New York City is widely known worldwide for its large buildings and skyscrapers. Every year they build more, and there is a need to provide maintenance to tall buildings that are several decades old.
All these works required the use of scaffolds and or elevated platforms to help workers perform their tasks. This work is very risky, so it should be done by skilled professionals who know what they're doing. They should also be provided with all the necessary safety equipment by their employer.
We have seen many scaffold accidents where victims got serious injuries and in their accidents was found that multiple parties were involved as potential causes.
If you or a family member who works at construction or provides cleaning services at heights gets into an accident while working on a scaffold, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and damages.
The Ward Law Group is able to provide high-quality representation by our team of scaffolding accident lawyers, so you can have peace of mind and focus on recovering from your injuries while we focus on bringing justice to you and your family.
Scaffolding accidents occur while working on or around scaffolding structures. Scaffolding is a temporary platform or framework used to support workers and materials during construction, maintenance, or repair activities. Accidents involving scaffolding can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.
Common Causes Of Scaffolding Accidents
It is common to find scaffolding accidents where the structure collapses due to a failure to adhere to manufacturer instructions to assemble them. The person in charge of assembling scaffolds must follow those instructions to avoid a posterior accident.
Failure to conduct regular inspections of scaffolding for signs of wear, damage, or structural integrity can result in accidents. Because scaffolds are being used several times and they get worn out too, proper inspections are to make sure the scaffold is in good shape and can still be used without any danger.
Neglecting to maintain scaffolding, such as failing to replace worn or damaged parts, can lead to structural failures. Sometimes, we found out that there was an inspection where the person in charge established that a certain part of the scaffold was damaged and needed to be replaced, but it wasn’t changed, and instead, the scaffold was assembled.
Overloading is another cause of accidents in a scaffold; depending on the material and how tall it is, workers must comply with how much weight it can bear. If they overload it, it can create a hazard.
Environmental factors like high winds, rain, or snow can affect the stability of scaffolding. It is wise and a safety measure to stop work over scaffolds if there is a storm that could endanger workers.
Failure to provide or use proper fall protection equipment, like guardrails, harnesses, or nets, can result in falls from scaffolding. Employers are required to provide their employees with all kinds of safety gear.
Human errors are present in any construction; poor communication between workers, especially when coordinating movements and activities on scaffolding, errors in judgment, misjudging distances, or simply not paying proper attention to safety procedures are some examples.
If the scaffolding or its components are faulty or defective, it can lead to accidents too.
To prevent scaffolding accidents, it's crucial to prioritize proper training, regular inspections, and adherence to safety regulations and protocols. Additionally, providing and using appropriate safety equipment, along with maintaining open communication and promoting a safety-conscious culture, can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.
Scaffolding Accident Trends in Yonkers
In July 2023, NYC Buildings reported 8 incidents where construction workers got injured in scaffold-related accidents in different scenarios. In total, from January to July, there were 36 scaffolding accidents where workers got from mild to severe injuries.
For example, on August 8th, on Inwood Ave, an injury was sustained by a ductwork insulator working for MA 2 Flags. The insulator fell from a 4-foot-high baker scaffold which overturned.
The worker sustained an injury to the wrist and nose. He was administered with first aid, and DOB was notified of the incident the same day.
It is extremely important to follow instructions and wear safety gear always when working on a scaffold.
Types of Injuries in Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffolding accidents can have devastating consequences for the workers involved. The height in which the person is working directly affects whether there is a fatality or just mild to severe injuries.
Among the most common injuries in scaffolding accidents are falls. When scaffolding fails or if safety measures are inadequate, workers can plummet from significant heights, leading to fractures, broken bones, and severe trauma. These injuries often necessitate extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
In some cases, a worker may strike their head during a fall or due to falling debris. This can lead to traumatic brain injuries, which can have long-lasting effects on a person's cognitive and physical abilities.
Scaffolding accidents can also result in spinal cord injuries, which can lead to partial or complete paralysis. The impact on a victim's quality of life can be profound, requiring ongoing medical care, assistive devices, and modifications to living spaces.
Even when a fall doesn't result in fractures, it can still cause significant soft tissue injuries. These can include sprains, strains, and contusions, which may require physical therapy and time off work for recovery.
