Among construction workers, the danger of the industry’s “Fatal Four” accidents — fall injuries, electrocutions, struck by objects, caught-in/between — are always looming. These dedicated craftsmen are often working on tall scaffolding, heavy machinery, and sometimes in inclement weather conditions to build, improve or demolish buildings. In New York, the state provides special protections for these workers through Labor Law Section 240, often referred to as the Scaffold Law. This law allows workers who have suffered falls from scaffolding and other elevation-related injuries to pursue compensation from the parties that were responsible for their safety.
At Belluck & Fox, LLP, our New York construction accidents attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of construction workers who have been seriously injured in this type of workplace accident. Our aggressive attorneys have successfully recovered compensation from contractors and building owners who ignored their duties to protect employees from the dangers of working at high elevations. We believe that construction workers are the backbone of our great city, and we are relentless in our pursuit of justice for those who are injured on the job.
If you or a family member has been hurt in a fall from scaffolding or another elevation-related accident at work, contact the New York Scaffold Law attorneys at Belluck & Fox, LLP now to find out how we can seek justice for you. Call or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your claim and review all of your options for compensation.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Our Construction Injury Attorneys Will Fight for Your Rights
- 2 Who Can Be Held Liable Under the Scaffold Law?
- 3 What Type of Accidents Does the Scaffold Law Cover?
- 4 What Work Duties Are Covered Under the Scaffold Law?
- 5 What Type of Safety Precautions Must Be Taken Under the Scaffold Law?
- 6 The Push for Scaffold Law Reform
- 7 Contact a New York Scaffold Law Attorney Today
How Our Construction Injury Attorneys Will Fight for Your Rights
Making a living in the construction field requires a certain amount of toughness, but when you have been seriously injured in a scaffolding accident, you could be out of commission for a while as you receive the proper medical treatment and rehabilitative care.
It is important to note that a fall from scaffolding is not a simple workers’ compensation case. Our experienced New York Scaffold Law attorneys can identify all possible third parties that may be responsible for your injuries. While you concentrate on healing, our attorneys will be ramping up your fight for compensation by:
- Collecting all evidence that is related to your scaffolding accident.
- Interviewing any witnesses who were at the construction site at the time of your accident.
- Documenting your injuries through medical reports and your own personal journal of what you are going through.
- Preparing a strong case for trial while making sure the at-fault parties don’t try to insult you with unfair settlement offers.
When your livelihood is threatened because your employer or another party failed to take proper safety precautions, you deserve a tough New York Scaffold Law attorney who will stand up for your right to justice and maximum compensation. Contact Belluck & Fox, LLP now to schedule a free case consultation and find out how we can help you.
Who Can Be Held Liable Under the Scaffold Law?
If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, there are several parties that may be held liable under the New York Scaffold Law. These include:
- The contractors or subcontractors that you were working for
- The owners of the site
- Their agents
It is important to note that professional engineers, architects and landscape architects who only offer planning and design services cannot be held liable for injuries under the Scaffold Law. Also, owners of one- and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work cannot be held liable under the law.
What Type of Accidents Does the Scaffold Law Cover?
Many people think of falls as the most common type of accident related to scaffolding. Indeed, falls are an extremely serious — and many times fatal — injury that can result from unsafe scaffolding. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, falls accounted for about 40 percent of deaths overall in the construction industry in 2014.
However, accidents in which workers are struck by an object are also common. And objects that are accidentally dropped off of scaffolding from high elevations can cause serious injuries to workers below.
If you have suffered any type of elevation-related injury due to a scaffolding accident, you should contact a qualified New York Scaffold Law attorney to find out how you may be able to pursue compensation. Schedule a complimentary case consultation now with Belluck & Fox, LLP to learn more about your legal rights.
What Work Duties Are Covered Under the Scaffold Law?
The law covers a wide variety of tasks that construction workers may be assigned to complete while using scaffolding, such as:
- Erecting or demolishing a structure
- Making repairs to a building
- Altering a structure in some way
- Painting or cleaning a building
- Pointing or repointing as part of masonry work
No matter what type of work you were doing when you were injured at a construction site, you should contact a knowledgeable New York Scaffold Law attorney to find out what your options may be for pursuing compensation.
What Type of Safety Precautions Must Be Taken Under the Scaffold Law?
The Scaffold Law is extremely specific about the precautions that contractors, owners and their agents must take to ensure scaffolding is safe for workers to use. Proper protection must be provided through:
- Other devices
The law additionally outlines the need for safety rails on certain scaffolding and requires that contractors, owners and their agents take specific precautions to keep scaffolding from swaying. The law also indicates that scaffolding must be set up so that it can bear four times the maximum weight that is expected to be on it when in use.
Construction companies are well aware of the safety precautions required of them when it comes to the New York Scaffold Law, and there is no excuse for negligent behavior when workers’ lives are on the line. If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident at a construction site, contact one of our experienced workplace injury attorneys immediately to discuss your options for pursuing compensation.
The Push for Scaffold Law Reform
The Scaffold Law has been on the books since 1885, when skyscrapers were just starting to grow into the familiar New York City skyline we know today. With these monuments to progress came something else, though —monumental dangers for construction workers who had to climb to increasing heights for the sake of constructing and maintaining these giant buildings.
Despite the dangers workers still face in scaffolding jobs, construction companies and insurance carriers have fought fiercely to limit the Scaffold Law. They do not want to fully compensate workers who are severely injured due to safety violations, and it seems like each year they push for limit that would strip protections from construction workers.
At Belluck & Fox, LLP, we fully support the rights of injured workers to seek maximum compensation, and therefore we vehemently oppose changes to the Scaffold Law. As it stands now, the Scaffold Law still remains intact, serving as its own monument to the construction workers who built — and continue to build — the skyline that is recognized around the world.
Contact a New York Scaffold Law Attorney Today
A serious injury from a construction site like back injury, brain injury, crush injury, burn injury and falling objects can jeopardize your future and the future of your family. Medical bills inevitably pile up, and the inability to go back to work immediately can leave your family scraping to get by. Not to mention the pain and suffering you and your family have to endure. Don’t let someone else’s disregard for safety wreak havoc on your life.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a scaffolding accident, talk to the dedicated New York City attorneys at Belluck & Fox, LLP today. Our lawyers will meet with you for a free evaluation of your case, and we will outline all the ways in which you may be able to pursue compensation.
You should know that New York has strict time limits for how long you have to file a claim after a workplace accident, so the sooner you take action, the better. Call us or fill out our online form now to get started on your Scaffold Law case.
For more info, you can check out our frequently asked questions.