Construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs anyone can do. And, when that work takes place at elevations, it is much more dangerous. A recent tragic accident in Manhattan illustrates this point only too well.
The accident involved a construction company that was restoring the facade of a building when the mechanized scaffolding – along with some of the facade itself – collapsed onto the sidewalk below, leaving one construction worker dead, two in critical condition, and one with minor injuries. It’s uncertain if the falling facade played a role in the deadly scaffolding accident. If you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident, consult with a New York personal injury attorney who has experience successfully handling these complicated cases.
New York Scaffolding Law
Construction workers generally have no legal remedy when they are injured on the job beyond collecting workers’ compensation insurance, which can be inadequate. Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover a full range of losses. Workers’ compensation does not provide benefits for an injured workers’ non-economic damages like pain and suffering or lost quality of life. Fortunately, New York’s Scaffold Law bypasses this deficiency by affording a special right of recovery to those workers who are injured as the result of elevation (such as construction workers who are performing their work while positioned on scaffolding).
The Force of Gravity
New York’s Scaffold Law applies to more than just scaffolding and ladders. Instead, it covers all accidents that are fall-related. This includes accidents that involve any change in elevation or involve a falling object or objects. Ultimately, accident victims may recover money damages if the work accident in question involved the force of gravity – such as falls or being struck by a falling object.
The Scaffold Law places strict (or absolute) liability on the building’s property owner, or the contractor at the worksite. The building or structure in question must fall into one of the following classifications:
- Apartment buildings
- Commercial buildings
- Three-family homes (the law does not apply to one-family and two-family homes)
- Structures, which can include rail cars, boats, water towers, bridges, subway tunnels, garages, and more
The Scaffold Law imposes absolute or strict liability, which means that liability in those accidents that are covered by the statute is assumed, leaving the only issue to be resolved the amount of the injured worker’s compensation, harms and losses. That said, these cases can be highly contentious, and it is extremely important for worksite accident victims to retain an experienced attorney to protect their rights.
An Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Accidents involving falls or falling objects on the job are often extremely serious. Attorney David Kaufman is a dedicated personal injury attorney with considerable experience successfully defending the rights of workers who are injured in these life-threatening accidents. Proudly serving Suffolk County, Nassau County, and Long Island, Mr. Kaufman is on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 631-761-6400 to schedule a free consultation today.