Workers in New York are protected by the law. The NYC’s Scaffold Safety Law ensures that contractors must provide their workers with proper safety equipment while doing work at high elevations.
This law not only protects construction workers. There are a multitude of high buildings in the Bronx. All of those buildings need eventual maintenance and cleaning.
The only way to perform a cleaning task on them is by using scaffolding on the exterior. The Scaffold Safety Law states that when a worker doesn’t get all the necessary safety equipment and then gets injured, their employer is completely responsible.
A scaffolding accident can be devastating. People often die in these accidents, and if they survive the hit, they get serious injuries that can prevent them from living a normal life.
You may be entitled to compensation for damages if you or a loved one were injured in scaffolding accidents. If the incident happened in the Bronx, you will need to review your case with a scaffolding accident lawyer in The Bronx who specializes in personal injury.
The Importance Of Legal Representation for Victims of Scaffolding Accidents
Typically, when these accidents happen, the injured person is dealing with extreme pain, and most likely, he/she is resting in bed, often immobilized. The best time to present a claim is as soon as possible.
If you count on expert assistance from a scaffolding accident lawyer from The Ward Law Group, they will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to find out what exactly happened.
It is crucial to identify potential safety violations that the contractor or employer may have done. All the pieces of evidence, such as the accident report, photographs, medical records, and any other proof regarding the accident, must be reviewed by the legal expert.
It is expected that your scaffolding accident lawyer teams up with experts in various fields like construction industry specialists, medical professionals, and other experts.
Once they have all the facts of the incident, your lawyer will check the options for financial recovery. This includes workers’ comp coverage and the potential third-party lawsuit.
Filing all the documents needed, and it’s almost done. Generally, lawyers of both parties involved will get in touch to have a meeting and negotiate a settlement on each party's behalf.
If a settlement is not reached because both parties can agree, the case will move to the trial where a jury or a judge will decide if the responsible parties are liable.
Common Causes Of Scaffolding Accidents in The Bronx
Multiple causes can lead to a person falling from a scaffolding. Here we will review the most common causes:
- Not having the necessary equipment
- Not receiving proper training to work on scaffoldings
- Miscommunication at the work site
- Lack of inspections on scaffolding equipment
- Lack of inspections on the scaffolding
- Contractor negligence
- Failure to maintain and install scaffoldings
- Human mistakes
Sometimes, to save some money, contractors do not purchase the necessary equipment. Employers send workers to perform tasks over scaffolds without security gear. That is an apparent negligence on their side because an accident can take place, and a life may be endangered.
When a scaffold is being used, it is part of the job that someone inspects the scaffold to check for any flaw that may need to be repaired. It is possible that a part of it can be loose and then come apart, causing people to fall from heights.
Types of Injuries in Scaffolding Accidents
When we talk about a scaffolding accident, we think about a person falling from a significant height like a 5th floor. But it does not need to be that high to fall from a scaffold and get hurt.
A scaffold accident in construction can happen starting 6 feet above a lower level, which is the height requirement in construction to use a scaffold. Of course, the consequences of the fall would be less but is still enough to hurt the person who fell.
If there is indeed a significant height and the person falls, most likely there will be a fatality. If a worker survives the falling, they will probably have serious injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bruises, cuts, and strains
Many of those serious injuries can have long-term consequences, like paralysis, cognitive impairment, and chronic pain, among other consequences. It is imperative to seek medical help as soon as possible to identify the proper treatment.
Workers’ Compensation On Scaffolding Accidents
The first compensation point will be filing a workers’ compensation claim. This type of claim will provide the injured worker with immediate coverage to pay medical bills, transportation, and a percentage of their wages when they are not capable of attending to their job tasks.
That is a great benefit for workers; however, it will not provide compensation when the injuries sustained come with long-term consequences. When a worker files a claim with this compensation system, their employer is shielded from receiving a personal injury lawsuit.
Although the injured worker can not sue their employer, they can still sue any third party that might be liable for the accident. However, when it comes to the scaffolding law 240, this rule does not apply.
Because the law states that contractors and businesses are liable when they fail to provide safety recommendations.
Scaffolding Collapse: Another Cause Of Accidents
Many circumstances can cause a scaffold to collapse, causing people to fall and suffer serious injuries. The scaffolds are held together by fasteners, sometimes these fasteners are loose, and that can make the scaffold come apart.
Generally, when there is a storm or inclement weather, it is not recommended to perform duties on scaffolds. Most constructions stop those tasks, but sometimes there are negligent contractors that do not follow the recommendations.
Scaffolds that have been used for a long time need to be changed. They can become a hazard for workers who use them at height. It is not recommended to use old scaffolds.
Also, there are scaffolds that are built with materials that are not too strong. Generally, metal scaffolds are more resistant than wood scaffolds, and therefore, they are safer.
Immediate Actions After a Scaffolding Accident
1. Seek Medical Attention: The well-being of everyone involved is the top priority. If you or anyone else is injured, seek medical attention promptly. Even if injuries seem minor, it's important to get a thorough medical evaluation, as some injuries might not be immediately apparent but can worsen over time.
2. Notify Authorities: Report the accident to the relevant authorities, such as your employer or supervisor. Their prompt knowledge of the incident can initiate an official record of the accident, which can be crucial for any subsequent legal proceedings.
3. Document the Scene: Take photographs or videos of the accident scene if possible. Capture details of the scaffolding, the surrounding environment, and any visible hazards. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence later on.
4. Gather Witness Information: If there were any witnesses to the accident, gather their contact information. Their testimonies can provide valuable insight into what happened and potentially strengthen your case.
5. Preserve Physical Evidence: Do not tamper with or remove any equipment, tools, or materials involved in the accident. These items may hold vital clues about the cause of the incident and could be pivotal in establishing liability.
6. Report the Incident: Notify your employer or supervisor in writing about the accident. Describe the incident, the injuries sustained, and any hazardous conditions that contributed to the accident. Keep a copy of this written report for your records.
7. Consult an Attorney: After addressing immediate medical concerns, consider consulting a scaffolding accident lawyer in The Bronx. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal aspects, helping you understand your rights, potential compensation, and the appropriate steps to take.
8. Do Not Give Statements: Avoid providing recorded statements or signing documents without consulting your attorney first. Statements made to insurance companies or other parties can be used against you, potentially impacting your claim.
Contact A Bronx Scaffolding Accident Lawyer
When dealing with a situation where you or a family member has suffered serious injuries due to a scaffolding accident, you may feel too overwhelmed to act properly. Certainly, seeing your loved one in bed with extreme pain and not knowing what is going to happen next is a high-stress situation.
Luckily, in the Bronx, NY, The Ward Law Group P.L. has an office where we are able to provide legal assistance to those people injured in scaffolding accidents. We have lawyers who are experts in scaffolding cases.
With over 12 years of existence, The Ward Law Group is proud to serve the Hispanic community in The Bronx, NY. We understand how stressful it can be to deal with a system you may not completely understand due to the language barrier.
We can deal with it on your behalf; our thousands of successful cases can give you the peace of mind that you count on real specialists and that we care about our clients.
Contact us and receive a free review of your case. We will not charge you anything until we bring justice and a great settlement to pay for your damages. Call now at 855-DOLOR-55 or write through our online chat.