Injuries from falls are not uncommon when sidewalk bridges are involved. Sidewalk bridges are constructed along buildings or other tall structures to protect pedestrians from falling objects and to also provide construction workers with a stable environment upon which to work. However, injuries often occur to workers because of a lack of proper safety equipment, and short cuts taken by contractors in building these sidewalk bridges.
The number of people injured in construction accidents in New York City nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015. Some of these accidents occur due to failure of construction equipment, such as in the case of a crane collapse, and others due to a failure to provide proper safety equipment. Commercial owners and contractors are responsible for providing construction workers with proper safety equipment such as harnesses, life lines, scaffolding and shoring to protect workers from falls and excavation cave-ins. The majority of these accidents occur when proper safety practices and procedures are not followed. Examples include workers or construction materials falling from varying heights, work platforms collapse, excavation cave- ins, and scaffolding failures. Recently, two workers in Queens were killed when a 6,500 pound steel beam fell on them.
New York’s Labor Law
New York law holds commercial owners and contractors absolutely liable for a failure to provide proper safety equipment such as safety harnesses, lanyards and life lines. A sidewalk bridge installer that falls from a sidewalk bridge, pipe scaffold, or other scaffold will have a very strong case against the building owner and /or contractor if he was not provided with proper safety equipment. In addition to being able to make a claim for Workers’ Compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and related expenses, the injured worker can also make a claim (law suit) for pain and suffering and other damages against responsible third parties such as a building owner and contractor.
At Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we have represented sidewalk bridge and scaffold installers that have been injured in falls due to the employer’s failure to provide proper safety equipment. In one case settled during 2016, we were able to recover a $7,500,000 settlement for an installer that fell from a sidewalk bridge. The worker was not provided with proper safety equipment, such as a life line, causing his fall.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Comparative fault is not a defense to a case under New York State Labor Law Section 240(1). Even though you may be partially at fault for the accident, your conduct should not block your recovery. In this type of case a building owner and / or contractor will be held 100% responsible and comparative fault will not be considered.
What Should I Do?
Call Jacob Oresky & Associates, PLLC and speak with an experienced construction accident attorney at 718- 993-9999. We are known for our successful representation of construction accident victims. We have recovered over $250 Million Dollars for accident victims throughout New York City’s five boroughs (the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island), in Westchester County, and Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau Counties.