Long Island Scaffolding Accident Lawyers
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Workers rely upon scaffolding for their safety, but sometimes scaffolding can fail them. There are many reasons scaffolding accidents can happen, including improper setup, poor design or manufacturing, or because the scaffolding has not been inspected or maintained. When scaffolding fails, workers often suffer severe and life-threatening injuries.
At The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, our dedicated scaffolding accident attorneys have successfully represented injured workers throughout Long Island and nearby areas including Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens. New York has many laws designed to protect the health and safety of workers, and our firm has extensive experience in this area. If you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident, we will thoroughly investigate your claim and help you demand the maximum compensation that you deserve.
An unexpected injury can jeopardize everything you and your family has worked for. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights after a scaffolding accident.
What Types of Protections Are Available After a Scaffolding Accident?
Whether repairing a structure or building a new one, workers put their health and safety on the line when they’re off the ground and doing their jobs. Construction workers in Long Island and New York City often work at high elevations, and scaffolding helps them do their jobs. Scaffolding is essential when working on tall buildings, and it is meant to help protect the workers from falls, slips, and other injuries. Unfortunately, when scaffolding and other safety equipment fail, it can lead to serious injury.
New York’s Labor Law Section 240. For workers dealing with scaffolding accidents, the most important law is New York Labor Law Section 240. This law provides protections for workers who perform job duties at elevation. New York state understands just how dangerous this work is and mandates that workers must be provided with the appropriate safety equipment. If they are not provided with the appropriate equipment, a serious accident can occur. This law requires that employers, owners, and site managers provide scaffolding, platforms, and other safety equipment to protect the worker and those nearby.
There are many pieces of equipment needed to keep workers safe and to move them and their equipment between the work area and the ground. This includes:
- Safety railings
- Safety harnesses
- And many others
Scaffolding and other equipment must be in good working order and appropriate for the task at hand. Building, repairing and demolishing a building all require different equipment that suits the task. Regardless, the equipment must be maintained and capable of doing the job that it was intended for. If the scaffolding or other equipment is inadequate, the employer or building owner may be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur.
A lawyer can help review your case and determine whether Section 240 and other New York labor laws apply. These laws provide avenues for compensation that can help you recover beyond the typical workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation may also be available if a worker is injured in a scaffolding accident. Workers’ compensation can pay for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, but it does not cover the same level of damages as other types of claims. To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll have to start by notifying your employer and submitting a claim for the injury.
If approved, you should receive medical cost coverage and benefits that match with your injury. If you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident, a lawyer can help you gather the paperwork for your claim and prepare it on your behalf. If your claim is denied or does not cover your injury, a lawyer can help you review your claim and appeal the decision.
Third-party lawsuits. In some cases, third-party lawsuits may be an option for demanding compensation. These types of claims are often used in situations where employers or property owners have done their jobs, but other third parties have not, resulting in serious injury. Subcontractors or manufacturers a defective equipment may be held liable for causing injury to workers in third-party claims.
What Types of Injuries Can Happen in Scaffolding Accidents?
When scaffolding fails, the results can be fatal. Scaffolding can collapse, sending workers plummeting to the ground and endangering those below. Scaffolding may also fail in limited ways, causing workers to fall and suffer broken bones and long-term damage. When an employer sets up scaffolding, it’s important that the setup crew has the training and skills necessary to do it right. Once erected, scaffolding should also be inspected and maintained for the safety of those using it. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones. These can be minor injuries that heal quickly, or they can be severe breaks that leave workers unable to work or live their lives the way they want. Severe breaks can cause pain for years and limit an accident victim’s quality of life.
- Amputation of limbs. Even a short fall can cause grievous damage to a worker. If a fall is severe enough, and a limb cannot be saved, a worker may need to have it amputated.
- Spinal cord injuries. When a victim falls from heights, there’s a very real chance of a spinal cord injury. Even today’s best medicine can’t repair many spinal cord injuries. These injuries can leave a victim paralyzed or in pain for the rest of their life.
- Neck injuries. A fall can permanently damage the joints and discs in the neck. After a scaffolding accident, a worker may suffer lasting impairment and pain from the injury.
- Back injuries. Nearly every motion you do uses a muscle in your back. When a scaffolding accident causes a back injury, it can cause a worker pain and can harm a worker’s ability to earn a living down the line.
- Head injuries and brain damage. Workers should be provided with safety harnesses, hard hats and other safety equipment. This can help mitigate some injuries, but it can’t stop them all. When scaffolding fails and a worker falls, there may still be serious injury. If the worker hits his or her head after falling from scaffolding, the worker can be left with headaches, vision loss, or even permanent brain damage.
- Death. In a scaffolding accident, death is a very real possibility. Workers are high above the ground, and when they fall, even the best care may not be able to save them. A wrongful death claim can’t bring your loved one back, but it can help you find justice and the resources you need to rebuild.
What Types of Compensation Are Available After a Scaffolding Accident?
The types of compensation available will depend upon the facts of the case. How and why the worker fell, who was responsible for the equipment, where the accident took place, and how the equipment failed will all help determine what types of recovery are available. A lawyer can help you investigate the facts and determine how to proceed.
Depending on the circumstances that led to your scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to receive payment for:
- Medical costs including emergency treatment and long-term therapy
- Lost wages for the duration of the injury and into the future depending on the severity of the injury
- Pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and other long-term problems
- Wrongful death losses
A knowledgeable scaffolding accident attorney can help you determine what types of damages may be available and how to build your claim for full and fair compensation.
Our Scaffolding Accident Attorneys Have Your Back
When you work at heights, even a small problem can turn into a major injury. At The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, we have extensive experience helping Long Island workers recover from construction accidents. We understand the challenges that construction site work brings, and our personal injury attorneys know how to fight for the compensation you and your family need.
With our knowledge and resources, we can build a strong claim, aggressively negotiate a settlement, or if needed, take it all the way to court. One of our partners, Richard Jaffe, is a trained emergency medical technician who understands the unique challenges in litigating construction injuries. When you’re injured, we’re proud to help you fight for the resources you need.
Contact us today for a free consultation.