Scaffold Accident Lawyer NYC - Workers' Compensation Lawyers350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6705
New York, NY 10118
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Scaffold Accident Lawyer NYC
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Scaffolding accidents are all too common in NYC. In the last few years, several workers in the city died and many more suffered injuries in incidents involving scaffold collapses and falling debris. However, adequate scaffold maintenance, safety procedures, and worker training can prevent deadly accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that nationwide, 50 lives could be saved and over 4,500 injuries prevented by following the agencies’ scaffold safety standards.
While an injured or dead worker may be just a number for city developers, we see the individual tragedies of workers’ deaths and injuries in our practice. Our attorneys see lives turned upside down due to catastrophic injuries and families facing heartbreak and financial uncertainty from the untimely passing of their loved ones.
However, if you are affected, help is available. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced scaffold accident lawyers in NYC can fight for your rights. If you got hurt or a loved one died in a scaffolding accident in the city, we can hold negligent employers and other liable parties accountable for their failures. We can fight them all the way to the courthouse, if necessary. Contact us today to discover whether we could help you get justice and compensation.
Causes of Scaffold Accidents in New York City
On construction sites, scaffolding accidents can occur due to various causes, including structural damage, falling objects, and poor weather. Common reasons for scaffolding accidents In NYC include:
Although a scaffold may have been initially safe, it can become damaged over time, compromising the integrity of the construction. Parts can rust, and wooden planks may crack, shift, or even rot over time. Significant damage to a scaffold can leave it structurally unsound and in danger of sudden collapse. Workers could fall from a damaged scaffold, suffering severe injuries or death.
Improper Scaffold Construction
Scaffolding must be appropriately constructed to be safe. Loose or weak planks and inappropriate materials can lead to accidents and injuries. Setting up a scaffold near power lines could lead to worker electrocution. Improper scaffolding assembly can include:
- Failure to firmly fix attachment fittings
- Mixing and matching parts from different manufacturers
- Lack of adequate guardrails
- Failure to install the necessary bracing
- Failing to consider local weather conditions such as wind
Moreover, when necessary, employers should ensure that scaffolds are covered to protect workers from falling tools and construction materials from above.
Lack of Maintenance
Site supervisors should inspect scaffolding regularly, and ensure to replace worn parts and address defects promptly to keep workers safe. Missing or broken parts should be replaced with the correct replacement parts. Lack of maintenance or inadequate maintenance could lead to a damaged scaffold that may eventually become structurally unsound, causing tragic accidents.
Working in Hazardous Conditions
Employers and supervisors should evaluate the safety of scaffolding work in inclement weather such as heavy rain, snow and ice, high winds, and extreme heat. OSHA generally prohibits scaffold work during high winds and storms.
Moreover, scaffolds should be secured in inclement weather as winds can blow building materials and debris off the structure and onto workers or pedestrians below. Drastic temperature changes could compromise scaffold parts such as attachment points, potentially leading to material fatigue and scaffold damage.
Lack of Worker Training
Constructing a scaffold and working on the structure require comprehensive training. OSHA determines that employees working on scaffolds must receive training by a qualified person to recognize and minimize hazards. Training should include topics such as:
- Electrical hazards
- Fall prevention
- Using fall protection systems
- Proper handling of materials on the scaffold
- The maximum load capacity of the structure
- Correct procedures for erecting, dismantling, and maintaining the scaffold
Poor worker training can lead to avoidable falls, electrocutions, and other devastating accidents.
Injuries in Scaffold Accidents
Many NYC construction sites involve multi-story and high-rise buildings. Therefore, scaffold work is a daily occurrence for construction workers in the city. Moreover, many other NYC employees regularly work from scaffolds, such as window cleaners, decorators, electricians, and maintenance workers. Defective and unsafe scaffolds and lack of safety training can cause accidents with severe or fatal injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Deep cuts
- Sprains and strains
Depending on the accident, workers may also suffer from the emotional effects of a scaffold accident, such as anxiety, depression, and others. A worker may be unable to work from a scaffold again after surviving a traumatic accident.
Morgan & Morgan sees the devastating effects of construction work accidents every day. We understand the full impact of an injury on workers’ physical and emotional well-being. We also know the financial hardship that permanent and disabling injuries can cause. If you or a loved one is affected by a scaffold accident injury, we could help you receive compensation.
Your Best Steps After a Scaffold Accident in NYC
If you or a loved one was injured in a scaffold accident in NYC, you should take some essential steps to protect your health and legal rights. You could be entitled to workers’ compensation and additional damages, depending on the circumstances of your accident. Your next best steps can include:
Seek Medical Help
If you did not see a doctor immediately after the scaffold accident, consider doing so as soon as possible. Some common injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, may not show symptoms for days or weeks. Getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment can help you recover faster. A medical report will be required to receive workers’ comp benefits and could be necessary evidence if you intend to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
File an Accident Report
If you get injured at work, inform your employer or supervisor promptly and insist on filling in an accident report. You should also request a copy of the document as evidence of your accident and injury.
Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning you most likely qualify for benefits even if you are partly or wholly to blame for the scaffold accident. Workers’ comp can cover:
- Medical expenses for a work injury
- Lost wages if you are missing work while recovering
- Ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation, such as physical therapy
- Disability benefits for a temporary or permanent work-caused disability
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Death benefits for the family of a worker who lost their life due to a work injury
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you get hurt in a scaffolding accident, you need to know your rights and the best course of action for getting what you deserve. Unfortunately, many injured workers struggle to recover their due from workers’ comp or the at-fault party. They wait to contact an attorney until their workers’ compensation claim is rejected or they cannot obtain a fair settlement.
However, the sooner you work with an attorney, the sooner you can receive what you deserve. Our experienced and determined scaffold accident lawyers in NYC are here for injured workers. We can analyze your accident, determine the worth of your case, and move forward with a lawsuit, if necessary.
You Could Sue the Party Responsible for Your Scaffold Accident
Your first step when injured at work should be to file a workers’ comp claim. However, in certain circumstances, filing a personal injury lawsuit can help you receive additional compensation, such as awards for pain and anguish, emotional distress, and others. Moreover, if you are self-employed or your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, your only option to get what you deserve could be a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Qualifies for a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Not all workers injured in a scaffold accident in NYC qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. However, construction site accidents often occur due to the carelessness or recklessness of a third party, such as a developer, contractor, property owner, or another party. In this instance, injured workers could hold the negligent party accountable with a personal injury lawsuit. Defendants in a scaffold accident lawsuit can include:
- The manufacturer of a defective scaffold part
- A grossly negligent employer
- A negligent subcontractor or coworker
- Careless equipment operators
Knowing your legal rights and what you are entitled to can be complicated. However, Morgan & Morgan has your back. First consultations with us are always free. We can assess your claim, determine whether you have a case, and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Injured NYC Workers Could Receive Compensation
If you were significantly injured in a scaffold accident, or your loved one passed away due to a work injury, you could be entitled to damages. What you could receive will depend on the circumstances of your case and other factors. However, damages in a personal injury lawsuit can include:
- Current and future healthcare costs relating to the injury
- Medical transport costs
- Modifications of the home and vehicle
- A home health aide
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future potential earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of a limb
- Permanent disfigurement
- Reduced life enjoyment
Damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit can include loss of income from the decedent, burial and funeral costs, medical expenses before death, and others.
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Is My Employer Liable for My Damages?
Workers in NYC are generally unable to sue an employer who is covered by workers’ comp insurance. However, there can be exceptions. You could potentially hold an employer legally accountable for your injuries and financial losses if:
- They acted grossly negligent in causing the scaffold accident
- Their workers’ insurance coverage has lapsed
- Your employer physically assaulted you
- Your employer never had workers’ comp insurance
A scaffold accident lawyer in NYC can help determine whether you could sue your employer and move forward with filing a lawsuit.
Do I Have to Hire an Attorney for My Scaffold Accident Injury?
Scaffold accidents can cause catastrophic and disabling injuries. Workers may be out of work for a long time or never return to their job. Without the help of a dedicated lawyer, workers could leave money on the table. Working with an attorney can be essential in the following circumstances:
- You suffered a severe injury or permanent impairment
- You incurred steep medical bills and other injury-related expenses
- It is unclear who is at fault for the scaffold accident
- Your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance
- Your workers’ comp claim was denied or minimized
- You received an inaccurate impairment rating
- You have a legal case against your employer or a third party
- Your loved one died in a scaffold accident
Scaffold accidents can be tricky to understand. Determining what or who caused the accident may require the help of professional accident investigators. Morgan & Morgan is by your side. We have the resources to handle even complex and challenging construction accident claims in NYC.
Can I Afford a Scaffold Accident Lawyer?
Most personal injury attorneys do not charge upfront attorney’s fees and will take a percentage of your final settlement as their fee. However, some firms charge hourly fees or retainers before they start handling your case.
Morgan & Morgan knows that money can be tight when you get injured at work or lose a loved one in a work accident. Therefore, we do not charge our clients a dime unless we win. There are no out-of-pocket fees, legal costs, or unexpected expenses when we take your case. We believe America’s hardworking construction employees and their families deserve the best possible legal representation, regardless of their financial situation.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
If you got hurt or a relative died in a scaffolding accident, let us help you understand your rights and options. Our compassionate and determined scaffold accident lawyers in NYC can be by your side and help you recover the workers’ comp benefits and compensation you deserve.
You are in good hands with Morgan & Morgan. Over more than three decades, we have helped thousands of injured clients and their families get justice, recovering over $15 billion in damages. We could help you too. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation today.