Every year there are numerous scaffold accidents occur involving construction workers in New York.  These accidents often result in injury or death.  The dedicated attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg have years of experience representing construction workers who have been victims of New York scaffold accidents resulting in injury or death.

There are many federal, state, and municipal regulations that are designed to protect construction workers.  Sections 240 and 241(6) of the New York Labor Law give special legal protections to scaffold and ladder workers.  However, thousands of construction workers are injured every year in construction site accidents.  Construction workers can be hurt in falls from scaffolding, struck by falling equipment, crushed in accidents, or entangled in machinery. 

Most states only allow workers who have been injured on the job to receive only worker’s compensation benefits.  This means that these construction workers are unable to sue their employers for their injuries, limiting the amount of recovery to the amount provided for by the state’s worker’s compensation statutes. 

However, in New York there are special provisions for workers who have been injured by or while on a scaffold, ladder, hoist, stay, sling, hanger, pulley, iron, rope, block, brace, and other similar devices.  The “Scaffolding Law,” a section of the New York Labor Law, allows injured construction workers to bring a lawsuit against the party or parties who are responsible for their falls.  Prior to accepting any type of settlement or signing a liability release form, it is important for you to understand your full legal right if you have been injured due to a fall from a scaffold or ladder. 

What is the “Scaffolding Law?”

Section 240 of the New York Labor Laws, commonly referred to as the “Scaffolding Law,” governs the use of scaffolding and other devices for use by employees.  This law primarily requires that contractors, owners, and their agents be responsible for providing the necessary equipment to keep workers safe from on the job falls.

Since the original Scaffolding Law was enacted in the early 20th century, the courts have interpreted the law to grant construction workers who have been injured in falls the ability to bring civil actions against the parties responsible for the jobsite’s safety.  In these cases, courts have generally found contractors and owners strictly liable when a worker has been injured or killed in a fall.  The worker, or the worker’s surviving family, is not required to prove that the contractor or the owner was negligent.  Even if there were no per se violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) or local building or safety codes, an employer may still be liable to the injured worker or a deceased worker’s family.  Unlike other types of injury lawsuits, an injured worker’s own negligence does not typically preclude recovery under the Scaffolding Law, provided that the negligence is not the sole and proximate cause of his or her injuries.

The Scaffolding Law takes into account the special considerations those who work at a height need.  Falls are a common cause of workplace accidents and thousands of workers are either injured or killed due to workplace falls every year.  Unfortunately, many of these falls could have been prevented had contractors and owners followed federal, state, and local safety regulations.

Third Party Liability

Property owners and contractors are not the only parties that may be responsible for construction site accidents.  For example, manufacturers of construction equipment are presumed to have designed and built tools and equipment that are safe.  Should a tool or piece of equipment fail, the manufacturers could be held liable for injuries that were caused by that failure.  There are also other cases where the responsibility for an injury could lie with architects, engineers, scaffolding companies, suppliers, or other construction workers. 

Third party claims can be very complex.  An attorney who is experienced in these types of cases will be able to evaluate your claim to determine if there are any third parties who may be responsible for or share in the liability for your injuries.

Construction is a dangerous industry.  Even though there is a prevalence of federal, state, and local rules that have been designed to make the construction industry safer, thousands of workers are injured or killed every year on construction sites.  Injured workers need to act quickly to ensure that their claims are presented in the best way possible.  Contact Greenberg and Greenberg in Hudson, New York as soon as possible to speak with an attorney who has experience with bringing a claim under New York Scaffolding Law.

The Hudson scaffolding accident attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a FREE case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.