It’s a sad reality that a scaffolding accident that occurs in seconds can cause lifelong damage. Whether your injuries occurred due to falling objects or scaffolding collapses, it’s your right to pursue a workplace accident lawsuit as an injured worker in New York City. Even though the New York workers’ compensation system typically prohibits workers who have suffered personal injuries from suing their employer, you can sue any other party that contributed to your scaffolding accident. This could include the property owner, manufacturers, architects, contractors, and potentially others.
You went into construction understanding it can be a dangerous occupation. However, that doesn’t diminish the obligation of the above parties from keeping you safe. This is especially critical when you consider that two-thirds of all construction workers use scaffolding at multiple job sites.
According to the Department of Labor, nearly 60 percent of workplace fatalities happen due to falls. Unfortunately, 25 percent of these are because of scaffold accidents, most of them preventable.
When contractors, architects, and others push profit and speed ahead of safety standards, you need an aggressive, experienced workplace accident law firm like O’Dwyer & Bernstein on your side.
How Scaffolding Accidents and Injuries Occur in NYC
- An object falls from the scaffold and injures a worker.
- The planking or support on the scaffold gives out due to improper assembly, damaged equipment, or defective equipment. Scaffolding collapses can injure both the worker on the scaffold and anyone standing or walking below it.
- Slip and fall accident on a piece of scaffolding due to inadequate planking, a slippery surface, or an unsafe incline. They also occur due to missing guardrails or safety harnesses as well as lack of proper safety training.
Although not as common as the above, a scaffold accident can also happen due to placing equipment or the scaffolding itself too close to a power line. This can easily cause electrocution. Regardless of the cause, a scaffold injury is often serious or deadly. Some of the most typical consequences of this on-the-job injury include:
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
O’Dwyer & Bernstein, LLP is here to help you recover compensation for any type of scaffolding injury or the death of a close family member.
We invite you to review our New York City Scaffolding Accident Prevention Guide here to educate yourself on the measures all parties must take on construction sites to ensure worker safety.
You should also understand the types of training you’re entitled to receive for a job as inherently dangerous as construction work, including a fall protection plan and working with a maximum intended load. Education about your rights is just the first step in pursuing justice.
When a Scaffolding Accident Occurs
It’s understandable that someone injured in a scaffolding accident might be in shock and severe pain. Even so, we recommend taking quick action and remaining as calm as possible.
The first thing to do is to check if you or anyone else has sustained an injury. If the injury due to work on scaffolds is significant, don’t hesitate to call 911 or flag someone else to do it. Should you witness another worker fall from a scaffold or sustain injury in another way, be careful not to move him or her until emergency help arrives. However, you can make an exception if it looks like more items might fall from the scaffolding and cause greater injuries.
Anyone who experiences a scaffolding accident should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if the injury doesn’t appear serious. That is because some types of injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or internal injuries, can be quite serious even though they don’t appear right away. Fortunately, medical testing can usually detect these issues even before you experience any consequences from them. Seeking prompt medical care helps to establish your workplace accident case from the very beginning.
Whenever a piece of scaffolding injures a New York City worker, it’s essential for a safety inspector to review it. No one should use the scaffolding again until it meets all construction industry safety standards.
Your superiors should cordon off the area if it poses any additional danger or the investigation into what caused the scaffolding collapse or fallen objects continues for an extended time. All employees should stay clear of the area until the ropes come down and an inspector has declared it safe.
If you’re the injured worker, don’t forget to report the accident to superiors as soon as possible. This helps to avoid delays with a workers’ compensation claim.
The most critical piece of advice we can give you in this situation is to contact a scaffolding injury attorney at O’Dwyer & Bernstein as soon as you can. 212-571-7100
We also advise you not to sign anything accepting compensation payments or waiving your right to an attorney until you have the chance to meet with us. Although you might feel pressure from multiple parties, you’re under no legal obligation to sign anything so quickly.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Scaffolding Accident
Since your safety is the most important factor, obtaining medical care should come first. Discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer from O’Dwyer & Bernstein is your next step. We recommend that you do this as soon as you can, even if you’re still in the hospital. This ensures that we have adequate time available to gather the evidence necessary to sue the parties responsible for your serious injuries. New York law gives you three years from the date of a construction accident to initiate a lawsuit. You also have two years from the date of death of a loved on to file a wrongful death action suit.
Our century of experience fighting for the rights of injured workers means you can expect professional, aggressive representation.
We will pursue your right to fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, accommodations to your home or vehicle, loss of enjoyment of life, and much more. Please contact us at 212-571-7100 to reserve your free consultation today.