessary safety equipment for the task at hand.
If a construction worker is injured or killed by a fall from a height or injured from a falling object, and the contractor and/or owner failed to provide the necessary safety equipment, such as a scaffold, ladder, or safety harness and lifeline, the contractor and/or owner can be legally liable under the “Scaffold Law” for the injuries or death caused by the fall. This is true even where there were no violations of OSHA or local building and safety codes. Further, unlike many other types of personal injury cases, the injured worker’s own negligence, in many cases, will not diminish or preclude recovery under the “Scaffold Law.”
The Scaffold Law provides a remedy for workplace accidents in addition to Workers’ Compensation benefits. While prior results do not guarantee a future similar outcome, our firm has recovered many multimillion dollar awards involving these types of accidents, including:
- $8 Million awarded to a worker who fell from a scaffold at a construction site and fractured his ankle, suffered disc herniations, and underwent two surgeries;
- $6.6 Million won by a construction worker who fell from a scaffold, sustaining serious injuries;
- $6 Million awarded to a construction worker who fell from a ladder while installing a window frame;
- $6 Million won by a construction worker who fell from a ladder, sustaining serious injuries;
- $5.6 Million awarded to a construction worker who was struck by a falling object at his construction site;
- $4.5 Million awarded to a construction worker injured in a scaffold collapse; and
- $3.9 Million awarded to a construction worker who fell when a ladder tipped over.
If you or a family member has been injured in a workplace accident, including one that involves an elevation differential, you may be entitled to compensation. The New York attorneys at Jacob Oresky and Associates, PLLC have extensive experience handling personal injury cases involving workplace accidents and can help ensure that you are awarded all of the benefits you deserve. You can take comfort in knowing that your claim is being aggressively pursued and professionally handled by an attorney who is dedicated to maximizing your compensation and benefits.
For additional information about the New York Scaffold Law, Workers’ Compensation Law, or to discuss the particulars of your accident, please call our experienced attorneys toll free at 718-993-9999, or fill out a contact intake form and one of our experienced personal injury team members will contact you. We offer free confidential consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means you only pay us if we successfully obtain compensation for you. Don’t delay, call today!