In situations where scaffolding collapses, or materials fall from above, workers may sustain crush injuries. These can be severe and may lead to the traumatic amputation of limbs.
Victims facing such life-altering injuries require skilled legal representation to secure the compensation needed for prosthetics, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. Don’t hesitate to call a scaffolding accident lawyer to represent you in such cases.
Liability and Legal Process
In Yonkers, when it comes to scaffolding accidents, determining liability is a critical aspect of seeking just compensation for the injured party. New York Labor Law Section 240, often referred to as the "Scaffold Law," plays a pivotal role in such cases.
This statute places the liability on property owners and contractors to provide proper safety equipment and ensure a safe working environment for employees working at heights. If they fail to do so and an accident occurs, they can be held liable for the resulting injuries.
This law is a powerful tool for workers injured in scaffolding accidents. It provides a strict liability standard, meaning that property owners and contractors can be held responsible even if they weren't directly involved in causing the accident. This heightened level of accountability is designed to prioritize worker safety in high-risk situations, such as those involving scaffolding.
Furthermore, workers' compensation insurance also plays a role in these cases. While workers' comp provides benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages, it typically prevents workers from suing their employers.
However, if a third party, such as a manufacturer of faulty scaffolding equipment, contributed to the accident, the injured worker may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against that third party. This dual avenue of compensation ensures that workers have the opportunity to receive adequate support for their injuries and losses.
Navigating the legal process in scaffolding accident cases requires a thorough understanding of both New York's labor laws and personal injury litigation. A seasoned scaffolding accident lawyer in Yonkers will have the expertise to assess the circumstances, identify liable parties, and build a strong case on behalf of the injured worker.
They will work diligently to secure the compensation needed to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other related damages.
Immediate Actions After a Scaffolding Accident
In the aftermath of a scaffolding accident in Yonkers, the actions taken in the immediate moments can greatly impact the outcome for the victim. The first and foremost concern should always be the safety and well-being of the injured individual. Depending on the severity of the injury, there are specific steps that should be taken.
Call 911 or have someone else do it.
In cases of severe injuries, such as fractures, head injuries, or significant bleeding, it is crucial to call for emergency medical assistance without delay. Prompt medical attention can be the difference between a full recovery and long-term complications. Dial 911 or instruct someone nearby to do so if the victim is unable.
Notify Your Supervisor or Employer
If possible, inform your immediate supervisor or employer about the accident as soon as circumstances allow. This step is vital for documentation and can be crucial in any subsequent legal proceedings. It ensures that the incident is properly recorded and reported in compliance with workplace regulations.
Preserve the Scene
If the situation allows, try to preserve the accident scene as much as possible. This can be crucial for any potential investigations or legal claims. Take photos or videos of the area, capturing details like the condition of the scaffolding, any safety equipment present, and any visible hazards.
Seek Medical Evaluation
Even seemingly minor injuries should be promptly evaluated by a medical professional. Some injuries may not present immediate symptoms but can have long-term consequences. Additionally, obtaining a medical report can serve as vital documentation for any potential legal action.
Get witnesses information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, gather their contact information. Their testimonies can be invaluable in establishing the circumstances and liability in a potential legal claim.
If applicable, do not alter or dispose of any personal protective equipment or clothing worn during the accident. They may serve as crucial pieces of evidence in demonstrating the conditions at the time of the incident.
Consult a scaffolding accident lawyer.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, seeking legal counsel from a specialized scaffolding accident lawyer in Yonkers is highly advisable. They can provide guidance on your rights, potential avenues for compensation, and the best course of action to take following the accident.
Scaffolding Accident Lawyer At The Ward Law Group
You deserve to be represented by experts, and if you got injured in a scaffolding accident in Yonkers, you can count on assistance from one of our scaffolding accident lawyers at The Ward Law Group.
Our best lawyers have been awarded several times nationally and internationally. You can relax and focus on recovering from your injuries while our team works tirelessly for you to get fair compensation.
We have over 25 years of experience dealing with personal injury lawsuits, and we have proved to be efficient in negotiating with insurance companies and at-fault parties.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation of your case, you can call us at 855-DOLOR-55, and if you have any questions, one of our lawyers will answer you right away.