Unfortunately, scaffold falls are common in New York City and the surrounding areas. These accidents can lead to serious long-term injuries and even death. If you have been injured in a scaffold fall at a job site, you should discuss the full scope of your legal options with a skilled Queens and Bronx construction accident attorney. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we have helped many victims and their families recover full and fair compensation for their injuries, and we may be able to help you as well. We understand that each case is unique, and we tailor our representation to each client’s specific needs.
Scaffold Fall Representative Case
Our firm previously represented a construction worker who fell 60 feet when the scaffolding on which he was standing tipped to one side. Our client’s employer tried to get the case dismissed claiming that the worker failed to use available safety devices and that his injuries were caused by his failure to use a safety line. Our lawyers established otherwise by proving the following:
- The worker’s safety harness was unavailable;
- There was no independent safety line at the job site; and
- The scaffolding failed because it was not properly secured.
This example highlights just one of many scaffold fall cases that we have successfully handled in the New York City area. If it sounds like your situation or like something that happened to a loved one, you should contact us to see what we can do for you.
Harm Caused by Scaffold Falls
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that falls are the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry. In 2015, for example, more than one-third of the total deaths in the construction industry resulted from falls. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that an estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry in the U.S., work on scaffolds. Scaffold-related accidents have lead to significant number of workers being injured and killed each year throughout the country.
Working on or near a scaffold places a construction worker at a risk of injury. Workers who fall from scaffolds can suffer serious harm, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, broken ribs, organ damage, and even death. Some common causes of scaffold falls include improper construction of the scaffolding (causing a lack of support), inadequate guardrails, defective planks that are prone to giving way, inadequate harnesses, or insufficient worker training pertaining to scaffold safety.
New York’s labor law does not require that an injured worker be completely free from blame or negligence, only that it can be proven that the owner or contractor violated a statute. In this instance, our construction accident attorneys showed the court that the employer violated Labor Law Section 240(1) in at least three ways.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are one option available to injured workers, but it is often not the only option. New York Labor Law Section 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, requires property owners and contractors to provide safety devices and take appropriate measures to protect workers from elevation-related injury risks. Put simply, this law applies to workers who fall from heights or who are injured by objects falling on them. Generally, it holds owners and contractors 100% liable for a worker’s injuries resulting from a height-related accident, which means that Labor Law Section 240 does not require that the injured worker be completely free from fault. Instead, it only needs to be shown that the property owner or contractor violated the statute and that the violation was a proximate cause of the worker’s resulting injuries. Thus, the partial fault of the worker is not a defense that property owners or contractors can use.
Discuss Your Situation with a Workplace Accident Attorney in Queens, the Bronx, or Other Areas Around NYC
A scaffold fall can devastate a worker’s life and the lives of his or her loved ones. If you are a worker who was injured in a scaffold fall, our job injury lawyers can assess the merits of your case and help you understand your rights. At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, we understand that this is a critical and challenging time in your life, which is why we will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible during the process. For over two decades, we have helped workers throughout New York City aggressively assert their rights. Members of our team can speak Spanish for your convenience. We represent victims in Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Call us at (718) 993-9999 or contact us online to set up a free appointment with an attorney.