Scaffolding is commonly used in the construction industry. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates millions of construction workers use scaffolding every year, allowing workers to go up hundreds of feet to clean, repair and work on a building. Unfortunately, scaffold accidents are no stranger to New York. Not only are construction workers at risk of injury or death from a scaffold accident in New York but also pedestrians and passers-by.

Causes of Scaffold Accidents in New York

Scaffolding accidents in New York are still one of the most common causes of construction workers on the job, often causing severe or deadly injuries. These injuries are often the result of one of these causes:

  • Scaffold planks failing and giving way
  • Worker slip and fall incident
  • Lack of fall protection equipment and safety measures
  • Worker, pedestrian or passerby being struck by a falling object
  • Electrocution

Because of the very nature of scaffolding and the fact that it is high off the ground, injuries from a scaffold accident in New York can have devastating consequences. Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, severe fractures, burns and death can all occur in a scaffold incident.

Workers Compensation for a New York Scaffold Accident

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning workers can collect benefits regardless of who was to blame for the accident. If you suffer an on-the-job injury in New York, and your employer has workers compensation insurance, you can file a claim to receive medical benefits to cover the cost of treating your injuries. Workers compensation benefits also may include financial compensation for lost income. These benefits can be temporary or permanent, depending upon the severity of the injury.

Limitations of Workers Comp

There are some limitations to workers compensation benefits. For instance, you may be required to have an independent medical exam and receive medical care through an employer or insurance approved doctor. Lost income compensation is capped at ⅔ of your pre-injury income, up to a state-set maximum. Workers compensation also may preclude you from filing a lawsuit against your employer, if they were at-fault for the accident.

Scaffolding Accident Injury Claims

While workers’ compensation bars you from filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against your employer, there may be other parties liable for a construction accident. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can collect money for damages beyond the limitation of the workers compensation system. Plaintiffs in a personal injury claim can seek compensation for lost income, without a limit, and can pursue damages for intangible losses, like mental anguish as well as pain and suffering. 

Personal injury claims after a construction site scaffolding accident are most commonly filed against a third party. Pursuing a personal injury claim requires proving that the third party acted negligently or failed to act, which caused the accident. Common examples of liable parties for third party lawsuits after a construction accident include:

  • Property owner. If a property owner fails to keep the premises safe and free from hazards, they could be liable in a claim, even at private residences.
  • General contractor. In the same way a property owner is required to keep the premises safe and free from hazards, a GC also bears responsibility for keeping the entire construction site safe by coordinating subcontractors and adhering to safety laws and regulations.
  • Subcontractors. If a subcontractor is hired to install equipment or bring certain machines onto the site and fail to do it properly, thus causing your accident, they could be held liable. 
  • Product manufacturers. If you’re injured by failed safety equipment, it’s possible a manufacturing defect caused the accident, in which case a lawsuit could be filed against that company.

In some cases it may be possible to receive both workers compensation and file a third party claim. Scaffolding accident cases can be quite complex and another third party’s liability may not be obvious at first. If you or a loved one has been injured while at a construction site, protect your rights by contacting an attorney who can help you understand your options.

New York Scaffold Accident Lawyers

A construction site is often chaotic; any one or more entities may be legally liable when a construction worker is injured or killed. If you’ve been injured, you should contact a New York scaffold accident lawyer who will review your case and offer options to seek the maximum amount of compensation.

At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New York State and New York City with their injury cases. We have years of experience in both workers compensation and workplace personal injury claims. Our top-rated New York attorney team has the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, contact us immediately to discuss your case.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Tue, 05/10/2022 - 18:33

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