Scaffolding Accident Attorney
If you have recently endured an injury related to a scaffolding accident in New York City, we encourage you to contact an attorney at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye right away to discuss your rights under New York’s civil premises liability and negligence laws. Our NY construction accident attorneys can help you recover not only the direct costs of your injuries, but additional compensation for your pain and suffering, depending upon the severity of your experience.
New York City is an ever-evolving mecca of real estate investments, including high-end high rises, stately corporate offices, and historical civic buildings. With this ongoing development of the city skyline comes the inevitable need to erect unsightly, but not unnecessary, scaffolding units to effectuate the completion of the projects – which often introduce added risks of injury for workers, passersby, and even current building tenants living or working inside the structure.
Dangers of scaffolding
Construction workers who labor on worksite scaffolding are taking a gamble that the structure is constructed properly and designed to withstand the weight of dozens of workers and their equipment.
The U.S Bureau of Labor has released the following info about NYC scaffolding accidents:
- 22 percent of worker fall accidents involved scaffolding
- In 2010, the city issued over 12,000 citations for unsafe and non-compliant scaffolds
- Failure to adequately light a scaffold was the most commonly-cited issue in 2010
- NYC has admitted it primarily relies on construction mangers to “police themselves” when using scaffolding
Injuries arising from scaffolding accidents can be extremely severe, often life-threatening. Scaffolds can span dozens of stories in the air, meaning falls can result in severe skull or brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, contusions, or even death.
A scaffolding injury can quickly render victims partially or completely disabled, and unable to continue construction work – meaning probable financial insecurity added to physical incapacitation. Fortunately, a construction accident lawsuit in New York can help victims of scaffolding injuries recover financially by holding any and all negligent parties responsible for damages accrued.
Establishing negligence in a scaffolding injury lawsuit
In order to recover following a scaffolding accident, a plaintiff must show that a negligent party did not exercise due care in some aspect of the erection, maintenance, or placement of the scaffolding apparatus. Due care is a legal term referring to the requirement to engage in reasonably safe and prudent conduct – a deviation from which could expose the actor to liability for resulting injuries.
In the context of scaffolding, facts to support a claim of negligence (i.e., personal injury) may include any of the following:
- Failure to follow New York City scaffolding guidelines
- Excess weight
- Failure to ensure scaffolding is properly constructed and put together
- Improper access to scaffolding
- Missing deck enclosures
- Defective or inappropriate outrigger beams
- Improper c-hook tiebacks
- Insufficient counterweight
- Failure to provide a harness or safety equipment
If any of these infractions were occurring at the scaffolding site at the time of your injury, your construction accident lawyer will argue that your resulting injury was directly caused by the misconduct – which thereby establishes the basic elements of a negligence action.
A successful personal injury lawsuit involving a scaffolding accident can result in a sizable recovery for the plaintiff, particularly if he or she is rendered unable to continue working. Recovery in personal injury cases could result in payment of medical expenses, future medical needs, rehabilitation, nursing support, and any other direct costs associated with the fall.
The plaintiff can also recover lost wages and future earnings. If the fall is particularly catastrophic, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages to compensate for pain and suffering, emotional turmoil and mental anguish. Surviving family members of a victim killed in a scaffolding accident may also be able to recover under New York’s wrongful death laws.
Notable scaffolding incidents in New York City
Despite efforts by NYC officials in both 2005 and 2007 to increase the effectiveness of scaffolding laws, serious accidents and incidents continue to occur.
In April 2014, a construction worker remodeling a hotel in midtown Manhattan was tragically killed after falling nearly 80 feet – or eight stories – down the facade of the building. He landed on another section of scaffolding abutting the main entrance to the hotel, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses described feeling concerned watching the worker, who was allegedly working in an isolated area and without a harness.
Earlier this summer, passersby shared a brief, but terrorizing, moment after approximately 100 cement bricks were inexplicably “knocked” from the parapet of an Upper West Side scaffold, careening to the ground. Fortunately, there were no reported serious injuries stemming from the incident – which was reportedly caused by nearby jackhammer vibrations. The incident occurred in conjunction with remodeling work on a residential building, with dozens of children playing just yards from the scene. According to reports, residents in the fourth, fifth and sixth stories experienced a total destruction of their front windows.
Contact NY scaffolding accident attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye today
If you were injured in a scaffolding-related incident either as a construction worker or a pedestrian below, our NYC scaffolding accident lawyers can help you recover the costs of your injuries, as well as help you with any collateral issues – including workers’ compensation or disability claims.
For New York City construction accident lawyers you can trust, call 1.800.469.7429 right away for a free consultation.
- NYC.gov, Safe Scaffolding Operations http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/ppt/safe_scaffold_operations.pdf
- DNAInfoNewYork.com, Dozens of bricks crash through sidewalk shed at UWS Building, http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140825/upper-west-side/dozens-of-bricks-crash-through-sidewalk-shed-at-uws-building-fdny-says
- CBSLocal.com, Construction worker killed in fall from scaffolding in Midtown, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/04/02/construction-worker-killed-in-fall-from-scaffolding-in-midtown/